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Why Did Global Food Prices Rise

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ASKING USEFUL QUESTIONS: GOALS, ENGAGEMENT, AND DIFFERENTIATION IN TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED LANGUAGE LEARNING by Joy Egbert Washington State University jegbert @ wsu.edu In his popular 1997 article, Steve Ehrmann encouraged us to ask useful questions about technology for education (Ehrmann, 1997). In the years since Ehrmann asked his questions, increased pressures from legislative bodies, educational stakeholders, and business have driven an ever-increasing influx of technology into schools; however, this is not necessarily the evil that it has been portrayed as in various media. Within classrooms the availability of technology is offering us as language teachers the opportunity to usefully question what we do and why. Although technology itself is incapable of action or thought, its presence in our classrooms and schools is helping to facilitate questions about the goals of language classrooms, conceptions of teaching and learning, and our ability to address student needs. If we ask good questions and apply the answers to use technology in effective ways, resultant changes in our thinking and our pedagogy can lead to greater student achievement This paper first asks questions about and discusses language classroom goals. It then reflects on two related, essential strategies for language teaching and learning that can help us meet these goals: engagement and differentiation. Finally, the paper provides examples of how technology can be used to engage and differentiate for our learners and support goal-centered learning. Goals and Guides for Technology-Enhanced Language Learning Before we decide whether and how we should use the technology present in our classrooms, we need to be guided by both instructional and learning goals and what we know about student learning. We should first ask: What are our goals for our students (instructional goals)?

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