Each day, teachers around the world work to create the next generation of English speakers. Government and business see the need for English speakers to compete. Parents want to give their children an edge in a world where English ability equals academic and economic opportunities. Teachers do their best to provide excellent education, sometimes in spite of inadequate professional support and training, in the face of mandates based more on wishful thinking than research, and parents who are just familiar enough with learning myths to second guess their teaching.
English has become a priority foreign language for the world’s children. In some countries it is compulsory, in others it is optional. However, in all countries, children are starting to learn English as a foreign language at younger and younger ages. We’ll look at research, and peek into classrooms around the world to see how English education reform has been implemented, what actually makes a difference in learning outcomes, and what doesn’t. Finally, we’ll look at why successful foreign language education for children should matter to all teachers.
Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto holds a US English teaching license and an MATESOL, and has taught Language Arts, ESL, and EFL. Barbara is co-author of one of the world’s best-selling textbook series for children learning English, Let's Go (Oxford University Press), and Course Director for International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi.pro).
Teachers all over the world are constantly struggling with finding a balance between their professional demands and their life demands. In this plenary, I will outline ways in which teachers can pursue their own professional development while not affecting their personal life, We will begin by exploring the state of the art in professional development, after which we will look at models and approaches to teacher learning that capitalize on individual expertise. Following this, we will explore a series of activities or tools for professional development that teachers can apply while on the job. The nature of these activities/tools makes them ideal for teachers working in complex circumstances, and their student-geared intentions make them an ideal tool not just for teacher growth, but also for the enhancement of students’ learning. Vignettes showcasing the application of some of the activities/tools will be shared so that the audience can successfully translate learning to their individual circumstances.
Gabriel Diaz Maggioli (National Teacher Education University, Uruguay) is a teacher who applies the lessons learned in the classroom to his roles as educational consultant, teacher educator, researcher and author. He lives in Montevideo, Uruguay but is fortunate to be able to share his theories-in-practice with colleagues in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.
Language teachers and citizenship educators have much to learn from each other. They may aspire to promote the universal humanist values and norms that define cosmopolitanism. Education for citizenship and so-called ‘foreign’ language teaching are being transformed in the context of globalization. Both have their roots in the state formation and nation building projects of the 19th century. Citizenship education has traditionally focused on integrating citizens into a national polity. Foreign languages are understood in opposition to a national language, in fact reinforcing its prestige. Globalisation, migration and multilingualism have profoundly challenged the salience of a single national identity. Flexible and multiple identities are the norm. Both citizenship and language educators may be conceptually constrained by attention to the international. This encourages a diplomatic perspective where speakers are ascribed a single national identity. Education for cosmopolitan citizenship shifts the focus to intercultural interactions between people in their complexity.
Hugh Starkey is Professor of Citizenship Education at UCL Institute of Education, London. He researches and has published widely on language teaching, intercultural education and education for human rights and social justice in a globalising world. He has acted as consultant to Council of Europe, UNESCO, European Commission and the British Council.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2016) is all about data and devices and underpinning the concept is the integration of cyber and physical systems.
Like all innovations, it is widely acknowledged that this latest revolution will lead to the disruption of existing ways of working. Devices of all kinds are already connected to create the Internet of Things, and being packed with sensors, lightning fast processing power and massive storage capacity, they are able to record and regulate their performance. The technology employs machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse and act upon the data, so that humans working with the machines, can in turn, improve their own effectiveness.
In many fields, this is now enabling smarter manufacturing processes. So, what about the influence on education, and language-learning systems in particular?
I will argue that we need to embrace this revolution and to build it into our thinking. I will show how the use of learners’ performance data, artificial intelligence and formative feedback to learners can create a more effective language-learning ecology.
Using examples of digital technology based on AI, I will demonstrate how we can take learning activities beyond the traditional classroom in order to give teachers more time to teach and learners more time to learn. This technology will enable teachers to create authentic, communicative tasks and to collect, record and analyse data on their students’ performance. This will help them to provide more meaningful and motivating feedback, adjust learning goals accordingly and scaffold the learners’ development in a more personalised way.
Nick Saville is Director of Research & Thought Leadership in Cambridge Assessment, English (University of Cambridge) and Secretary-General of ALTE. He has a PhD in Language Assessment, and before moving to Cambridge he worked in Italy and in Tokyo. He is co-author of the volume Learning Oriented Assessment (CUP, 2016).