New Media in Foreign Language Education

Interview with a student

In the course of the seminar we heard some teachers reporting about their experiences and stating their opinions concerning the use of new media and web tools at school. Therefore I considered it to be interesting to also have the opinion and experiences of a student regarding this topic. I interviewed a 16-year-old student who currently attends the 9th grade of the “Gesamtschule Ebsdorfer Grund”. It is a comprehensive school where she attends the “Realschulzweig”. I asked her questions about the use of new media and web tools in class and some of the questions already came up earlier in this course so I was very interested to get answers from a different perspective.


1. How often do you make use of a computer in class?

This varies from once to three times a week. At an average we use the computer twice a week but there also may be weeks where we do not use it at all. Additionally, we have the opportunity to bring along and use our own laptops in class but you have to ask for the permission of the respective teacher beforehand. This opportunity is offered by only a few teachers.

2. Do you have a computer lab at your school and are there any opportunities offered for
   you to work on a computer outside the lessons?

Yes, we have a computer lab, the so-called “Mediothek”. It is a combination of a computer lab and a library and here you are able to borrow books and use a computer outside the lessons. You even have internet access but it is supervised by a teacher and some websites, like e.g. “SchülerVZ”, are blocked. Apart from the “Mediothek” there are several other computer labs but they are intended for being used in class exclusively. Additionally, there is one computer in our classroom which has internet access and can be used by the teacher to present contents to the class.

3. In which subjects do you use the computer the most?  What kind of tasks do you have
   to work on using the computer?

We use the computer in German class, English class, French class, history class, geography class, politics class and economics class. In German, politics and economics we use the computer simply to create a typewritten document consisting of certain tasks we have to work on. Here the computer just replaces pen and paper. In history and geography the computer is mainly used for doing internet research. In English and French the computer is used only rarely, but in these cases it is also used for doing research on the internet. In the remaining classes I did not mention before we actually never use the computer, like e.g. in maths, physics etc.


4. Do you have interactive whiteboards at your school?
   Do you use them regularly?

No, I think there are no interactive whiteboards at my school and therefore I have never used one in class. Usually we either use the blackboard or the teacher works with a laptop and a beamer. This way we watch movies or the teacher shows us certain contents on the internet.

5. Did you and your classmates get instructions concerning data protection and internet
   safety at any time? Are there informative meetings for parents regarding that topic?

No, there were neither any instructions nor informative meetings for parents concerning that topic.

6. Are there any tools or websites you use regularly in class? What purpose do they


Mostly, we use “” for researches on the internet but sometimes the teacher provides websites we have to use for certain tasks. We are also allowed to use “” as a source but that varies according to the respective teacher. In English we make use of the online-dictionary “” to look up vocabulary. “” is sometimes used in class to watch videos concerning a certain topic but we rather use websites like “”, which are scientific websites that are appropriate for students. On these websites we also watch videos on a certain topic or we use them for research. The teacher sometimes uses special software to execute listening and comprehension tasks in class. There is another software program that the students use to create and save mind-maps on the computer. For presentations we often use “PowerPoint” but the traditional placards can be used as well.

7. Do you have student accounts or an online platform where you have the opportunity to
   download or upload data?

Yes, we have an internet platform and student accounts where we are able to log in with our username and a password. On this platform you select a class and a subject and there you will find all uploaded data. The online platform is mainly used by the teachers for uploading tasks or solutions but the students could also upload data, like e.g. their homework or content that was created for the whole class.

8. Is there a USB flash drive that was offered by the school and that you are supposed to
   use in school regularly?


Yes, every student has a USB flash drive that was offered by the school for a moderate price and it is called “Supertalent” or “GSE-Stick”. It provides a lot of free space so that we are able to save data on the flash drive but also there is software on it which we need for school, like for instance “OpenOffice”. We mainly use it to upload our homework on the flash drive so that the teacher can present it to the whole class via laptop and beamer. We are supposed to bring it to school every day and it enables us to save tasks on it we were not able to finish in class so that we can complete them at home. 

9. Do you like working with new media at school?

I think that for some tasks it is not really necessary to use the computer and therefore I find it rather annoying but in general I like using new media at school because you become competent in handling the tools and the media.