Learning Spanish has always been a different experience than other classes; however, the use of the iPad has allowed the Spanish classes to be even more diverse.
For the learning of the language itself, the iPad is being used for written, oral and listening work. There are online dictionaries that students can access, as well as online translators. This allows them to readily access any vocabulary word they need or to verify what they want to say.
The oral and listening work is enhanced because there are many sites and resources that say the word or phrase so that they can check the pronunciation. Before the iPad, students would only have the teacher to ask for proper pronunciation.
From a cultural perspective, learning Spanish has also been enhanced by the iPad because students now have immediate access to pictures, videos and written sources that are authentic. In the days before the iPad, the teacher would talk about or try to describe a holiday or a tradition. Today, though, students are more engaged and able to experience the culture and life of Spanish-speakers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by simply searching for experiences posted on the internet.
Overall, the iPad hasn’t radically changed the teaching of Spanish, but it certainly has provided more opportunities for students to learn and engage in the language in helpful and realistic ways.