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21st century skills. Some ideas about teaching english today and tomorrow.


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The presentation will introduce you to the different ways teachers can help learners to be better prepared for life in the 21st century. There are many ideas which teachers are already using every day such as Global Awareness and Cross Curricular Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication and Collaboration. The author of the presentation reflects on how we can develop such skills while teaching English to our students.

Published in: Education

21st century skills. Some ideas about teaching english today and tomorrow.

  1. 1. 21st century skills. Some views on teaching English today and tomorrow.Anna Voronina, Pearson teacher
  2. 2. Did you know?The top in-demand jobs of 2010……did not exist in 2004We are currently preparing the students for jobs…… that do not yet existThe U.S. Department of labour estimates that today’s learner will have 10 – 14 jobs……by the age of 38There are 31 Billion searches on Google every monthIn 2006 this number was 2,7 Billion
  3. 3. Wanted for the 21st century workforce:Resilient, independent learners, who haveflexible skills and competencies, work wellin teams and can lead themselves andothers to perform up to and beyond theirpotential.
  4. 4. Developing 21st century skills• What skills do we need to teach?• How can we teach students emotional intelligence and self-management skills?• How can we ensure that students transfer their skills and knowledge from one subject area to another encouraging independent, flexible learning capacity?
  5. 5. Your views and ideas• How do you define 21st century learning• How do you see them• What skills do our students need to develop
  6. 6. 21st century skills• Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning• Ways of working. Communication and collaboration• Tools for working. Information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy• Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility, cross-cultural awareness
  7. 7. Ways of thinking. Becoming an autonomous learner
  8. 8. jump to think conclusions imprecisely cannot seemisuse words Issues from ask Thinking gets points of viewirrelevant us into trouble other thanquestions our own because lose track of think our goal we often illogically are unrealistic ignore think relevant ethnocentrically accept viewpoints inaccurate miss key think information ideas egocentrically
  9. 9. What makes the learner autonomous?• Learning strategies and critical thinking skills
  10. 10. What is critical thinking• Independent, reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe and do.• The process of critical thinking involves acquiring information and evaluating it to reach a well-justified conclusion or answer.
  11. 11. Who are critical thinkers• Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and / or non-verbal, written expressions, reflection, observation, experience.• Critical thinkers base their decisions on clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth logic, significance and fairness.
  12. 12. Features of a critical thinkerA critical thinker:• Is open-minded and mindful of alternatives;• Tries to be well-informed;• Judges well the credibility of sources;• Identifies conclusions, reasons, and assumptions;• Judges well the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its reasons, assumptions and evidence;
  13. 13. Features of a critical thinker• Can well develop and defend a reasonable position;• Ask appropriate clarifying questions;• Draw conclusions;• Integrates all terms in this list when deciding what to believe or do.
  14. 14. Strategies for teaching critical thinkingTactical and strategic recommendations:• Promoting interaction among students as they learn;• Asking open-ended questions that do not assume the “one right answer”;• Allowing sufficient time for students to reflect on the questions asked or problems posed;• Use pair and group work activities.
  15. 15. Tactical and Strategic Recommendations• Speak less so that students think more.• Teach students how to read for themselves, actively and analytically.• Develop specific strategies for cultivating critical reading, writing, speaking and listening.• Call frequently on students who don’t have their hands up.
  16. 16. Tactical and Structural Recommendations• Call on other students to summarize what have been said.• Use concrete examples whenever you can to illustrate abstract concepts and thinking.• Require regular writing in class.• Spell out explicitly the intellectual standards you will be using in your grading and why. Develop self-assessment skills using standards.
  17. 17. Critical thinking is the art of asking questions. • Summary and Definition Questions; • Analysis Questions; • Hypothesis Questions; • Evaluation Questions.
  18. 18. Analysis Questions• how...? / why…?• what are the reasons for...?• what are the types of...?• what are the functions of...?
  19. 19. Analysis Questions• what other examples of...?• what are the causes/ results of...?• what is the relationship between .and .?• what is the similarity or difference between... and...?• how does ...apply to ...?• what is (are) the problems or conflicts or issues...?
  20. 20. Analysis Questions• what are possible solutions/ resolutions to these problems or conflicts or issues...?• what is the main argument or thesis of...?• how is this argument developed...?• what evidence or proof or support is offered...?• what are other theories arguments from other authors…?
  21. 21. Hypothesis Questions• If…occurs, then what happens…?• If…had happened, then what would be different…?• What does theory x predict will happen…?
  22. 22. Evaluation Questions• Is ... good or bad ...?• .....correct or incorrect...?• .....effective or ineffective...?• .....relevant or irrelevant...?• .....logical or illogical...?
  23. 23. Evaluation Questions• .....applicable or not applicable...?• .....proven or not proven...?• what are the advantages or disadvantages of...?• what is the best solution to the problem / conflict / issue...?
  24. 24. Evaluation Questions• what should or should not happen...?• do I agree or disagree ...?• what is my opinion...?• what is my support for my opinion...?
  25. 25. Reading critically. As you read ask yourself the following questions:• What is the topic of the book or reading?• What issues are addressed?• What conclusions does the author reach about the issue(s)?• What are the author’s reasons for his or her statements or belief?
  26. 26. Reading critically. As you read ask yourself the following questions:• Has the author used neutral words or emotional words?• Be aware of why you do, or don’t, accept arguments of the author.
  27. 27. What is the topic? MEMORY
  28. 28. Reading and speaking1a Work in pairs and discuss. Which of the things are you good/bad at remembering?• names and faces• pin numbers, passwords, etc.• facts and information• messages and arrangements• things that happened long ago• things that happen recentlyb Do you think you have a good memory?
  29. 29. Reading and speaking• 2 Read the comments below. Do you have the same or similar experiences to any of the speakers?• 3 Read the text quickly. Then match paragraphs 1 – 5 with comments a – d. There is one extra paragraph.
  30. 30. 4 Read the text again and decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F). Correct the false statement.5 Work in pairs and discuss. Is there any information in the text that you find surprising? Why?6 Read the tips for improving your memory. Are the ideas in the box associated with remembering or forgetting? Write R or F next to each idea.
  31. 31. Seven tips for improving your memory1. Sleep well: if you don’t sleep properly, we ‘lose’ many of our memories.2. Do physical exercise: When you exercise, more oxygen goes to your brain and that makes your memory work better.3. Do mental exercise: It is important to exercise your brain just like your body. New activities are more challenging than familiar ones.4. Be interested: Ask yourself questions about what you are learning. We learn better if we are interested.
  32. 32. Seven tips for improving your memory5. Keep reviewing: Review information regularly rather than trying to remember it all at once.6. Have a cup of coffee: Caffeine, like exercise, sends oxygen to your brain and helps you concentrate.7. Form a mental picture: for example, if you want to remember the name ‘John Keys’, imagine his face with a big key on it. The stranger the picture the better!
  33. 33. Work in pairs and discuss• Which tips seem the most/least useful?• Which, if any, would be useful in learning English?• Do you have any other ways of remembering new words in English?
  34. 34. Memory TestLetter, serious, heart, philosophy, envelope, page, paper clip, 2,000 years, magician, scarf, rabbit, trick, five o’clock, empty, hat, mysterious, universe, fur, hair, amazing, world, half an hour.
  35. 35. How are words remembered?Do we remember all the words that we learn?• What helps you to remember new words?• Why are some words more difficult than others?
  36. 36. Systematic forgetting. Why we forget? How to remember things better?
  37. 37. Reasons for forgetting• Poor understanding / attention / listening;• Distractions;• Tiredness, anxiety, emotions, mood and stress;• Interference new information being confused with existing information;• Poor learning strategy;• Lack of importance – you remember what you value;• Dehydration – the brain needs water to conduct electrical pulses fast.
  38. 38. The memory techniques• Rhyming;• Physical prompts: bones and dips for a number of days in a month;• Memory workout (read, cover, write, say, check);• Visual prompts (to remember the sequence of facts think of a regular journey. Connect each fact to a point on the journey;• etc
  39. 39. Task Choose who to hire or fire! Preparation. Reading and listening• 1 Read about the reality TV show The Executive and answer the questions.• What are the contestants hoping to win?• What do they have to do each week?• Who judges the contestants?• What kind of person is Sir Darren?• How many contestants will be in the final?
  40. 40. 2a Listen to Sir Darren talking about the qualities he is looking for in the finalists. Which things does he mention?• Business experience • Can take• Potential responsibility• Business sense • Achieves things• Qualifications • Communication skills• Clear-thinking • Assertive • Works well in a team2b Listen again. Which two qualities are mostimportant to Sir Darren?
  41. 41. • 1a Read the profiles of the four semi-finalists. Memorise as much information as you can.• 1b Work in groups. Don’t look at the profiles. See how much you can remember about the four candidates.• 2 audio track 5.5 Listen to the board discussing the candidates’ qualities and make notes. Compare your answers with other students.• 3 Work in groups of four. Choose one candidate each. Go through your notes and underline the strengths and circle the weaknesses. Summarise your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses for the group.
  42. 42. Task Speaking and listening• 2 audio track 5.5 Listen to the board discussing the candidates’ qualities and make notes. Compare your answers with other students.• 3 Work in groups of four. Choose one candidate each. Go through your notes and underline the strengths and circle the weaknesses. Summarise your candidate’s strengths and weaknesses for the group.
  43. 43. Task Speaking and listening• 4 On your own, decide which three candidates should be fired. Discuss your ideas in your groups and make the final decision.• 5a Tell the group what you decided and why. Who do you think will be the eventual winner and the runner-up?• 5b listen to Sir Darren explaining who he has chosen and why. What order did he put the four candidates in? Was it the same as your group’s order?
  44. 44. Thank you!