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Going global: 21st century skills in ELT. What are they and how can we bring them into practice?


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Matt Vesty, teacher trainer, IELTS expert (Birmingham, UK)

Published in: Education
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Going global: 21st century skills in ELT. What are they and how can we bring them into practice?

  1. 1. Going Global: 21st Century Skills in the ELT Classroom
  2. 2. What is important to our students? The following skills and competencies have been articulated within my organization as priorities for employee development, talent management, and succession planning in the next one to three years. Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Critical thinking 2.2% 8.6% 17.3% 36.4% 35.5% Communication skills 2.0% 6.5% 15.9% 35.7% 39.9% Collaboration / team building 2.1% 6.8% 18.5% 38.8% 33.8% Creativity and innovation 2.9% 10.5% 22.8% 36.1% 27.7%
  3. 3. My organization makes an effort to assess these skills and competencies when hiring new employees Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Critical thinking 1.9% 9.0% 20.0% 38.0% 31.1% Communication skills 1.4% 5.8% 17.4% 43.0% 32.4% Collaboration / team building 2.7% 10.0% 27.1% 39.4% 20.8% Creativity and innovation 3.6% 10.7% 32.4% 34.5% 18.8% What is important to our students?
  4. 4. • Critical thinking and problem solving • creativity and innovation • collaboration, teamwork, and leadership • cross-cultural understanding • communication and media literacy • computing and ICT literacy • career and learning self-reliance But what does this mean for language teaching? What skills? And how do they fit into ELT?
  5. 5. What skills? And how do they fit into ELT? Critical thinking Communication Collaboration Creativity
  6. 6. 4Cs and digital tools • BYOD (Bring you own device)? • Rich or discrete content? • Push content or pull content? • Strategic use or discrete use? • Consumption or production?
  7. 7. SAMR
  8. 8. Creative thinking in a nutshell
  9. 9. Remembering and understanding
  10. 10. Applying and analyzing
  11. 11. Evaluating and creating
  12. 12. Perspectives Situation: A company is deciding whether to move its manufacturing base from the UK to India. We are unlikely to locate to India as it’s too far away from our main markets. We might move to India because the labour costs are lower. We might need to work in a different way to be successful in India It’d be a good idea because manufacturing methods are very advanced in India. Economic geographical technological cultural Underline the words that gave you your answer
  13. 13. De Bono’s thinking hats The Red Hat – Intuition, feeling, emotions, hunches The White Hat – Information available and needed. Facts. Data. The Black Hat – Caution, difficulties, risks and weaknesses The Yellow Hat – Benefits, value, positive aspects The Blue Hat – Managing the thinking, summary The Green Hat – Creativity, alternatives, possibilities
  14. 14. Thinking Hat Activities Essay Writing Assign students a coloured hat each. Ask them to research arguments that their coloured hats can make in relation to a particular topic using, Wikipedia, or Youtube. Before the next class, all ss with one hat collaborate to produce a paragraph according to a particular coloured hat on Google docs. In the next class, lead a discussion about the structure of the essay. Give language feedback Students collaborate in groups (each student with a different colour) to produce a first draft on Google docs. Send by email to T. Redefinition Modification Augmentation Substitution
  15. 15. Thinking Hat Activities Pyramid discussions Give students a hat for a particular discussion. Put all the hats into the same group to brainstorm ideas. Afterwards, form groups that contain each hat colour. Students make notes during the discussions.
  16. 16. Creativity & Digital tools 86% of all American teenagers have published something online Pull content What? – Youtube videos – Blogs – Instagram photos / photoshop
  17. 17. Planning for creativity Use a mix of authentic and published material Meet student needs rather than lesson aims Get out of the way!
  18. 18. Some ideas Students create a survey about sport either on paper or using a tool like survey monkey Conduct the survey amongst classmates / people at work / family and friends Collect data into Excel, or Google Sheets Discover which is the least popular. Create a poster / advertisement to promote the sport and make it more popular either on paper or using digital tools such as Youtube, Instagram, Photoshop, Audacity Redefinition Modification Augmentation Substitution
  19. 19. Some ideas Cut lines of some tongue twisters and distribute them to the students Students mingle, repeating their lines, putting the strips in order Discuss which sounds are most difficult for them Collect words with the same sounds either on paper, or the board Students work in pairs / groups to write as many sentences as they can using the words. Re-pair the groups to put their sentences together to create a tongue twister Vote on the most difficult
  20. 20. Some ideas Create a tour guide of the city in a short video Script and create a podcast on a topic Design a new product and produce a sales pitch / investment pitch
  21. 21. When it comes to technology, let’s not…
  22. 22. Using digital tools – augmented change Record yourself speaking for a short time on a particular topic. Once recorded, send the link to the students. Individually, they write down what they hear. Afterwards, they work together on Google Docs to create a final version Make the students do the work! Have students record the vocabulary from lessons onto Quizlet flashcards and share with their classmates. Share resources, invite students to take part in the syllabus, encourage communication outside the class.
  23. 23. Using digital tools – augmented change Padlet Create one huge document on a particular topic. Can be done by numerous users. Socrative Create tests and quizzes and deliver them through a phone or tablet.
  24. 24. What does this all mean?
  25. 25. Thank you! @mattvesty1