Our co-founder Armanda Stroia has been selected to deliver a talk at IATEFL about a very insightful topic: Language teaching to make a difference: soft skills in action. We’re sure that you’ll enjoy this topic. Here’s the summary for further information. See you soon!
IATEFL Liverpool 2019 is an amazing event where language educators all around the world meet. The conference and exhibition will be taking place at the ACC Liverpool. However, some sessions will be at the Jurys Inn Hotel, which is on the other side of a pedestrianized plaza.
Language teaching to make a difference. Abstract of the IATEFL talk
The so-called ‘soft skills’ or ‘transversal skills’ (Malik, Suhandi, Permanasari 2017), mostly spark researchers’ interest in higher education. With a lack of pedagogical frameworks for young learners, there is a critical need for tools and teaching materials. Ultimately, these would help educators change the preconceived ideas of soft skills as extra skills, not teachable, not measurable, not important.
This IATEFL talk aims to examine why should language teachers develop soft skills in primary and lower-secondary classes. Furthermore, I will deconstruct how can any teacher achieve this goal.
First, I will outline the theoretical background behind the latest ELT trends supporting soft skills (social and emotional learning, neuro-cognitive science, whole brain teaching etc.). Finally, the talk will then explore the best practices to embed soft skills into daily language teaching. Particularly, it will focus on critical and creative thinking, communication and negotiation, and work ethics.
Participants will take home a range of practical activities and tools that can help them enhance both language and soft skills.
Practical examples and tools
Why not exploit the potential of digital apps and vocabulary games with social impact? I will illustrate here with an app designed to develop empathy and sensitivity to global issues like poverty, hunger.
For example, take platforms like freerice.com supported by the United Nations World Food Programme. For each correct answer, students donate ten grains of rice to children from underdeveloped countries. Thus, they feel empowered in their mission to help reach zero hunger and make a difference in other children’s lives.
Finally, my IATEFL talk will illustrate some meaningful and practical learning activities designed by blending social and emotional learning with real-life tasks and language aims. I designed them according to the core principles of what I love to call the INSPIRE framework outlined below:
Further reading on soft skills.