I recently started to brush up my German. I last studied German many years ago at school and I can’t say that it was a great success. In fact, I failed the exam and had to retake it. Hardly surprising, as I seem to remember spending a good portion of the exam time writing out David Bowie lyrics!
Apologies for the late posting of this month's blog topics! Here they are.
Promoting 21st Century Skills is one of the professional practices in the British Council’s new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework. But what exactly are 21st Century skills and are they the same as digital literacies?
In two recent articles written by Gavin Dudeney, he explores the four key digital literacies: focus on connections, on language, on information and on (re)design. He also looks at the distinction between these and 21st century skills.
ICT is perhaps the fastest-growing phenomenon, the inherent characteristic of the third millennium. For today’s children and now even for their parents, the internet has “always existed”. They are truly a new dot-com generation, and as such they cannot even begin to imagine life without instant communication and access to information tools. Thus the question of whether to allow the use of phones and any other mobile devices in the classroom seems to have become rather academic. As with all the more traditional and simpler teaching aids some strict guidelines are usually in place.
I would like to start this post by saying that when I hear some people say that mobile phones are dangerous devices for humankind, I cannot help smiling while recalling that I had to hear something similar about the dangers of TV not so many years ago. In fact, TV was called “the silly box” and you had to be very careful because spending some hours watching it could kill your creativity forever. Fortunately, it seems that did not happen to many of us who learnt how to benefit from watching TV.
Unfortunately, teachers may only be given the textbook without any professional development or additional curriculum resources. It can be challenging, especially for newer teachers, to figure out how to use the textbook to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students who may be at different levels of English proficiency. It can also be difficult if the textbook is outdated or not well-designed in terms of instructional practice.
There are several new trends in ELT which are developing right in front of our eyes today.
Teaching is a timeless profession; the Greeks were doing it, Jesus was apt, and even Einstein wanted a piece of the action, and it’s difficult to see at first what has fundamentally changed in the way we teach since Plato was expounding his theory of Forms.
But Plato didn’t have an iPad. Or Twitter. And he didn’t have access to an online language corpora with millions examples of language to compare. So what advantage do we really have now compared to our sandaled friends?
There are four aspects to this: the school, the methods, the teacher, and the student.
The advent of digital technology has dramatically changed routines and practices in our society. Advocates of technology in education often envisage similar dramatic changes in the process of teaching and learning. It has become clear, however, that technology is changing our ways of communicating and we, teachers of English, must deal with this relevant issue which influences English language teaching overwhelmingly.
There have been numerous times teachers have been lost for words in the classroom. With lower levels, the scope for communication is limited, and perhaps even more so with A0 students, who are absolute beginners and come to class with very little or, although rarely, no English. However, the success of a teacher’s communication with A0 students depends on their perspective. It is as easy as you make it!
In this article, I will address the questions, ‘What do we need to communicate to our Literacy students?’, and ‘How do we do it?’
It is commonly claimed that teachers are born; not made, but can the same be said of a Director of Studies?