The possibilities for using ICT in language learning are increasing. A teacher will find a lot of interesting tools and resources that could be useful for his/her students. A problem is that teachers lose track of what their students do, when they use a number of different tools and resources. And when those are part of a digital environment, teachers often experience limitations to the extent that they can (easily) change, adapt or supplement practices, activities and resources. They experience a lack of flexibility. Also, the way a competence-based curriculum such as the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) can be part of the learning process, is often limited.
The wishes of language teachers that wanted an integrated learning environment with resources related to the CEFR became the start of the development of a new platform for language learning. The setting was that of a blend between face-to-face and ICT. Within a learning platform with possibilities to easily create and adapt learning resources, all of the CEFR “can-do” statements for the different language domains (i.e. speaking or reading) were made available in an interactive way. Teachers were able to connect activities to the can-do statements (within the CEFR structure) keeping track of who worked on which statement in what activity. Also the results and evaluations per student could be presented in a similar way, helping the teacher and the student keeping track on the progress related to the goals. The platform also offered a digital portfolio in which the student could present his or her work, again related to the can-do statements. For example: an application letter was related to: “I can prepare/draft professional correspondence” (Writing, C1). The manner in which activities were related to the goals enabled students also to plan their own learning. Finally, teachers were able to put together specific goals for a particular course and even for individual students.
New and innovative ways to make use of functions that enable teachers and students to relate, plan and keep track of learning related to language goals represent a step forward in offering a richer and more meaningful language learning experience.
This is the abstract of a paper presented at the ICT for Language Learning Conference, 9 – 10 November 2017, Florence, Italy
The full paper is available here.