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.
What is a teacher and, particularly a teacher of English Language Learner, supposed to do to be effective and maintain his/her sanity?
Here are four ways I try to do both:
When I had first started teaching, it took me hours to plan and prepare for a 90 minute lesson. I would sequence different activities only to realize that one or the other might not work because the materials I had chosen included language that was new to the students, or to realize that some of the activities did not really contribute to the aim of the lesson. I would plan too many activities, fearing that I would have extra time and not know what to do in class, and then become flustered when I did not reach lesson aims.
I worked as a primary teacher for 16 years and I have been working for 16 years as an English teacher at the secondary level.
After I had worked as a primary teacher for 5 years, I started feeling that the job was not suitable for me as I had the ability to teach English at a much higher level. I had reached the state of teaching Plateau. I used to feel that I did not get the job I deserved.
In my third year at Moscow university, when I was 19, I was offered a part-time teaching position by my own department to be paid on an hourly basis as a professor's assistant. I got two groups of first-year students, some of them a bit younger, some the same age and some older than I was. This was exactly what a wise student, that inevitable person familiar to all of us as the "class clown", shouted gleefully at our introductory seminar. I asked mildly, " Do you mean that you are ready to come out and teach vocabulary instead of me?" Silence.
In this post, I’ll outline some of the courses you can choose from and provide some useful information about each so you can better choose the best options for you.
TEFL training course (not the CELTA)
I am several decades from my first year in the classroom (at the front of it, as well as sitting at a desk), but I thought I’d offer you some Top Survival Tips for newer teachers and invite others to add theirs in the comments section. I do remember that first year – as you will, decades from now – and I cringe as I do so, on occasion, but I also remember the good stuff. I remember the moments when I realized something had clicked as well as those when something had crashed.
Having been in ELT for the last 30 years, provides a view of how things have changed in a developing country, where access to internet and up-to-date devices is not in everyone's thought.
As per my experience, there used to be a clear division between the capital city and the rest of the country, now division is between places with access to internet and those without, which sets a difference in many ways.
Whenever I travel I spend some time learning a few facts about the new place; I also try to learn some phrases so as to be able to say Hello, Good-bye, Please and Thank you in various languages. Today all this is easy, any information is just a click away. Look around you, and you will see most people, especially the young ones, practically glued to a device. Does this mean that everybody is digitally literate? Not necessarily so. I first worked as a translator at a scientific conference at the age of 16.
It contained around 20 students from 3 different departments. It wasn’t levelled so I had some almost complete beginners with bilingual students whose parents were English and Australian. The students were aged between 19 and 30 with varying study and work experience.
The official course aim was to improve their oral English but also to make sure that it was enjoyable, as some of the students were quite shy due to lack of English speaking practice.