5 Tips for Leveraging Instructional Technology for Language Learning

eLearning Guild


The eLearning Guild recently released the free e-book, 84 Tips on New Instructional Design for New Instructional Technology so we are going to share some of these tips we learned over the next couple weeks. The first of this series is Twenty-one Tips for Putting Learning Goals and Learners Before Technology.

For this eBook, the eLearning Guild asked 21 learning professionals who have successfully melded new instruc­tional design with new instructional technologies to give their best tips; they have highlighted the tips from their featured contributors, and you can learn more about them at the bottom of this post. Click here to access the entire free e-book.

5 Tips for Leveraging Instructional Technology for Language Learning

When using interactive tools, provide students with a demo in both video and PDF in the syllabus.

Over the course of the term, I have posted questions on “VoiceThread.” VoiceThread is a tool that enables us to have a class discussion by posting video, audio, or written comments about the material presented, similar to the interaction we would have in a regular face-to-face classroom.

You can decide how you would like to comment (audio or video), but ev­eryone is required to participate. You will be graded on your participation and the effort and thought you put into your responses. You should try to reference relevant course material in your responses and you will be able to respond to your classmates’ comments as well.

I have created an online demonstration and written directions to assist you with signing up and registering for VoiceThread, joining your class group, and beginning a VoiceThread discussion. Take a few minutes to review the material below.

  • VoiceThread tutorial demonstration: Demo
  • VoiceThread tutorial document: PDF

-Janet De La Rosa & Rachel Carton


For courses that require memorization, provide students with a quick refer­ence of resources. This fosters mental association with common key terms and phrases. –Janet De La Rosa & Rachel Carton


In weekly content, provide students with supplemental resources. When pos­sible, use open source-materials for future reference, so that students can refer to it after the course’s completion; that is, bookmarks. These weekly resources also provide an opportunity for faculty to further encourage students to build their repertoire of skill sets.

Click the links below to access the weekly resources. These resources are optional and not graded.

Block 1:

Some facts about the Spanish language:

Block 3:

-Janet De La Rosa & Rachel Carton


In a language course, provide the opportunity for students to hear the instructor speak in a setting where they can pause and review. –Janet De La Rosa & Rachel Carton


When building an interactive study guide, it’s important to storyboard items for interaction in order to create topical categories. The interactive study guides serve as modeling tools that allow students to mimic their instructor and engage in independent learning. This will promote student use of the tool and applica­tion through practice.

In this case, we’ve taken the assessment tool within the LMS and converted it into an interactive study guide that allows students to practice and gauge their understanding of the material.

Five Tips for Leveraging Instructional Technology for Language Learning

-Janet De La Rosa & Rachel Carton

About the Featured Tipsters

Janet De La RosaJanet De La Rosa, Senior Learning Technologist, Deltak

Janet De La Rosa, a senior learning technologist for Deltak, has been working in educational technologies for over 15 years. She received her BS degree in business administration and an MS degree in management information systems from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. While working for NSU, she assisted in the administration of WebCT LMS and web development. Shortly after complet­ing her master’s degree, she accepted a position at the University of Miami as the Blackboard system administrator managing the help desk and training faculty. She later worked as an instructional designer for Miami Dade College’s Virtual College. At Deltak, she supports educational technologies for various universities across the nation.

Rachel CartonRachel Carton, Program Development Manager, Deltak

Rachel Carton, a program development manager at Deltak, has a background in education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education with a valid teaching license, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instructional design. Rachel has extensive background in the field of education as a classroom teacher, a director of education in a corporate environment, and an instructional designer. Rachel has also served on a board of experts at a national level to discuss the impacts of student learning, retention, and academic growth. In her current role, Rachel partners with universi­ties and colleges across the country to build online academic programs using best practices and the community of inquiry presence.

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