THE DIGITAL COMPETENCE FOR LANGUAGE TEACHERS (DC4LT) ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK
University of Macedonia (GREECE)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:In the age of digitization, there is a growing need for teachers to acquire new sets of skills and competencies in order to face the new digital challenges that they encounter in their work and in their daily life. In fact, digital competence is one of the eight key competences for lifelong learning needed in the 21 century according to the Council of Europe (EU, 2006) and its development should be perceived within the idea of lifelong learning. This is a highly important competence for all teachers and especially for language teachers. Teaching languages online is different from teaching other subjects online because it entails different skills such as the creation of highly interactive language environments that could address the language practice needs of language learners. But which are the digital skills that language teachers need to acquire and how could they self-assess their digital competence?
In the framework of the DC4LT project (http://www.dc4lt.eu), which is co-funded under the Erasmus+ funding scheme, a systematic review of research has been done in order to identify assessment frameworks and methods available to assess teachers’ digital competence with emphasis to language teachers worldwide. The criteria used to compile this overview were research-based. At a second stage, based on the research overview findings, a conceptual framework has been developed in order to address the needs of language teachers for the assessment of their digital competence.
This article aims first to briefly define what digital competence comprises and why nowadays digital skills are highly important skills for language educators. After this introductory part, it will describe the methodology of the literature review research on existing digital competence frameworks worldwide and it will analyze the results. Then, the paper will present the “Digital Competence for Language Teachers Assessment Framework” (DC4LT Assessment Framework) and its theoretical philosophy. This framework promotes a new set of ‘skills pyramid’ of three (3) levels of difficulty, novice (A1-A2), proficient (B1-B2), and expert (C1-C2) that describe, from the most basic to the most advanced, the knowledge and skills that language teachers need to acquire in order to be able to cope with their professional digital challenges. This assessment framework proposes a holistic skillset’s perspective which includes a variety of skills that are related not only to the efficient use of digital tools and their integration in the teaching process, but also to the right use of tools and methods for assessment, digital content creation and sharing, teachers’ professional development, and learners’ support. In fact, the DC4LT assessment framework can also be used as a reference to guide language teachers who wish to develop not only their digital competence but also to support their students in developing broader digital literacy skills. Finally, the article will conclude with the presentation of the future steps of this research.
 Council of Europe (2006). Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32006H0962
Keywords: Digital competence, digital skills, framework, language teachers' training.