Started at the MITx course on the edX platform, here’s a draft of a project I would like to develop on educational technology.
Something that is hard to teach or learn: As a creative and multifaceted teacher in Southern Spain, learning and teaching languages in traditional non-simulated environments makes the process difficult for teenagers and adults. Learning the language and using it should be as real, natural and creative as possible bringing as much sensorial and emotional content into the teaching-learning process as possible. In addition, real language inmersion programs such as content and language integrated learning (CLIL) are used to very little extent if at all.
Tell us a little more about the topic: Since I’ve been a language teacher or a teacher trainer at the Faculty of Education in Seville, Spain, I have found myself in situations where I’m fighting against the constraints of human interactions with limited space and its exploration in communicative terms. As opposed to reality and other language learning contexts in Northern Europe, learning contexts in the foreign language learning field has been approached in a very traditional way in Spain where the text book and grammatical closed tasks dominate a learning experience. Due to this, students, some teachers and educational authorities have established all over the years an anti natural learning perspective which makes all agents involved create a difficult path to success.
Explain why it is so challenging and why it is important.
It so challenging because human beings are complex communicative entities which traditional language teaching-learning approaches have tended to limit in one way or another. Moreover, it is important because humans and their interactions with space should be open to all sorts of views, from cognitive to emotional ones, so to make the experience and the learning process a more comprehensive and worthwhile one.
To make up for this gaps in language pedagogy, there have been attempts to implement language inmersion programs in the European educational context. For instance, CLIL but as far as I’m concerned experience wise in most Spanish bilingual schools, this is barely and properly used if at all due to several factors:
- a)Spanish educational policy makers usually abide to political views and do not really attempt to make a comprehensive and context based implementation of the program or develop good teacher training solutions.
- b)As mentioned in earlier posts, teachers are too lazy or burden to innovate and use more emotional and creative approaches.
- c)The educational system is ‘rotten’ and usually stigmatized by the community in Spain, affecting all agents involved. Teachers are more than often left alone. In fact, I’m often found having problems with parents and school headmasters when I try to innovate and use constructionist or teaching for understanding approaches for instance. This has even affected me personally.
If there are any teachers from Spain in this course, please contact me. I’d appreciate your feedback. Here’s a link about content and language integrated learning or, in other words, inmersing students and teachers in real language communicative contexts.