Who is this site for?

This site is for foreign language educators who are considering offering language courses via distance education technology.

Why is this a hot topic?

The use of interactive television (ITV) is on the rise in the foreign language teaching field, bringing previously unavailable educational opportunities to geographically dispersed foreign language learners.

In more commonly taught languages such as Spanish and French, usually enough students are in one place to enable the offering of classes in a traditional classroom setting at a single location. But in the case of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) such as Chinese, populations of learners are often widely dispersed across large areas. For this reason, distance education, which serves to bring previously unavailable educational opportunities to dispersed populations by consolidating low enrollments at diverse locations, has been on the rise in the LCTL field. ITV is a favorable medium for the delivery of live, real-time instruction to learners at multiple sites.

This site offers an introduction to some aspects of teaching foreign languages on ITV, giving specific examples from classes in Chinese language at the University of Hawai`i. Browse the menu items in the frame at left to learn more.

Although this site is aimed primarily at teachers using ITV to teach LCTLs in the US, it may prove useful to teachers of other subjects on ITV or to language teachers in traditional classrooms. Email with your comments or questions is always appreciated.

1999 Stephen Fleming, NFLRC, University of Hawai‘i.All rights reserved.