Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 3 March 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Getting Exposure to Input in Multimedia Language Laboratory -
A Pleasurable Learning Experience

R. Joseph Ponniah, Ph.D.


The paper examines the learning experience of adult ESL students in an input rich digital multimedia language laboratory and their attitude towards the application of multimedia in language learning. Responses of the students to the research questions on a questionnaire and the data collected through discussions reveal that the use of multimedia resources has given a pleasurable learning experience. It has also helped them to get exposure to comprehensible input.

Keywords: Comprehensible input; Multimedia; Language acquisition; ESL; Free Voluntary Surfing.


Students learning English as a Second Language have a few opportunities to use the language outside classrooms. Teachers do their best to create opportunities in classrooms to make students use the language by motivating them to work on exercises and assigning group work. During class hours, only highly motivated students will volunteer to practice one-on-one with teachers and peers and the rests of them did execute inhibition to speak.

Why This Fear of Speaking?

This is because students are plagued by lack of confidence, shyness, fear of committing mistakes in grammar and pronunciation. Fear of speaking or making mistakes while producing output is the result of incomplete acquisition. Krashen (2008) claims that fear of speaking means that learners are about to try to say something that they have not acquired or do not yet have the ability to say.

Importance of Input

In order to acquire language, learners have to get exposure to comprehensible input. Technology is opening up many new possibilities to provide input. Integrating technology into ESL curriculum and using it as a key tool will certainly sustain the interest of students to acquire the language with great interest.


Technology use or multimedia is not a teaching method or theory but is a tool that aids teachers improving access to different types of media already in use and it is used to simulate real-life situations and helps learners to have control over the learning process (O'Leary 1998). Therefore, there must be complementary relationship between SLA research and CALL practice to create a successful language learning environment (Carol 1996).

Krashen (2007) claims that using computers for Free Voluntary Surfing will encourage students wander through the Internet and read what interests them. Krashen also claims that it will result in higher levels of literacy. Computer assisted language learning provides new opportunities for learners to engage in active communication that facilitates the development of second language competences (Peterson, 2005). Multimedia-assisted language learning and Internet-based instruction contribute to EFL students' cross cultural competence (Kim, 2005). Computer-Enhanced Language Learning will enable learners to pool their knowledge in effective ways and enhance peer correction and language repair work. Computers enable learners to work on their own pace. (Hoven, 1999).

The comprehension hypothesis (Krashen 2004) claims that language acquisition does not occur when learners focus on form. It happens only when they engage with the messages they are conveying and understanding. The hypothesis states that the process of comprehension and acquisition are closely related.

If second language learning environment contains more comprehensible input, it will facilitate language acquisition. Students who receive more input consistently outperformed the subjects who receive less. Readers who get exposure to written input easily outperformed non-readers on a grammar test and on a reading and writing test (Ponniah 2008). Adult EFL students participating in three extensive reading programs outperformed the comparison subjects who participated in traditional form-based classes (Mason & Krashen, 1997).

The Focus of This Paper

This paper is based on the hypothesis that digital multimedia language laboratory could be used as an effective tool to provide comprehensible input that facilitates language acquisition.

Digital Multimedia Language Lab

Multimedia is a computer-based system that uses various types of content such as text, audio, video, animation, graphics and interactivity. Technologies used in the language lab to create a new learning experience are:

1. Teacher console with functions to control students nodes (a computer used as a server)
2. Students' nodes (computers used by students)
3. Digital multimedia language lab software for connecting the nodes with the teacher console.
4. Headphone sets and microphones
5. Multimedia packages, etc.
6. Internet access

The integration of both visual and auditory channels helps students sharpen the listening skill. The interest of students is renewed as they listen to comprehension exercises with the aid of the sophisticated multimedia technology. "Multimedia applications for foreign language learning can provide a more realistic picture of the new language and culture in the classroom, including not only linguistic but also paralinguistic features such as body language, gestures, prosody, etc. which help to convey meaning to the learners" (Brett 1995; Fidelman 1997; Gassin 1992; Hurley 1992 cited in Verdugo, 2007 p. 87).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorders A SLP'S GUIDE | Teaching of English Literature and Empowerment of Indian Students | Translating Irony in the Quranic Texts – A Contrastive Study of Yousif Ali and Pickthall English Translations | “Why” And “How” of Literature in Language Classroom | An Evaluation of the Communicative Approach and Audio-Lingual Method in Teaching Grammar in a Private High School in Turkey | Command or Curse? Women’s Position - A Look at Genesis 3 : 16 in the Light of Abuse | Learning Sanskrit: A Personal Experience | Plural in Tamil and Telugu - A Comparison | Incorporating Translated Malay Short Stories into Teaching English Language Skills | Getting Exposure to Input in Multimedia Language Laboratory - A Pleasurable Learning Experience | Representation of a Minority Community in a Malaysian Tamil Daily | The Internal Landscape and the Existential Agony of Women in Anjana Appachana’s Novel LISTENING NOW, A Doctoral Dissertation | HOME PAGE of March 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

R. Joseph Ponniah, Ph.D.
Department of Humanities
National Institute of Technology
Tamilnadu, India

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