Evaluating CD ROMs for Pre-Primary English Courses in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

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Living in the digital age means that modern information and communications technologies (ICT) have penetrated into every aspect of human lives, including education. Despite the fact that ICT are widely used in educational setting, many educators (and parents) have nevertheless remained concerned about how to adapt them into children’s education meaningfully and effectively. The use of ICT in education in general, and in preschool institutions in particular, has become an important research issue. The study focuses on evaluating multimedia CD-ROMs published in two countries with the intention to be used in pre-school institutions for the introduction of English as a foreign language to the youngest learners (children 3 – 6 years). The results point to the fact that majority of the CD ROMs offered activities which were marked as “robotic”, “glib”, “static”, andempty” (built upon simple and usually mechanically repeated instructions), never reached beyond mechanical memorisation of English vocabulary in any entertaining way. The author calls for designing cognitively challenging materials which could support development of higher cognitive or affective functions of very young learners.

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