Traditional English Education and Online English Education
Now, the Internet is becoming increasingly significant in our society, such as online shopping, online game, and online education etc. This paper analyses the Traditional English Education and Online English Education. Firstly, Traditional English Education has some disadvantages, such as the lack of natural language environment, the limitation of English studying, and all of the classes under the teachers' control, and it has some advantages as well. Communication is easily carrying on between students and teachers. Similarly, the Online English Education plays a very important role in our modern life. It offers us a lot, and the email is one of the most convenient communicative ways. What's more, the teacher can create a virtual classroom, and however, it also has some disadvantages, and makes a distance in people's emotions. Even more, it is restricted by some conditions, and it makes some students lazier. Based on the differences of both models, the author explains different aspects, such as the roles of the teachers, the application of the education resources, and organization of the teaching and learning activities, and so on. So combination of these two models is the aim of this thesis.
Traditional; English; education; online; English; education; comparison; combination
In recent years, the developments of net technologies bring many advantages to the educational fields. As a result of these developments, a new branch which is Online Education by Computer Assisted Language Learning in applied linguistics is flourished. It is obvious to everyone that traditional model of classroom teaching can no longer meet students' needs. The Online Education becomes an important approach to teaching English.
Generally speaking, it is possible to say that computer revolution has been done and it is impossible to keep it away from us. So the teachers must learn to live together with it, and benefit from using it. Through this new technology，classroom teaching will be more attractive and enjoyable; learning and teaching will be a real fun for both the students and the teachers.
Many teachers, researchers and educators analyze some problems existing in Traditional English Education, such as the lack of natural language environment, the limitation of educational resources, the boring teaching and learning. So many teachers and educators introduce us a new teaching technology -- the Online English Education, and display some advantages of it. Most people are not familiar with it, so I hope more teachers will put it into the classroom teaching. With the comparisons between Traditional English Education and Online English Education, the author will discuss more advantages about Online English Education, especially, the email as the most convenient communicative way. However, the Traditional English Education also has its advantages, and Online English Education has its disadvantages as well. Teachers should try their best to integrate the both together in their teaching. Only in this way can our country foster the young who are full of creativeness and innovation, which is also one policy of Chinese education.
I. Analysis of Traditional English Education and Online English Education
The Traditional English Education in our country is based on the Classroom English Language Teaching. This English Educational pattern can be generalized as textbook-centered. In a most common English class, a teacher usually starts with explaining the new words and phrases of a text, and then the content in the text. After analyzing the text, the teacher may give some assignments involving in the text for students and finally correct their homework. That's how teacher organizes the class using a textbook in a classroom.
A. Some Problems in Traditional English Education
1. Lack of Natural Language Environment
As for this traditional pattern, there exist some problems in teaching. For example, the students study English without a natural language environment，their own native tongue always interrupt them.
2. The Limitation of English Learning
The ways of English studying are limited in one or two books, such as the grammatical book, the reading and writing book and so on, which let the learners spontaneously think that the learning of English is just the reciting of grammars and vocabularies. How boring this studying way is!
Furthermore, the traditional pattern of English teaching is still focusing on examination. The knowledge about English language and background is very little, which causes a lack of cultural knowledge. So the learners cannot understand English in the whole facets and they cannot master the concrete language points flexibly.
3. All the Class under the Teacher's Control
In the class, the teacher's words are all right. The students are absolutely under the teacher's control. In this pattern, there is no way to distinguish teaching from learning because students' learning activities are involved in teacher's teaching activities. A great problem arising from this kind of education pattern is that students are used to waiting for learning knowledge instead of producing new things actively.
Of course, this does not mean we should not use any Traditional English Education. Otherwise, the Traditional English Education also has some advantages.
B. The Advantages of the Traditional English Education
1. Easily Acceptation to the Old or Middle Aged Teachers
The old or middle age teachers can easily accept it. Now, in the junior or senior school, there are so many old teachers who have got enough experience in the teaching, but the fast development of the society and the reform of the education systems make them in the trouble. They suddenly don't know what to do in the classroom and they are puzzled to face the computer. So it needs time for Online English Education to transform from Traditional English Education.
2. Making the Students Know More about the Textbook
At present, the government changes the traditional idea in the education, and takes the quality of the education as the most important aim, develops the students' ability in the filed of the morally, intellectually, physically, aesthetic and labor. However, at the same time, we must get good grade or entry a famous university, so we must study very hard and take many exam papers. This Traditional English Education can make the students get more knowledge from the textbook, and the resource of the material also can reduce the burden on the students' shoulders， this pattern education also gives the exam skills to students.
3. Better Communication Between Teachers and Students
In the traditional classroom, the teachers and the students can comminute better. If the students have something that they don't understand, the teacher can give more details to them. Also the teacher can give her or his love and care to them not only in the teaching classroom but also in their daily life. The teacher and the students can be familiar with each other and get more on common. So the Traditional English Education is full of the emotion. Moreover, the teacher can take her or his teaching process more flexibly according to the students' level of the study.
C. Analysis of Online English Education
Nowadays, the Internet is becoming significant in our society. People believe that education has the potential to mobilize people and to equip them with capacity of innovation and creation, versatility and adaptability. “Here the potential of new internet technologies offer such people new opportunities for learning and achieving their aspirations” (Martino, 6).
1. Offering Us a Lot.
Online English Education is a comfortable way to learn English at your home or office. This education is suitable for students who wish to improve their English level or for teachers who wish to continue to learn.
Firstly, let us look at what the Online English Education can offer us. As Martino argues, “One of the main features of the Internet is its openness, its lack of structure or control”. Through the Internet, it is possible to extend learning and teaching activities. What the Internet technologies can provide us is one-teacher-to-many students' interaction mode. With regard to language learning, virtual reality has the potential to transport learners to the country where they are learning its language and give them the sense“Wandering through the streets of a foreign city” and “talking to the foreign people” they meet. Although the internet cannot replace first-hand experience, it may be much more convenient and accessible in teams of time and money, as it is a bank of resources at all times. You need only click the mouse, the learners can access through the internet and get whatever they need. For example, there are many websites which provide free resources for teachers and students. Search Abraham Lincoln, click http://www.nps.gov/liho , and Christmas Day, click http://www.sina.cn and so on.
2. Emails Are One of the Most Convenient Communicative Ways.
Another chief channel of Online English Educational facilities is the email, which is a rapid way to communicate. “It doesn't allow the immediate interruption to our thinking processes” (Jones, K 89). But now the email allows our time to thought. Thanks to the email, the teacher can have convenient and prompt communications with the students, offering those necessary help and counsel whenever needed and available. For example, Warchauer analyzed the traditional hand-in-and- return method of the compositions, he advised us to use the email. “Email provides a perfect mechanism for students to submit draft and for teachers to look them over at their convenience and the teacher send draft back with comments again and again. New ideas are shared promptly and can be responded to quickly. The students can not only send their writing to the teachers, but also send their work to each other simultaneously. As a result, an individual student can receive comments from all classmates.” (Wang Qiang,226).
3. The Teacher Can Create a Virtual Classroom
Currently, a large number of schools offer remote courses.
The Virtual Classroom is a teaching and learning environment located within a computer-mediated communication system. The objectives of a Virtual Classroom are to improve the access of advanced educational experience by allowing students and instructors to participate in remote learning communities using personal computers at home or at work; and to improve the quality and effectiveness of education by using computer to support a collaboratative learning process. This mode of learning can be more interactive and more effective than the traditional (physical) classroom.
One cannot, for example, learn to paint by viewing a finished painting; rather, one must see the evolution of the paining. The student must observe the instructor's mental process and the instructor must observe that of the student. The special software structures incorporated in this system were specifically designed to support collaborative learning, including discussions, student presentations, joint projects, debates, role-playing games, etc. Participation is generally asynchronous; that is, the Virtual Classroom participants may dial in any time and from any location in the world accessible by a reliable telephone system.
An excellent illustration is the Question-Answer Activity, where if the instructor asks a discussion question, every student must answer before facing the other students. This feature in Virtual Classroom is equal participation in any discussion issue that the instructor triggers in this manner. It forces each student to think independently.
Another key facility is using of anonymity or pen names. For example, many students with woke experience can point out mistakes without embarrassing their company. This sharing of experience is important to making many courses more relevant to the students who have not lived through such experiences. Many of the features of the current system are summarized in the communication structures table.
D. The Disadvantages of the Online English Education
1. Making a Distance between People's Emotion
The Online English Education needs the computer, if we need information that we want; we need by just click at the mouse. The students and the teachers communicate through the computer. Thus, they lack of emotion. If the students have some difficulties but they don't want to ask the teacher, the teacher also doesn't know about his or her students' level of the study, then the teacher can't be flexibly to control the teaching classroom. So there is something wrong with the Online English Education.
2. Restriction of Condition.
As our country developing, so many high science and technology are used into the education system. In city, every school has her own multimedia classroom and almost every child can operate computer. However, there are many poor places, the rural children have limited resource of the study, most of them still use the simplest tools, such as the stone desk, limestone as chalk, they love textbook but only to copy it by hand. So, it is still very hard to put the Online Education into widely use. But I believe one day it will be widely used.
3. Making Students Lazier.
The Internet is widely used, and it can be used in studying, playing games, shopping, surfing the material and so on. Many students may be good at study, but have no time to finish the homework, so they surf the Internet and copy other's production. Moreover, some students aren't interested in the study, when teacher explain the content of text, they may think it is very boring, so they play games or do what they want to do in the classroom.
II Comparison between Traditional English Education and Online English Education
Teachers, students and learning material are the three main factors in the whole process of English Education. Traditional English Education and Online English Education greatly differ from each other in the following aspects.
A. Teachers' Role
Harmer says,“Teacher plays multiple roles in communicative activities as controller, as assessor, as organizer, as prompter, as resource” （Wang Qiang, 69）. A teacher is a decisive factor in second language acquisition because the purpose of language teaching is not to pass on special knowledge to students but to train students to apply knowledge in communication. Only through a great number of practical activities both in and out of classroom, the abilities can be developed among students. So, one of the most important competences is whether teacher can bring students' interest and initiative into the class and train them to learn by themselves.
More than 900 university English teachers in 48 universities and colleagues were interviewed by the Chinese Foreign Language Teaching and Research Center in early 2002. The result showed that more than 60% of the interviewed college English teachers chose pair work or group work as the rarest activities in their classroom teaching but they chose explaining the text and doing exercises in the textbook as the most frequent ones. 84.5% of the interviewed teachers thought it was a waste of time to let the students participate in oral activities in class and only 3% of them asked students to practice oral English after class. Students' homework usually includes preparing the new lessens and doing exercises. The result indicates that college English teachers still follow the pattern centered by the teacher. The teacher is a controller and unquestionable authority that instructs and guides students in learning process and dominates the class from the beginning to the end.
However，in an Online English Class, a teacher may act as organizer, assessor, prompter, participant and resource, because it requires changes in teachers' roles, approaches and attitudes toward teaching to use the network in language teaching. The Online English Class is learner-centered，because “Teaching with computer-assisted language learning tools brings an underlying assumption that the more students do for themselves, the more learning takes place” (Berge, Z & Collin 235). SO “teachers must be willing to put aside their own egos and transfer the learning focus from themselves to their students” (Hedge). They should not only be competent as English teachers, but also capable as computer users. They should also be enthusiastic teaches, willing to face the endless problems. “Teachers should exert their effort to become‘A resource of information'rather than‘the source of information'” (Linder, 23). So that teachers should design class activities and set tasks for students as an organizer, give instruction as a director and offer useful information and transmit knowledge as a resource when students feel confused and need assistance, and finally, evaluate students' work and give some advice and encouragement as an assessor and prompt them to improve their communicative ability and gain competence.
As we all know, the natural environment of language learning is most significant, just as Hatch said, “While social interaction may give the leader the ‘best' data to work with, the brain in turn must work out a fitting and relevant model of that input.”(Gu Y.G, 78)
B. Applications of Teaching and Learning Resources
The biggest disadvantage for Chinese learners in studying English is lack of native environment. “For centuries, Traditional English Education has primarily focused on building foundational knowledge and skills of languages via the transfer of grammatical knowledge and explanation of vocabulary usages from the teacher to the student; the tool for teaching is primarily the textbook determined by educational authorities” (Wang Qing, 89). To make up for this misadvise, linguists and educators have tried their best to improve textbooks because textbooks have almost been the only resources for both teachers and students for quite a long time. Teachers' books have some information, which can't be found in students' books. For example, the key to the exercise part and summary of the text, in the past it was almost impossible for students to get teachers' book because the publisher were not allowed to sell teachers' book in public. That was a way to protect the limited teaching resources. Another way to prevent students from obtaining the resources were in school libraries opened certain reference books only to teachers. To rely on the traditional textbook as the sole resources even through they are the main part of learning activities. So students gain less effect.
Today, “both teachers and students have at their disposal much richer resources for education related information whether they go on line to take an online course, surf the net to look for reference materials, or use newspapers, multimedia packaged courses, or use CD-ROMs or DVD, etc for teaching and learning.” (Wang Qiang, 79). The World Wide Website, the largest database in the world can provide plenty of English language materials to teachers and students. E-mail makes it possible for students to communicate with their far-off native-speaking friends within minutes. This easy and fast one-to-one or one-to-two communication conveniently brings to the language learners meaningful and motivated communication, and therefore, may provide a beneficial environment with improving the students' competence. Washier has pointed out that “A language learner's engagement in meaningful, motivated communicative activity which uses the target language is considered the best route to becoming both literature and fluent in that language”. The greatest contribution made by the Internet is that people can share the information resources and communicate with one anther no matter when and where they are.
Of course, this does not mean we should always use Online English Education, as well as Online English Education also has its fault.
C. Organization of Teaching and Learning Activities
Organization of teaching and learning activities is a way to achieve the goals that the teacher intends. The goal of traditional English teaching has been to help students read and appreciate the selected written passages in the textbook, and the most popular way is to explain to the students the necessary vocabulary, grammatical structures, difficult sentences and exercise parts. The traditional procedure in teaching vocabulary is that the teacher explains in detail about the usages of the words and expressions with some examples as well as the comparison of synonyms and antonyms. While explaining the words, he or she may ask some students to translate several sentences either from the words, he or she may ask some students to translate several sentences either from English to Chinese or from Chinese to English so as to check their understanding. Teaching a text, the teacher may start with reading paragraphs and then choose language points such as difficult phrases and structures to explain, he or she may sometimes raise some question concerning the content of the text for students to think and discuss. Now and then an introduction of background information is needed and usually conducted by the teacher without students' involvement. Students are often busy following their teachers' instructions and students are restricted by questions and answer. Especially, there is very little communication among students is dialogue practice because most teachers think oral practice will occupy too much time in classroom teaching.
However, now, the curriculum is reformed in china. The model of the curriculum based on the CLT (Computer Language Translator). Speaking is the central task for students'. But the problem for the learners is that they feel stress and anxiety when they have to speak in public. “They are embarrassing to raise their hands to answer questions in class; they are very nervous when the teacher asks them questions which they have not prepared for; they are afraid of making mistakes; that they feel very uneasy when they cannot express themselves” (Hiltz S.R,02). Such anxiety is not only confined to the young learners, but also to adult learners. “The individual fears performance in public, where he or she is likely to make mistakes and the feeling of being overloaded is too much to think about” (Li Yang , 12). Therefore, it is possible for teachers to reduce the volume of language so that learners are not overburdened, and it is also possible to adjust activities to learners' aims and wishes.
The activity of group work and pair work in Online English Education offers a helpful attempt that students are quite willing to exchange their ideas in English study and cooperate with each other to work out the same work. In the traditional classroom, students compete against each other, which often lead to silence in class. On the contrary, students often feel secure and at ease when they work in small groups. “Learners can offer each other with the genuine communicative practice including negotiating meaning that may aid second language acquisition” (Cui Yonghua ,Yang Jizhou, 11). Ellis has studied “Group work and concludes that group work increases language practice opportunities, it improves the quality of the students talk; it helps to individualize instruction; it promotes a positive climate and it motivates learners to learn”. The task for group work is closely related to learners' real life –family, holidays, sports, pastimes and so on. This approach not only persuades learners of the relevance of their language learning, but also provides them with immediate motivation. “Give a motivation, anyone can learn a language” (Chen Mo, 03). When a foreign language can be used to deal with topics form elsewhere, the learners are likely to be aware of its practical usefulness and relevance as a means of communication, and will exert effort to it.
D. Teachers' Supervision of Learning Process
Teacher's supervision of students' learning process is an essential part. With classroom English education pattern, teachers usually examine whether students are attentive to class and to what extent they have grasped the language points by asking them questions. Students are competitive in answering questions, so most of them are afraid of making errors before others. This kind of factor has caused silence in class hinders the teachers' plan and also influences teacher' check of students' learning effect in class. More importantly, silence discourages teachers' zeal and makes them doubt about the value of those questions and as a result of this disappointment, teachers often adopt a negative attitude towards the class. They either tell students the answers after several minutes' silence or leave the questions to students as individual assignments. The traditional method of questioning needs improvements from both teachers and students.
In online English class, there are more methods to supervise students' learning progress. The learning progress record card provides teachers with the information concerning students' achievement in every stage. The hotline gives students a chance to contact with teachers now and then when they meet some difficulties. The Internet is an especially convenient way to shorten the distance between teachers and students in time and space. By network and email, even though some students cannot attend the tutorial, the teacher still knows how well they have done in their online study.
E. Learners' Needs and Psychology
The success of all teaching activities depends on learners' response. If learners can obtain what they want by teachers' efforts, the teaching activities will be highly evaluated. So learners' needs and requirements should be taken heed of no matter which teaching pattern is adopted. In traditional pattern, students' needs and requirements are often neglected because systematical arrangement of the whole class is all from teachers' side and also because lack of communication exists between teachers and students. If keep silence teachers have little information about what their students want to know, they reasonably think it is all right to fulfill the tasks in the textbook, but in this information age, most students long for more knowledge beyond the textbook. In online English teaching, this case is more obvious because network provides students a chance to get in touch with a amount of information. As Willis says that the greatest need of the online language learners originating from the lack of necessary interaction because they may not realize the importance of understanding the course requirements and the goals of learning during the process of their study, even through sometimes resource have already provided them with some kinds of guidance at the beginning of the course. Without understanding the core requirements and the goals of learning, autonomous online language learners may have problems in their study methods. Study methods which are essential for developing language competence in the autonomous online language learning and even can make the learners better understand language are very important for language learning because they are tools for active self-directed movements. Since the demand of processing language information is high on the autonomous language learners, it is absolutely necessary that learners should learn studying methods in performing the tasks and processing the new input they face.
At all, the Online English Education has freed teachers and learners both in time and especially brought convenience to those who wish to study while working. It also offers learners large amount of online language resources with the help of network.
III. The Integration of the Two Education Models
In order to create the best effect to the education, we need to consider how to make the most use of the online materials in the classroom teaching and produce a Vivid Virtual Classroom. Many books and papers have discussed how to apply multi-media in the classroom teaching. My interest is how to develop some English courses based on Internet materials and integrate them into the conventional classroom.
A. The Course Based on the Two Education Models
The new mode integration course is the reform of the elementary education of our country. The integration course proves a good environment for the students to foster their creative ability. The integration between the Online English Education and Traditional English Education is to use the information technology to help the students form the self–learning ability.
B. Making Full Use of the Mode of Integration Course
The mode of the integration of the Online English Education and the Traditional English Education stimulate the teaching and learning. The concrete mode of integration course just as the followings:
 The showing mode of the teaching and learning.
This mode means that the teacher mainly use Authorware、Power point、Microsoft word and the other software to create the English materials which are showed to students in order to stimulate the students' cognitive ability.
 The mode of practicing.
In this mode, the teachers train the students according to the characters of the students. The contents can be varied. Conversation、game、test can be added into the software to improve the quality of the whole class.
 The mode of students learning actively.
The teacher is a guide, not a controller. The teacher should encourage the students to search the relative materials of the next class. Of course, the students also get the chance to get more answers to those questions which they are interested in. The classmates can change their ideals with each other and they can search no matter what English materials they want on the web. The BBS（Bulletin Board System）and the chatting room provide us a good environment to practice our oral English and get more reading or writing skills. It's necessary for the teacher to guide the students to correct their answers when they are doing those jobs.
C. Course Based on Internet Materials
As we all know, English teaching has been more than 50 years on mainland China and some English textbooks have been published such as College English, 21 Century College English, New Course English, Active English Series, etc. These books have played so important a role in pushing Chinese college students' English level. However, with any set of those English books, we always hear complaints from the students. The chief complaints are about lacking of timeliness and practicability of the selected materials. Some articles are outdated that the students feel the books are not authoritative at all. On the other hand, some materials are disconnected with the situations the students are living in. As a result, the students feel they are learning something far away from their life and when they graduate and enter some company to start their work, they find what they have learned in school cannot be used at all. The situation confuses the students as well as the English educators. Besides, some foreign experts are also confused about the English textbooks are widely used in the colleges. They wonder why some materials are outdated.
Obviously, the listed courses here are usually intended for the English learners who have already had adequate ability in English reading and writing. As for those English beginners, the courses based on Internet materials may be too difficult. In this case, they must receive instructions from their teachers in the classroom.
D. Creation of a Rich Virtual Learning Environment
Online learning is easier and more convenient for modern people. It helps to encourage people to learn more actively, deeply and individually.
According to modern constructivists, learning should be a process of opening oneself constantly to experience because "learners' actively construct and reconstruct knowledge out of their experiences in the world" (Jones, K, 34). Learners create their own knowledge by how put their world together. Their experience in learning can make them understand more and help them to understand the meaning from new information. The theory has defined modern learning very differently. Learning is doing; Learning is individual; Learning is a life course. Within the theory, three elements should be taken into consideration when trying to provide good learning environment for learners: choice, diversity, and congeniality. The learner is the best person to decide what is to be personally meaningful. “Learners have different skill levels and learning styles, a rich learning environment should encourage multiple learning styles and multiple representations of knowledge”(Hiltz S.R, 02). Having a congenial learning environment free from constraints of time and space is central for creating and sharing knowledge. Creativity and interactivity among learners are best assimilated in a friendly and welcoming environment.
These ideas of constructivism learning theory can be applied in the online environment by providing opportunities for learners to engage in creative and collaborative activities which encourage knowledge construction. Thus, it should be a guiding principle in designing online activities.
E. Developing the Creativity of Students
The new society needs the new teaching mode. The integration of the Online English Education and the Traditional English Education is a form of creation in essence. The English teachers should know this point ??????????????????— the new methods of teaching can stimulate the activation of the students. The teachers should guide the students to create more in different ways. The old mode of teaching should be broken and the good teaching experience of the board also should be introduced to stimulate the students' desire of creation.
There are also many ways to train the new mode of thinking of the students. Firstly, we should stimulate the interest of the students, the students are willing to think about those things which they are interested in. Taking learning the new words as an example, the teaching and learning of new words is the most difficult parts for the teachers and students to teach and learn. The students usually recite the words by the old way and forget them in a short time. A good way to remember the new words is to integrate the words with the scene. Secondly, the teachers should change the ways of asking questions, because doubting is the original motive of creation. Some ways of teaching is suggested as the followings:
 Teachers should pay more attention to foster the students' habit of asking question.
 During the teaching and learning period, teachers should encourage the students to think independently.
 It is necessary to change the traditional teaching way, teachers should guide the students to find questions.
As above all, the Traditional English Education and Online English Education are two different education models, and they have their own special advantages and disadvantages. The Online English Education is a modern education model. It is very hard to put it into practice widely owing to the present condition of China, but I believe it will be widely used in the future. The Traditional English Education also has some values for its existence, so we ought to correct the learning attitude, adapt to the suitable learning strategies. It has its own strong or weak points no matter what kind of education system it is. Both of them should be integrated in order that English classroom teaching can be adapted to the social development. Only in this way can we train the creative young to adjust to society. This is main aim of combining the Traditional English Education with Online English Education.
During the time when I wrote this thesis, I got help from many people. Firstly, I am deeply grateful to my tutor, associate professor, Guo Jun, who helped me plan the thesis, gave me invaluable advice, and encouraged me at the early stage of the thesis. What's more, he checked my thesis carefully and helped me revise the paper.
In addition, I thank my teachers, including Mr. Zhang Chun, Mr. Sun Peng, Mr. Tang Guoping, Mr. Tan Jie, Ms. Cui Zhaohui, and so on. These teachers helped a lot in the process of writing. I also thank my roommates and classmates, who encouraged me and helped me as much as possible.
Last but not least, I thank my parents sincerely, who support my study and encourage me all the time.
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