New Educational Trends in 2022
Teaching trends - for teachers; Learning trends - for students; Personal experience - Conan Smeeth.
LATEST TRENDS IN TEACHING FOREIGN LANGUAGES
The world of language teaching is changing just as everything else, although maybe not as fast. We started with the grammar-translation method decades ago and came to the lexical approach in the naughties. Online lessons replaced offline when the global lockdown came down on us, and pdfs were quickly replaced with online boards. What brings about these changes and why?
First of all, the industry itself is evolving and inquisitive educators keep looking for better and more efficient ways to teach and get the message across. The students themselves, however, drive the changes as much, if not more so. It is their request and demand that makes us rethink what we do and how we do it. So, let’s take a look at what latest trends have been going around lately.
With the shift to online lessons we have experienced a change in the roles of teachers and students. The internet allows us an incredible free flow of information of all kind a mouse click away. The educators are expected to be facilitators more than ever, allowing students to experience knowledge first-hand, suggesting instead of giving.
For adult students DIY learning can be about their career skills and needs, such as writing CVs and cover letters, browsing job websites, solving cases. For students it can be related to their desired areas of study focusing on research and discover.
What to try: the final goal should be creating something new together with your students, utilize their computer skills and use various platforms to demonstrate that.
For example: create a website to practice grammar and vocabulary on tilda, make short explanation videos for youtube or tiktok, draw posters in Canva, write tweets and Instagram posts, set up a profile on LinkedIn.
With the whole world going digital, a lot new pathways have opened up for students and teachers, allowing us to make lessons ever more so engaging and interacting. This poses its own challenges, because we as educators have to constantly keep up. Just like with DIY, try using different social media platforms, consider new means of providing information and the visual side of it. Sometimes this will involve taking risks, but the results may be worth it.
What to try: gamification, recording videos, going live, vary the platforms you use for lessons to bring in novelty and change, experiment with design and colours.
For example: experiment with canva, prezi, miro board, use amazy.world platform to create visually stunning lessons, find new games and interactions.
The students’ goals are also changing, and the phrase “less is more” is truer than ever. Our attention span is getting shorter, the change in activities should come quicker and people are able to retain their focus and new information for too long. Just a few years ago we tried to squeeze as much as possible in one lesson, combining different topics and simplifying them. Now we are taking a turn and looking at fewer words and maybe one topic but polishing them to the point of perfection.
What to try: shorter more frequent lessons, take no more than 5-10 new lexical units and one grammar aspect, reuse and recirculate new information, incorporating what was covered. Step away from traditional coursebooks.
Content integrated teaching has been around for a long while, but with every year more and more students seem to need English for specific purposes. Teachers of course need to have some basic awareness of the target topic, so taking a coursera course or going to Khan academy can be a wise decision. IT specialists, Social Media Marketing and Content creators are now the most popular professions out there, and chances are some of your students are working in these industries.
What to try: read articles, watch videos and study the information together with your students.
What new trends in language teaching have you noticed? Share in the comments!
Predictions about edtech, equity, and learning in 2022
2021 brought with it new COVID-19 variants, the dreaded school COVID quarantine, and renewed calls to support the nation’s educators, who have worked tirelessly (and constantly) to support students’ learning, social and emotional needs, and more.
And now, we head into our third year of learning during a global pandemic. We asked edtech executives, stakeholders, and experts to share some of their thoughts and predictions about where they think edtech is headed in 2022.
Here’s what they had to say:
The demand for online learning will continue to grow in 2022 and possibly lead to the creation of virtual schools, which would introduce new AR and VR learning processes. Teachers will need to learn and refine their online teaching skills and find new opportunities for working from home, allowing them a better work-life balance. This will help them focus on the quality of their lessons without the heavy financial strain that many teachers deal with today. Learners will have the flexibility to follow on-campus lessons and use online lessons to cover topics they couldn’t fully grasp the first time around. More importantly, students will have better access to lessons designed specifically for their learning style. This will inevitably result in increased comprehension and productivity in student learning. To deal with the challenges of today and tomorrow, we need to equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge necessary to adapt and overcome these challenges.
—Suren Aloyan, Co-Founder & CEO, PopUp EduTech, Inc., Founding President, Dasaran
COVID forced teachers and students to rely on digital learning more than ever, but they came away with different lessons from the experience. Even teachers who were tech-shy found excellent tools to help create and deliver engaging classes, whereas many students found they missed school and interacting with their classmates. After online lessons, I don’t see teachers returning to binders of lesson ideas collected over years, but I do see teachers and students pushing back on the idea that digital is the solution—so hands-on learning, collaboration, and teamwork will take center stage for the next year or two. However, eventually, as post-stimulus costs begin to hit schools, digital, with its lower costs and higher margins, will be where districts and publishers come together to deliver engaging education with tighter budgets.
— Catherine Cahn, CEO, Twig Education
With COVID-19 we learned lessons that will carry over into 2022. The first is that technology will continue to play an important role in the classroom with expanded infrastructure and broader applications to increase teacher-student engagement. Secondly, we will see the need for greater access to real-time data and analytics to empower teachers to intervene when needed to accelerate individual student achievement. And thirdly, we believe that there will be more urgent attention paid to professional development for K-12 educators. This means instruction in evidence-based, proven methodologies for students and teachers that build on literacy as the foundation to all learning and that create a path to educational equity for all.
–Nick Gaehde, President, Lexia Learning
What changes have you felt in ESL recently? How are your student’s needs and goals different from the past? What do you think is going to change in ESL in the future?
I’m Conan and I’ve been teaching ESL for over 10 years. With Covid raging, we so far have been limited to primarily teaching online, and with that has come with some new trends. Zoom has overtaken Skype as the main platform in which to teach, and teachers and students alike have accordingly adjusted to this. One of the biggest assets to teaching this way is that it’s made things far more convenient, for both parties. Some of my students live and work outside of Russia (where we’re based), and thanks to the blessing that is the internet, countless productive lessons have been facilitated despite this distance. This has the side effect of making it harder to work on writing specifically, but there are ways to deal with this.
For me, the biggest trend I’ve seen is how students come in with more specific requests for what they want to learn. Previously, I’d focused on using workbooks to go over all four (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) aspects, but now? They haven’t been as necessary. Some students ask to “not sound like English is their second language” or they simply want to have speaking practice. This has meant that as teachers, the onus is on us to be aware of the need to accommodate these requests while not shirking the nuts and bolts of the language. Additionally, there’s some pressure to come up with more innovative material that is riveting enough and yet doesn’t devolve into discussions for pop culture/other marginally related subjects.
In terms of what I think will change in the field of ESL, based on my own experience I would say that we can anticipate more of a focus on individual needs, instead of group lessons. I’ve personally seen a rise in requests for both learning how to “properly” communicate via email, as well as an overall sense for cross-culture discussions. Another thing I think will continue to prevail is the lack of face-to-face lessons. With how the normalization of online communication and the comfort of staying put, it’s hard to imagine students wanting to deviate from how lessons have been conducted over the past two years. After all, why should we leave our homes when all we need is an internet connection and a camera?
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