THE USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL TOOLS BY THE LECTURERS OF PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE IN MACAO (CHINA)
According to recent data (Hoje Macau, 2014), 79% of the Macao families own computer equipments (desktops and laptops). 93% of the residents have access to the internet from their own homes and 24% also surf the internet while in the work place. Accordind to the same source, Macao residents make use of the internet, especially to search for information (87%), communicate (83%) and to access government services (35%).
In Macao, in the Higher Education sector, at the moment, the Portuguese Language, one of the official languages of the Region, can be learned in, at least, five institutions: University of Macau (public), Macau Polytechnic Institute (public), Institute for Tourism Studies (public), City University of Macau (private) and University of Saint Joseph (private). Each of these institutions may have Portuguese, Brazilian and Chinese teachers to carry on the teaching/learning process.
Having said that, what is the relationship between the previous two aspects?
It is obvious that in Macao the new technologies, digital tools and the internet are very important. We hardly need to make a survey to realize that young people use, for example, facebook and wechat, daily and constantly (“allways-on”). Travelling on a bus, from home to school, one will see mobile phones or ipads on almost everyones hands. In meanwhile, are the teachers of Portuguese Language in Macao, in the Higher Education, taking advantage of the digital tools and of the young people interest in new technology to teach the foreign language?
In this study, through an online based questionnaire, we would like to know if the teachers of Portuguese (Chinese, Brazilian and Portuguese), working in the previous mentioned Higher Education institutions, are aware of language learning with new technology. We also would like to learn about teachers’ opinion on the technology and digital tools as facilitators of learning. Finnally, we’ll try to know what specific tools are used by the teachers to achieve certain learning goals.
This study will allow us to know whether, in a society dominated by new technology, Internet and “digital natives” (Prensky 2001), on one hand, teachers of Portuguese in Macao Higher Education institutions have experience using online materials to teach the language and, on another hand, learn about the reasons why they do/do not make use of those materials.