Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

The Digital Language Teacher: Competences, Opportunities and Development

Michael Carrier, Cambridge English (United Kingdom)


This talk looks at new developments in technology - using mobiles, tablets, the flipped classroom -  and discusses how language teachers should respond.

What do we need to know? Where can we get new training and CPD opportunities to help us improve our skills? What 'digital learning' competences do we as teachers need,  and how can we identify what the competences are?

Technology brings benefit for learners.The use of handheld devices for each student in extending ‘time on task’ outside the classroom is key to the benefit for learners and to the facilitation of learner autonomy. The learners can learn anytime, anyplace, but in addition have access to the classroom-focused pedagogy which enables more spoken learner-to-learner interaction in pair and group work - the basis of communicative language learning theory.

Concentrating on 'One to One Learning' means that we focus on classroom scenarios and innovative pedagogies where the teacher makes use of the learners' access to individual handheld devices to generate new forms of interaction, new forms of curriculum and new forms of out-of-class  activities to enhance learning and facilitate learner autonomy.

In the English language teaching  context this means that we can use the handheld device to

·         bring more authentic English content into the classroom

·         set up authentic tasks

·         extend language practice outside the classroom

·         develop new forms of communicative pairwork activity in class

·         greatly extend the number of hours available per week for English study.

The key question we need to ask is - how do we help the teacher to benefit from these opportunities? How do we support teachers and help their professional development in integrating technology into the class?

This talk will look at these new developments from the perspective of training and developing teachers. The talk will consider what kind of digital teaching competences teachers need, and how we should design teacher development courses to build these competences.

I will outline the research study carried out by Cambridge English to analyse the different digital competences teachers at different levels of expertise and  career development will need, and share the draft Competence Framework that we have produced based on this research.






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