The Use of Multimedia in English Language Teaching


Assistant Professor

Oxford Engineering College



Multimedia teaching method has been used in college English teaching wider and wider. It has contributed a lot to higher teaching quality. . Chalk and Talk teaching method is not enough to teach English effectively. We should change our teaching ideas and recognize its impersonal attribute as one kind of teaching method. Thus we can utilize modern education technology reasonably to fulfill the target of college English teaching.


The four main contents of the 21st century’s education brought forward by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) are: the new generation should learn how to know; learn how to do; learn how to live together; learn how to be. According to the college English teaching requirement constituted by Ministry of Education, the teaching target of college English is to cultivate the students’ comprehensive capabilities to use English, especially the listening comprehension and oral expression ability. At the same time, we should enhance their self-study ability and comprehensive cultural qualities to meet the need of our country’s economic development and international exchanges.


Multimedia is the exciting combination of computer hardware and software that allows you to integrate video, animation, audio, graphics, and test resources to develop effective presentations on an affordable desktop computer.

 The Current Status of Multimedia Teaching Method in College English Teaching

 College English teaching is to set up a harmonious and high-effective teaching atmosphere in the English class to make students take part in the practice. Thus we can cultivate their listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities, which are the final teaching aim—developing the students’ English intercommunicative ability. Here we have some questions. What is missing in our college English class? What do we want most? What is the most difficult? What problem do our teachers want to solve when using modern information technology? Of course, the answer is not the grammar, nor the word differentiation, but the real language and the real language atmosphere. Because of the powerful functions of the computer, multimedia teaching method has many advantages such as modularization, intelligence and networking which will be very helpful to college teaching method. The interaction and intelligence of the multimedia courseware become good medicine for mute English students. With the powerful functions of the multimedia computers, students can talk with the virtual characters set by the computer. At the same time, students can correct their own mistakes according to the judge of the computers, which is beneficial to improve their ability of communication.

 Relationship between the Qualities of the College English Teachers and Multimedia Teaching

The time when computers have become popular in China is not long, so the college English teachers haven’t used them for a long time. Many young teachers can use them by training or self-study. They are lecturers or bachelors and they have very short teaching experiences. All the above restrict the multimedia teaching method from becoming popular in college English teaching. Moreover, many men of insight have realized that our country should make innovation to the College English Test Band 4 and Band 6 because these exams have affected the normal English teaching. After doing that, teachers can be more active in the teaching and carry out effective quality education. Otherwise the product of our education—the students, will become incompetent with high scores.

 Misunderstandings and Disadvantages of Multimedia Teaching in College English Teaching

Constructivist learning theory thinks that learners can’t get real knowledge by being taught, but by constructing meaning under a certain social cultural background with others’ help. Of course, necessary study material is needed. Under constructive study environment, teaching design should include not only the teaching target analysis but also creating a certain scene suitable for learners to study. We can say that multimedia teaching method is brought to bear in college English teaching and become a good tool of creating such a study scene. But it’s a pity that in actual teaching college teachers have some misunderstandings to multimedia English teaching.

Teachers attending to trifles and neglecting the essentials, and English classroom becoming a demonstrating hall of computer functions

In order to prevent the students’ taste tiredness, teachers have made great efforts to design flowery and fancy courseware, but they have neglected the cognitive laws. They didn’t consider these factors very well such as teaching aim, teaching object, teaching content and teaching measures. Students roam about in the courseware, and teachers press the mouse on the platform ceaselessly. There is no essential distinction between such kind of class and traditional teaching; sometimes the former is not as good as the latter.

 Teachers depending on multimedia teaching method excessively and neglecting its auxiliary teaching function

In English teaching, some teachers adopt multimedia teaching method without exception no matter what the teaching contents are. They haven’t realized that multimedia teaching method is only an auxiliary one, and it is not the whole of the college English teaching.

Some teachers being impercipient to multimedia teaching method

Because the change of teaching ideas couldn’t be finished in one day, some teachers are impercipient to the courseware. Influenced by the traditional habits and ideas, they use old bottles for new wine and put all the study material into the courseware. So their courses lack persuasion and the qualities are not so good.

Some Suggestions on Multimedia Teaching in College English Teaching

Teachers should change their ideas of using multimedia teaching

The modernization of teaching media is not equal to teaching optimization. The determinant of teaching optimization doesn’t rely on using whichever media but the education conception. An educationist said: “If a teacher uses undeveloped teaching idea and methods even though he uses modern teaching media, we can say that the students are infused by teacher and computer together instead of teacher.” No matter how powerful the modern education technology is, it is only a kind of technology, and it only provides a kind of possibility. It isn’t catholicon for all the diseases and we can’t depend on it excessively, otherwise we will lose go-aheadism. We should scan each role of teacher and students in class again. Students are the main body and teachers are mentors. The reason why a good teacher teaches well is that he can inspire the students’ strong study desire and arouse their study interest. Even though this is still the teaching of a teacher, it is different essentially. The essential difference is that a good teacher has syncretized his teaching into the students’ study. So we can draw a conclusion that the change of a teacher’s idea is far more important than a kind of teaching method.

We should devote major efforts to developing multimedia teaching mode based on network circumstance

With the popularity of computers and the continuous development of English teaching software, multimedia teaching mode based on network circumstance will certainly become the main teaching method of college English teaching. The former teaching method depends on a book, a piece of chalk and a tape recorder, and the teacher’s main teaching aim in class is to impart language knowledge. Nowadays, English teaching based on network circumstance brings the advantage of network into full play, and its’ main aim is to impart language knowledge, study methods and application skills. So the students’ interest of self-study English will be strengthened, their ability of speaking and listening to English will be also heightened.


In a word, multimedia teaching method belongs to CAI (computer-aided instruction) in substance, and we can heighten efficiency substantially, which is a kind of trend. We should make best use of its advantages and bypass its disadvantages. Of course it can’t replace all other teaching methods and we can apply several methods together in one class. Only under the background of quality education can we use advanced educational theory and we can fulfill the target of college English teaching by utilizing modern education technology reasonably.