TRAINING TEACHERS OF BLENDED LANGUAGE COURSES: KNOWLEDGE CREATION APPROACH
Peoples' friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
At the age of digital society the teachers have to update their skills to be competent at using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in different teaching environments that might include the classroom, the blended learning format, the open distance learning. This refers to any teacher, including a teacher of a Foreign Language for Specific Purposes (LSP).
The current educational paradigm that is based on digital technologies requires a new shift in LSP teaching methodology.
The traditional blended LSP methodology supposes ICT sources and technologies are used to make students read, listen, reproduce and translate texts from on-line sources. These sources are evaluated by teachers with the view to arrange tasks to train specialized vocabulary and syntax structures of specialized texts in the foreign language under study.
Nevertheless in the modern knowledge-based society a new blended LSP methodology has to be developed that would focus on combining education and research activities.
In this case it is not enough for a trainer who is involved in blended LSP teaching to know the ICT sources that can be used as the textual/ video/audio basis to design educational aids.
The modern blended LSP trainer has to use knowledge creation approach when searching for IT sources, tools and techniques for educational purposes.
This approach implies that the blended LSP teacher has to train students’ skills in conducting research activities in the a foreign language.
The background of this approach is cognitive process modeling that requires from the blended LSP trainer to be aware of a number of his or her tasks that seem to be specific when comparing with the traditional LSP trainer’s job who mentors classroom and self study activities.
These tasks involve
• theoretical framework analysis of the blended training content
• practical development of the blended LSP teaching content (activities to be designed)
• search for appropriate interaction and communication forms and tools
• ways to stimulate intellectual activities in the blended environment
• blended content distribution management
• evaluation and assessment aspects of blended training.
A special course is critical to improve a blended LSP trainer’ skills and competences. The core of such a course is knowledge creation approach.
The modules of such a course are to be discussed in the report.