Design and materials for an electronic textbook for first-year Russian
Technology today is advancing at an astounding rate. Better hardware and software packages are being developed daily. It is not acceptable to simply use technology in teaching merely because it exists; technology must be integrated into education in a principled manner. This dissertation proposes a blueprint for an electronic textbook for teaching first-year Russian at the post-secondary level. The concepts explored are relevant to the teaching of other languages and topics as well.Chapter One presents the principles and theories of pedagogy and the specific requirements of language pedagogy. The importance of presenting information in a manner in which students can absorb it is discussed here, as well as the effects of individual learning styles. In Chapter Two, the qualities of existing textbooks are explored and contrasted with those of the electronic textbook; the electronic textbook is intended to provide more individualization and interactivity. Chapter Three deals specifically with the role of the computer in education and the changes that the widespread use of the computer will have on instructors and students. Chapter Four outlines the Russian materials which the electronic textbook will present and includes discussions of existing Russian textbooks. Chapter Five contains the conclusion and an overview of the computer demonstrations which have been included as pocket materials in the dissertation. These presentations provide a more concrete picture of the way the ideas developed in the dissertation will take shape.The creation and use of an electronic textbook represents the logical next step for language education. It will incorporate technological advances, supply instructors and students with a wide range of materials which can be modified as needed, and provide a laboratory for future research into language education.