The use of information and communication technologies in teaching English as a second language in Estonian schools
This MA thesis discusses the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Estonian schools and analyses the current situation in the light of the 2011 national curricula for Estonian basic and upper secondary schools, which state that ICT should be applied in teaching approaches. The importance of ICT in the society has grown substantially in the recent years; therefore it is necessary to efficiently integrate modern technologies into education to avoid disparities between schools, societal expectations and the requirements of computer-literate students. The theoretical part gives an overview of the challenges and benefits of implementing ICT into formal education with the focus on teaching English as a second language in Estonia. This section also observes the changing nature of education in the 21st century with the concept of lifelong learning and the transformation of a teacher’s role. The empirical study is based on the survey conducted among 117 English language teachers from basic and upper secondary schools in Estonia. The survey examines the scope of ICT use, determines the most common ICT applications in classes and evaluates the teachers’ e-competence as well as their general attitude to using ICT in the teaching context. The conclusion defines the typical factors that influence the use of ICT in Estonian basic and upper secondary schools and makes recommendations for future developments.