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Guidance on English and ICT

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ICT in English: A Position Paper from NATE's English and ICT Committee

A summary and invitation to a debate

NATE's English and ICT Committee has produced a position paper to stimulate thinking and debate about the role of ICT in the English classroom. It summarises the situation as we see it in schools, outlines some of the advantages of the new technologies and highlights concerns and areas for further exploration. You can read the complete position paper on a separate page - an outline is given here. If you wish to comment on the position paper you can contact the Chair of the English and ICT Committee by post or email.

Why ICT?

  1. New technologies can enable the active, vibrant, relevant teaching of English. They need not replace traditional texts. They need not undermine traditional skills. They can aid motivation, understanding, engagement, analysis and creativity.
  2. Forms of communication have changed radically in the past few years. We need to help our students understand, critique and produce the new media in which they are immersed. Students also need to experience a learning environment that reflects the media rich environment outside school.
As a profession, we cannot ignore ICT. By far the largest component of ICT is the C: communication. We do need to acknowledge young people's use of new technology and need to understand how to harness their creative potential in the classroom. The Position Paper addresses the following questions:
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • In what ways might ICT be appropriate in an English classroom?
  • What are the barriers to getting there and what can help us get there?


There are hugely practical reasons for teachers of English to make good use of the new tools available. Beyond the practical there is a wider need for us to deliver teaching and learning that is relevant to a digital generation, to view technology not just as a tool but as an entitlement.

Alongside all this, we continue to espouse the value of just learning to read, of enjoying reading for the sake of our imaginations and creativity; in addition, we celebrate all that writing in its many forms has to offer and how both remain central to a truly broad and balanced curriculum, the world of employment and life beyond both school and work.

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NATE English and ICT Committee, April 2007