Everyday technology – the Swiss-army knife for language teachers and learners

“Strategy for technology’s three-dimensional integration into English language teaching for adults”

Project number: 2017-1-BG01-KA-104-035764

01.06.2017 – 31.05.2018

 

Within the framework programme Erasmus+ and through the Key Action 1 (KA1) of people’s mobility for learning purposes and, more specifically, of staff mobility for adult education, English Plus Language Centre (Bulgaria) has embarked on a one-year journey of integrating the readily available technological tools into adult language learning. As a final tangible result of the Project, a workshop in language skills for the workplace will take place in April. It will be based on a blended approach and will consist of 4 face-to-face sessions and online asyncronous tasks where learners will have the possibility to enrich the content based on their own area of expertise.

 

Why “three-dimensional”?

First, the process of mastering a foreign language is often a simulation of “reality“ –  aimed to prepare learners for future situations and to equip them with the necessary skills to make the most out of each opportunity (for interaction, self-expression, mixing and mingling of ideas and cultures, etc.). In this context, we imagined a course that allows students to encounter vivid lifelike situations and learning materials. “Three-dimensional”, in this regard, stands for skills and abilities that are deep, solid and full-blooded rather than flat (on paper).

Second, anything related to technology is often seen as carrying a risk of “virtualising” life. So, we chose the wording as a reminder that all learning materials need to be created with a hands-on approach where technology is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

And of course, not to miss the three-dimensions of blended-learning that come into play – in part online learning, in part face-to-face and the correlation between these two. A course that has all three dimensions aims at transforming the experience rather than than simply translating traditional methods into a “technology-rich” environment based on the same principles.

The mindset where students are recipients and teachers are knowledge-givers is replaced by a more flexible approach. Traditional teaching methods based on a robust structure are not discarded but balanced out by encouraging learner-driven content, critical thinking, initiative, observation, questioning, experience, reflection and reasoning as a guide to belief or action.

 

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