TEACHING ENGLISH BEYOND THE TEXTBOOK AND THE CLASSROOM
1 I.E.S. Albariza (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de Jaén (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:We may say that the ability to communicate in a foreign language has become a need nowadays, not only within the geographical setting of the European Community, but also within the frame of technology and communications. There is then great social demand for an educational system that makes it possible for students to achieve communicative competence in English.
When we learn a language we learn, not only a system of signs, but also the cultural meaning that these signs have, that is, a new way of interpreting reality. That is why teachers must be realistic and coherent when developing their teaching practice.
In the present work I will try to illustrate how important is to take real life as a starting point in the teaching-learning process, when dealing with students ranging from twelve to eighteen years old (Compulsory Secondary Education and Upper Secondary Education). From an educational viewpoint, and in order that the teaching-learning process is smoothed and teachers can fulfil the primary role that the curriculum imposes on them, that of facilitators of learning, they must adapt the curriculum to their students’ necessities and potentialities.
The objective of this work is to show how some resources which are not the typical teaching tools (textbooks, workbooks, even songs or films) used in the classroom so far can be very motivating for learners and can help us, as teachers, to obtain good results in our attempt to make our students communicatively competent. In this sense, fashionable television programmes close to our students’ interests and complementary or out-of-school activities have proved to be quite successful.
With a methodological approach which includes such tools, students show a more positive attitude towards learning English as they can practise the language in real contexts and in a more relaxed atmosphere. Furthermore, we are providing them with the chance to learn about the foreign culture in a passive way.
This methodology has been successfully employed. Bearing in mind that motivation is a key factor in the teaching-learning process, most of this motivation can be achieved by giving students reasons to learn, situations to see that what they are learning is useful and important. Moreover, if we make our students feel the learning process as an enjoyable experience or even, if they acquire linguistic and cultural knowledge without being consciously aware of this fact, learning itself will come naturally.
Keywords: communicative competence, motivation, compulsory secondary education, television.