Learning a Foreign Language
It is a fact that around 45% of European citizens can participate in conversation in a language other than their mother tongue and that 8 out of 10 individuals in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden speak another language well enough to maintain communication with other foreign speakers. In Portugal, the UK and Ireland, only about a third of the population are able.
Now, according to the European Commission: " In a Union of 450 million Europeans from diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, it is going to become more important than ever that citizens have the skills necessary to understand their neighbours and communicate with them. Language skills are distributed unevenly both between countries and social groups. The range of languages spoken by Europeans is quite narrow: to learn just lingua franca is not enough. Every European citizen should have a meaningful communicative competence in at least two other languages, in addition to their mother tongue. "
Therefore it is essential to encourage foreign language learning, combining it with the best and most innovative strategies that enhance the proper and efficient acquisition. These strategies are increasing the use of new technologies capable of enhancing the communication skills of each individual. There are multiple tools, commonly referred to Web 2.0 tools that facilitate collaborative work, production and construction of knowledge.
These tools are the bridge between the educational context and needs of students in the classroom foreign language, giving them a reason to learn and a way to create meaning with it. The use of these technologies in the classroom also gives students the opportunity to learn without anxiety or embarrassment, encouraging a more positive attitude to the study of the discipline.
Many foreign language students lack opportunities for contact and communication with native speakers so as to be able to use what they learn. Providing students with an audience and enabling genuine communication allows the active participation of students, interaction and collaboration among peers and authentic cross-cultural communication with native speakers of a foreign language.
Regarding the use of other tools; using podcasts for teaching a foreign language, the benefits of using it stand out, since the pronunciation, stress and inflection are essential for the proper learning. In addition to recording and making available to the students of podcasts can also help address the lack of opportunities for students to hear other languages in schools. The main advantage of using podcasts in education is portability and convenience of being able to listen to educational resources anytime and anywhere.
Innovative methodologies such as these, are vital for the school to accompany the technological evolution of society, creating a genuine language learning environment. By promoting learning at different paces, autonomy in the development of activities and to enhance self-learning, encourages students, making them co-responsible in the whole process of teaching and learning. Preparing them for a personal and professional future more active and interventionist in the field of tools such as podcasts and blogs, associated with fluency in a foreign language can make a difference, playing a key role, given the wide acceptance and rapid dissemination that are already have with the global community.