Teaching English in the 21st century

Hi there!

This is actually my first official online post on Education. This is quite different and challenging for me because technology can be too obscure, despite all the wonders that it brings. But, I’m also highly motivated to do so. I believe that, by exploring this intriguing world, I’ll be able to help my students engage more confidently in the learning process.

Teaching English in the 21st century necessary implies stumbling on technology, for both teachers and students already have some contact with it outside the classroom, and eventually it will take place in the classes. Students may refer to google translate to find a word that they don’t get, or a teacher may go to youtube to find a video to suit the objective of a class, for example. Nevertheless, one thing to consider is how connected to this world one actually is. If we take our younger students into consideration, who are thought to be born using technology, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find a teacher on the other side feeling threatened or quite resistant to using technological tools. How can you teach them something through technology if they can be a lot more proficient in this area than you?

This is a little bit the way I feel from time to time. But, I honestly believe that a teacher should embark on this quest, explore the online world and get to know about what other teachers have been doing. This a natural place for them and we should try to learn from it. It can be a good way to reach them and have them engage in the learning process. I guess it’s ok not to know as much as they do, for we will always be teachers and, in this sense, it is our responsibility to help them search for reliable sources and validate  information. As for me, I have just tried something simple, but out of my comfort zone. I’ve signed up for an app that lets you create surveys and quizzes and I have already set a first task for my students. This is sort of a follow-up activity and the objective is to have them answer two questions having to use the grammar structures and vocabulary worked on in the past few classes. Let’s see how it goes.





3 thoughts on “Teaching English in the 21st century

  1. Hi Tico,
    I really enjoy your first post! I couldn’t agree more with you when saying that teaching digital technology natives can be quite daunting for us non native teachers. For me, even creating a blog was a very challenging experience. I’ve been trying to implement some technological gadgets such as the padlet, voicethread, kahoot , etc to my classes. But I’m taking baby steps into this new, exciting, but unknown ground. What is this app to produce surveys and quiz you mentioned above? I got interested in checking it out.


  2. I know how challenging using technology in class might be – I’ve been there. But you know what? You’re taking just the right steps. Start small, see how it works. And yes, count on your students’ digital expertise. They’ll certainly feel valued.

    @Paula Merkle – you’re already a step beyond. All these tools you mentioned are wonderful, and are great ways to have students as producers of content, and not merely passive listeners, right?


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