Using Smart Board to conduct innovative English teaching and learning

Lin Min-jin H
National Hualien University of Education
Hualien, Taiwan
Huang Yi-feng and Chen I-hsuan
Zhi-Xue Elementary School
Hualien County, Taiwan

This research is a case study of an English teacher (Susan) who designed and conducted innovative teaching activities using Smart Board in a rural elementary school in the eastern part of Taiwan. Smart Board is a type of electronic blackboard with many built-in icons and functionalities to support teaching and learning. Susan had taught English for six years and had three years' experience of integrating technology into teaching. The case study class had 23 fifth grade students who had been applying computer technology in learning for three years but had been learning English for less than one year.

Susan used Smart Board functionalities such as 'Touch and select keyboard ABC', 'Select, write by hand, recognize', and 'Drag characters or sentences' to help students in understanding English and she designed five activities: 'Turning the dice and adding up the numbers', 'Rearrangement of the selected words', 'Guessing the words by drawing pictures', 'Filling the blanksî and 'Spelling'. Firstly, after she taught 'How old are you?', 'How old is she?', and 'How old is he?' sentences, she turned two to four dice icons to make different numbers and asked students to add up the numbers to fill in the blanks in sentences such as 'I am ________ years old', 'He is ________ years old' and 'She is _______ years old'. Susan also asked students to say the sentences aloud. Secondly, Susan mixed some previously learned English words in a random order on the Smart Board, and asked students to put them in the right order and to make sure the grammar was correct. Thirdly, she displayed three words in a group together with pictures, e.g. 'pea, sea, tea', 'bee, three, tree', and 'deep, sheep, sleep' -- and then explained to students how to pronounce them and recognize the patterns of pronunciation. After practising a few times, she showed all the pictures in random order and asked students to pull the correct words to the corresponding pictures. Fourthly, Susan showed a picture of the words on the Smart Board and asked students to spell the words by either pulling the English characters from the Smart Board or drawing the words with their fingers or a pen on the Smart Board. Lastly, she asked a student to draw on the Smart Board a picture relevant to the words just learned and let other students guess the corresponding word.

Smart Board provides fast, repeatable, and changeable ways of assessment and allows a high level of interaction between teacher and students. Its use is much more effective in achieving teaching goals than the traditional ways of teaching English. Students enjoyed the activities and participated actively, and their abilities in listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking and writing improved. The highly interactive and multimedia characteristics of Smart Board motivated students to learn in an enjoyable atmosphere, and Susan also felt satisfaction from the students' enthusiasm and performance and was eager to design more lesson plans to teach English using Smart Board.