In my opinion, we, language teachers, have to comprehend the significance of learners’ development of a need for lifelong language education. Therefore, communication skills should be worked on continuously. This is why introducing new techniques and approaches to language learning to students seem to be important these days.
Firstly, teachers’ goals should be establishing the tools and knowledge how to become hooked on lifelong language learning. Secondly, teachers should move into the role of a coach/mentor and become learner/teacher in conjunction with students. Education needs to be focused on teaching students how to learn a new language, as well as tutoring on how to study the language online and in the community. The teachers should be facilitators, frequently presenting students with new tools and help them to in control of their language learning. This way students can become autonomous, mindful learners.
Moreover, students must be in control of their language learning. Their language coach should be helping them to identify their individual language learning style and then select the regular activities they would be working on. This means that finally students will be prepared to take responsibility for their own improvement as well as begin an amazing learning experience.
In addition, grades would be no longer the goal; on the contrary, the main objective could be described as flexibility in spoken language and confidentiality in interaction with native speakers.
There will be still high quality self-assessments of the ability to communicate in the language. For instance, they will be requested to demonstrate actual commitment and relationship with native speakers through, let’s say, verbal conversation or written communication.
Since the Internet is such a rich resource that it is an indispensible component in a language learning/teaching experience. As such it is a powerful tool that allows us to make meaningful contribution to students’ progress. We should bear in mind that the Internet is also the best tool to have valuable interaction with native speakers.
To sum up, what I have just written are my thoughts about XXI century teaching/ learning regarding optional and additional techniques to be considered.
Being a language teacher for a very long time has made me look for some new ways and inspirations to facilitate independent and self-directed learners.
I would like to hear from anybody who is involved in language education.
I look forward to having some interaction and creative discussion.