Interaction in the target language at the IWB | | ESOL, TESOL, TESL, ESL |

When we discuss the use of interactive whiteboards in education, we often assume that the mere use of interactive technologies will ensure that classroom teaching and learning will also become somehow "interactive." This might mean physical activity on the part of learners - as in Dewey and Bruner's learning by doing, or Asher's Total Physical Response - but in the second language classroom, we more naturally think of interaction in the target language.  So we might expect that using an interactive whiteboard should promote interaction in terms of communication between the teacher and learners, and among learners.


Communicative language teaching (CLT), involving meaningful use of language, and task-based language teaching (TBLT) are, of course, the main current approaches to second language teaching and learning, and so it is helpful to see examples of classroom activities where the IWB is used to support spontaneous, unplanned communication in authentic contexts.  However, this type of communication is not always possible or indeed desirable at all stages of proficiency and in all phases of a lesson or longer teaching unit.  In the following examples, we can see the IWB being used to support different types of language interaction, from the practice of decontextualised language elements in order to focus on pronunciation or grammar, through more open-ended activities, to genuine communication in the target language.

Via Shona Whyte