In this talk, Nicky looks at the importance of digital literacies and the need for training to be given to teachers in this area.

Date: 9 October 2016

Link to the recorded talk:

Digital literacies – the technical skills and social practices needed to effectively interact with digital technologies – are key 21st century skills, and are increasingly important in educational curricula the world over, across all subject areas. As English language teachers, we are helping our students to communicate in a global lingua franca in an increasingly wired world. We need to ensure that they are given not just the linguistic tools to do so, but an awareness of the wider social practices surrounding the appropriate use of language which is increasingly being mediated by technology.

It is imperative for teachers to not only understand and develop their own digital literacy skills, but to help students develop theirs. However, unless digital literacies are foregrounded in teacher training and development, and integrated into classroom teaching materials, this is unlikely to happen. This workshop looks at some of the theory underpinning digital literacies, and explores how teacher training courses can address them. We also consider the challenges involved in operationalizing digital literacies in the classroom, and what this means for teaching and teacher training in the 21st century.

About the speaker:

Nicky is Director of Pedagogy at The Consultants-E and has worked in the field of face-to-face and distance language education since 1987. She holds an MA in TEFL from the Universidad de Granada (2000), a CTEFLA (1987) and a DTEFLA (1991). From 1997 -2002, she worked as the Academic Director of one of the first fully online MA in English Language Teaching programmes, with a consortium of Spanish and Latin American universities under the auspices of Funiber (Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana). She became one of the founding directors of The Consultants-E in 2003.

Nicky is an international plenary speaker, and she runs workshops and teacher training courses for language teachers all over the world. She is also a well-known author of methodology books on the application of technology to language teaching. She is currently also a technology consultant with the Cambridge University Press 'Cambridge English Teacher' development and training platform.


Re-dividing and re-analysing our traditional teaching context into new digital literacy skills with technological supports and fresh 'blood' up-to-dating, such as Language participating & reflecting, History-logic reasoning, Aesthetics appreciating, Techniques-training, Digital-control-ability exploring, ?, etc. inheriting, cultivating and sustaining can be dialectical integrated together in this new era. After this online conference, my self-reflection is: this point is every teacher and teacher educator (not only language teacher but also subject-teachers using English or bilingual to plan, present and think) will have always been continuously thinking about - how to get this creative 'linking portal' and open a new door between our past and future, and between ourselves and our students. This is a not-ended story and a constructive future. Let us have more explorations.

Currently, the impressions of certain subject, the literacy of young generations in certain fields, the analysis of performance directions about one study, and the teaching endeavours from daily operations and practices have all been being concluded by our teachers and teacher educators over different corners in globalization. It's a Post-job across Times and Spaces. Depending on their contributions, beautiful seeds of civilisation in multiple-disciplinary fields can grow out the roots, make the branches-up and twinkle literacy-fruits as stars in this digital sky. We are caring about re-solidifying out, neo-fixing, post-vitality inputting, neo-energy' motivating, neo-branches' growing, possibly fruits-lightening in every basic literacy for our young generations, from the identifications of our own mind-travelling, endeavours-dedicating, operations-practising, imaginations-dreaming and overview-forming, throughout the whole educational system. Then, with digital supports from self-mediating, long-distance communicating, Electronic Educational Producing, ourselves and our students will settle themselves well when facing more challenges. It's a long-term job that only the love of our students and ourselves in appreciating universal beauties, which are reflected out from the participant-observations of running principles, can make some new creations. Accompaniment is a good word of us that it can interactively lead out a new paragraph; and meanwhile, accounts from languages and their inter-translations can really hold them from the bottom, as the sparkles of our educational self-reflexive.

Thanks for more enlightenment of this online conference, again!

Currently, developing from our conference, I got another important literacy in my daily practices. It was very simple and highlighted by our training, but was usually ignored.
Yes, it was about the description, bravely extracted from daily experiences & self-experiments, and by confidentially seeking language you knew. Furthermore, in this procedure, natural imaginations are very important for you to think of and link your impressions of somethings with other vivid objects represented by words.
This literacy is very important in digit era, especially when we are facing some hard-grasped and abstracted situations, such as music, which are hard to be taught very clearly. Calming yourselves down, trying to describe it layer by layer and a little bit by a little bit from the surface to its core, repeatedly asking yourselves: could I search better words in mind to account it? frequently testing yourselves: was my expression exactly enough, according to this situation, and making some comparisons with others by reading or listening (depending on your practical conditions)- after those steps, the world you are facing and living in could be much clearer than before, and the communications between you and others, or between you and your objects, or to say, some techniques among them, would be with more fluency.
Oh, this literacy needs us to bear in mind and self-train ourselves frequently, which is hard to be set on but easy to be lost. I would like to be more expressive and give myself more self-training.

I want to say: to be a member of British Council and having taken this conference for successful teaching are two events what I thought of the most joyfulness in my life.

I was touched by so many teachers and teacher educators' charitable and volunteering contributions, which could be compared with the blooming of English language flowers in every corner of our earth, and for digital literacies' deep seeding in our heart-seas.

After receiving beautiful gifts from our platform, small common -Jason (me) also wants to give a small Christmas gift to people here and for the new coming 2017.
Oh, it was a long time I was recovering my confidence and openness, as before.

I would like to say:
In the new year,
friends and peers,
1. if you trust me,
2. and if you will have opportunities to study, to make some academic communications, or to have a periodic work in the Northern part of China,
3. and in those cases above, if you need some helps to understand the situation of English Education, politics for communications, developmental tendencies of this area (especially around Dalian - my hometown) ,
4. or even in a very simple case that you are only willing to have an full English Breakfast (We can try to seek some local materials and make it by our hands) or a cup of English Tea in one sunny afternoon without any purpose;

Please send me a message.

Merry Christmas!

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