This project was run within the ECML's Learning through languages programme.

ABOUT THE ICT-REV INITIATIVE

Description of activity

The rapid developments in information and communication technology (ICT) present opportunities as well as pose challenges to teachers. As teachers, we are aware that we can use computers and the internet in our language teaching in various ways:

  • to prepare for our classes (e.g. find videos on Youtube to show to students)
  • to communicate with students (e.g. post a message on the classroom website)
  • to assess students (e.g. by using online quizzes)
  • to support students in collaborating with each other (e.g. produce a joint text using a wiki)
  • to guide students to locate authentic information on the web and evaluate its suitability for learning
  • to set up links with students from other classes or in other countries (e.g. write a class blog, or use eTwinning)
  • to encourage students to engage in authentic communication via the internet, accessing authentic communication spaces (e.g. newspaper comment forums)…

However, all these opportunities also contain many challenges for teachers. For instance, we may be uncertain about the benefits of a particular technology (e.g. Can I find videos of authentic communicative situations on Youtube? Which tools, among the many available, should I use? Which are better for practicing writing: wikis or blogs? How, exactly, can I use a particular tool?). Depending on pre-existing online teaching skills, teachers may wish either to achieve some basic technical and communicative competence in online situations, or they may be interested in going beyond the basics in order to apply their own creativity and personal style to their ICT-enhanced language teaching.

It is therefore crucial that teachers and multipliers are aware of the existence of ICT tools, that these are presented in a user-friendly way, that they are ‘stand alone’, and that information on how to use them in particular contexts is available. Ideally, ICT tools and resources should also clearly be linked to the variety of language pedagogies currently available, and information should be provided on ways to adapt an existing teaching method to the online environment.

The aim of the ICT-REV initiative is to help teachers achieve these aims in a sustainable way through (1) training and awareness-raising workshops for teachers and multipliers; (2) a Moodle workspace to support teachers and multipliers in advancing their training and communicating with other teachers and multipliers; (3) a website with a preliminary list of tools and OERs with user comments.

Expected results and impact:

This initiative will benefit teachers, teacher trainers and other stakeholders involved in language teaching who will be able to make use of the training and the training materials as well as other resources on the website.

Target groups

  • language teachers
  • teacher trainers
  • language policy makers
  • multipliers

Envisaged actions/activities:

ICT-REV workshops for teachers and multipliers will be based on ‘hands-on’ activities. The online aspect of teaching will also be foregrounded by involving remote („online“) participants in all aspects of communication and group work. This part-online delivery will guarantee that the initiative reaches the largest possible number of teaching professionals, giving them hands-on experience of online learning and teaching and integrating them into a community of practice.

Working languages

English, German

Translations of worksheets and content available in a number of languages

Envisaged evaluation measures

  • Online questionnaires prior to and as a follow-up to the workshops
  • Online evaluation forms
  • Feedback collected during and after workshops
  • Participants’ contributions to the online workspace

 


This initiative is carried out within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission, entitled INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES AND ASSESSMENT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING   www.ecml.at/ec-cooperation