Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 52-58
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0037
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
This article argues the legitimacy of the employment of new teaching techniques in today's world, in the face of necessary changes that came into being following the widespread usage of distance-learning. We will be focusing specifically on techniques aimed at teaching foreign languages, with particular care towards English. Many teachers, especially ones coming from the era of analog technology, tend to regard new technologies as ineffective, with some adopting a reactive approach and showing categorical refusal to phones and mobile devices on the school grounds.

As a matter of fact, however, the pandemic has changed education, and resorting to mobile devices is a normal occurrence for students, something ingrained in their daily life. Teachers can restrict technology during class hours, which may build resentment; they can tolerate its use, which may result in many distractions; or embrace it and exploit its advantages. In this research we will explore this last possibility.

In this paper we will attempt to outline the idea of a new teacher, one that not only takes care of their students, but that also shares their interests related to the technological world, such as video games, movies, TV series, becoming a figure of reference that, while retaining leadership, is capable of getting involved on a more human level, eliminating attrition in the classroom. Being involved in pop culture means being able to recommend fitting entertainment and media in the target language taught in class.

Next we will explore the FFA (fun fact approach), a new method of teaching through which the teacher gets the students' attention by mentioning trivia about the target language, found on the web rather than in the book. This is particularly effective with language learning, as drawing attention to Latin word roots can, for example, help recognizing linguistic patterns. This technique has many advantages: students use their devices to find information and not just for entertainment; they remember the topic more easily if they can associate it to a fun idea; they put away the textbook, perceived as boring and old-fashioned, however briefly.

Lastly there will be a compendium of ideas related to new language learning technologies, such as blended learning, mind maps, and game websites (Wordwall, Baamboozle). This section will be particularly useful for new teachers looking to combine their teaching method with a communicative approach based on gamification.

Our conclusions in the last section will be devoted to understanding if the ideas presented throughout are sustainable in the long run, evaluating their benefits and how they could be developed in the future.

The goal of this paper is to establish fruitful communication between teachers and students, in an attempt to move in harmony towards the common goal of effective learning, even among the great changes that we have faced in these last years.
Teaching, English, Fun Fact Approach, Technology, Blended Learning.