Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Engaging Teenage Learners in the Foreign Language Lesson

Urania Sarri, Hellenic Open University (Greece)


Foreign language (FL) teachers in Secondary Education often have difficulties in engaging their students. This may be the outcome of several parameters, the effectiveness of the teaching material included. There are many cases where the teacher has little or no control over the teaching material that may not cover the learners’ needs or match the teacher’s personality and may even lack sufficient relevance to the current sociocultural situation. In addition, the latest educational approach, the 21st century Pedagogy, has set specific aims for educators that involve the development of specific skills such as innovation, research, critical and creative thinking. Therefore, the need to support the FL lesson with material that is relevant, useful and enjoyable emerges. This paper presents the process of designing activities that engage teenage learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) as they investigate and develop their multiple identities and shape their worldview. Using the tools provided by the latest version of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) and Bloom’s taxonomy, it presents examples of learner-centered activities that promote differentiation of learning, cooperation, the development of democratic competence, critical and creative thinking skills and the proper use of ICT tools. It aspires to assist FL teachers in providing useful, relevant and enjoyable knowledge to their learners that will also be useful in the long run, after they have entered the Higher Education area and/or joined the workforce.

Keywords: CEFR, critical thinking, creative thinking, Content-based instruction.


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