ARE PAPER BOOKS OBSOLETE IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING?
Pages: 10-17 Published: 7 Oct 2019
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Abstract: Although there is no generally accepted definition of the so-called Generation Z, this concept is used by a large number of authors for the generation of Digital Natives who grew up with the Internet and social media. As far as their age is concerned, researchers usually use the mid-1990s to mid-2000s as starting birth years. Therefore, it is about the generation involved in the current school system or which has already completed their education. Since digital media has opened up new opportunities in teaching in general, it also applies to the teaching and learning of foreign languages. In the first part of the paper, the possibilities and boundaries of digital media in teaching of foreign languages will be analysed in more detail in the context of the "School for life", the curriculum reform pilot project in the Republic of Croatia, 2019. This project gives greater importance to the use of digital media in teaching and implements the use of tablets already in the first year of primary school. The second part of the paper will present a part of a study conducted among the students of the Faculty of Teacher Education at the University of Zagreb in 2017. The students are members of the aforementioned Generation Z. The research examines the use of digital media in learning and teaching of foreign languages. In this paper, we will focus on whether foreign language learners prefer online or printed dictionaries, and whether they prefer a screen or a printed book when reading foreign language texts. Respondents were also asked to give a more detailed explanation of their responses. The research results showed that respondents, although they grew up with digital media, prefer to read texts in a foreign language in a printed book rather than on a screen.
Keywords: foreign language teaching, learning, digital media, generation z