Understanding 21st Century Skills in English Language Classrooms
Understanding 21st Century Skills in English Language Classrooms
In an increasingly complex, demanding and competitive world, students need to go beyond the traditional 3Rs and embrace the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. This is the view of the 21st century Skills movement which is helping to redefine the goals of general education for today’s world. 21st Century Skills” is commonly refers to a growing global movement for redefining the goals of education, to transform every day teaching and learning practices, and to expand the range of measures that are being implemented for student achievement, all in order to meet the new demands of the 21st Century.
In other words the main thrust of this movement is to make learners a productive contributors to upcoming society, for this it is necessary for the teachers to enable the learners to quickly learn the core content of a field of knowledge while also mastering a broad portfolio of essentials in learning, innovation, technology, and careers skills needed for work and life. Through multimodal activities, students will explore key elements of design such as color, shape, size, texture, density, and layout to understand and appreciate how these elements combine to convey the meaning.
The demands of 21st century skills compel teachers to learn new technologies and discover ways to integrate them into their classrooms. Students are competing in a global economy, and their ability to think critically and apply knowledge at higher levels requires teachers to evaluate what and how they teach. Students and teachers are using technology to communicate, assemble and analyze information based on the demands of a changing workforce. We are no longer in an educational system that solely trains students to operate technology. Students must be able to critically think and develop the skills for lifelong learning.
Teachers are focusing more on developing students’ personal dependability, perseverance, reflection, flexibility and self-discipline using 21st century strategies. Students are gathering and evaluating data, identifying viewpoints, making broad connections, considering alternatives, and making informed decisions. Teachers are creating opportunities for students to interact with each other in authentic learning experiences providing connections that are critical to developing students’ engagement, motivation, and attitudes about learning.
Classrooms are beginning to reflect the media environment that students immerse themselves in on a daily basis. Using art and digital media, they will then create their own designs to express meaning for setting, character relationships, and plot. Students will realize how to use design elements to read images and how meaning in picture books is equally conveyed in both words and images. The term “learning environment” covers not only place and space (e. g. Home, a school, a classroom, a library, an online learning community), but the relationships that create a supportive environment for every child’s development.
In the 21st century, learning environments should be seen as the support systems that organize the condition in which humans learn best–systems that accommodate the unique needs of every learner and support the positive human relationships needed for effective learning. Learning environments are the structures, tools and communities that inspire students and educators to attain the knowledge and skills the 21st century demands of us all. Teachers must utilize a variety of methods for the children to build their own understanding through real world applications interactions with their peers in many cooperative group activities.
Life is a multimedia event, and the meanings that we secure from life are not simply contained in text; they yield their content through a wide variety of forms. The students need to have a deep understanding for the real world in order to become successful individuals and be more technologically enhanced. Students need to become more globally literate because many jobs are now more focused on those issues. Students need to know more about the world, think outside of the box, develop better people skills, and become smarter about selecting news sources.
To do this it is important for teachers to keep up with the times and create a modern curriculum. One of the best ways to achieve global literacy is through communication, collaborative learning, research, and problem solving. Technology helps tremendously in these areas, so it is a great tool to use in the classroom. Not only that, but it will help the students to find more relevance in school as well. Today teachers need to prepare students for the jobs that have to be created, for the new products that have to be invented, and for the new skills required for bringing in creativity and innovation.
In today’s classroom, the students have diverse backgrounds, a variety of achievement levels, and different learning styles which will all affect their ability to acquire knowledge. Teachers need to move away from the traditional methods of teaching and bring into the classroom new and innovating approaches to teach the content and lifelong skills. It is important to utilize a variety of techniques for the children to build their own understanding through real world applications and interactions with their peers in group activities.
As the proponents of 21st century learning have propounded a set of educational goals, as in the learning framework the experts advocates for the integration of 4 C skills (Communication, Collaboration Critical thinking with problem solving and Creativity,) into the teaching of language skills such as English, reading or language arts, world languages. Teachers can cater to variation in the nature of their students’ aptitude by adopting a flexible teaching approach involving a variety of learning activities.
They can also make use of simple learner-training materials designed to make students more aware of their own approaches to learning and to develop awareness of alternative approaches. Studies of good language learners suggest that successful language learning requires a flexible approach to learning. Thus, increasing the range of learning strategies at learners’ disposal is one way in which teachers can help them to learn. Such strategy training needs to foster an understanding that language learning requires both an experiential and an analytical approach.
School-based students often tend to adopt an analytical approach to learning, even if this does not accord with their natural aptitude, as this is the kind of approach generally fostered in schools. They may have greater difficulty in adopting the kind of experiential approach required by task-based language teaching. Some learner training, therefore, may be essential if learners are to perform tasks effectively. Using the 21st Century Learning Methods to teach ESL or English as a second language is a natural fit.
By using the English language learner’s personal strengths, we can quickly and easily reach them with critical information, in collaboration with structure and grammar while instilling communicative skills with creativity this in turn helps for inculcating. Nowadays, the newest model is the flipped classroom, where the student is required to watch an instructional video or lecture at home and then complete associated tasks or projects in the classroom. While students work through assignments in class, teachers can better identify and target each student’s needs and facilitate differentiated instruction.
Another objective of this individualized approach is to empower students to direct their own learning by coming to class prepared to ask questions and problem solve with their peers after viewing the subject matter on their own. Authentic learning – learning from real world problems and questions Students become balanced individuals who can function as members of their culture. Classroom activities based on authentic learning foster deep understanding about the subject matter it also guides the students for how does one lead a good life?
Involve the community, parents, family, and guest speakers. New standards relate to the concept of “performance-based assessment”. Connect it to your personal life, make choices with regard to it, and reflect on it. Many schools have adopted standards in which students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways, including essays, oral presentations and/or a portfolio of student work. Research a thesis, and catalogue and organize his or her information using the internet connected computer in the library media center. This brings perhaps the most important advantage for ELLs.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 November 2016
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