PROMOTING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES TEACHERS IN ICT IN RUSSIA
Lomonosov Moscow State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
ICT integration into teaching and training context is one of the pivotal trends of modernization of Higher Education System in Russian Federation. Nowadays language teachers today need to be not only computer literate but to have professional confidence to use ICT technologies and resources adequately and methodologically correctly.
It is obvious that any ICT professional development course has to: be based on international and national framework and standards of ICT competence structure and the new National Curriculum of Higher Education introduced recently; be in the hands of subject specialists rather than ICT specialists otherwise the training would be too generic, too technical, and would not take into account FLT (Foreign Language Teaching) specializations; be practically oriented; help teachers create their own social networking system or virtual teaching environment (LMS, blogs, podcasts, bookmarking services, etc.); provide professional interaction and support to teachers who have taken this course, to help them continually improve the skills acquired, and learn new ones, as life-long learning.
This presentation is oriented to analyze the results of a research review on standards and structure of ICT competence of language teachers designed by both Russian and foreign recognized bodies and specialists as well as the ways of estimation of ICT competence. Before embarking on designing and delivering any training ICT course it is necessary to give a very comprehensive overview of the theoretical principles and methodology and to single out the levels of ICT Competence in FLT.
The presenter shares strategies and experience that she, as a tutor and as an author, uses in an online professional development course "ICT Integration into Language Classroom" which is taught at a large Russian University for teachers who would like to acquire the necessary knowledge and IT skills to effectively blend ICT with their traditional face-to-face courses, to build critical awareness of both online resources and educational software, to learn how to use Web 2.0 tools, to develop an awareness of how to continue their own professional development in this area, etc.
The course which is run online in Moodle is structured around weekly deadlines, trainees are in constant contact with the course colleagues and tutors. It consists of 10 modules, is delivered entirely online over 10 weeks, with total of 100 hours work for participants. The course was first launched in September 2011, all in all 65 teachers from Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian schools and colleges completed it so the presentation reports on difficulties encountered in running this course and on strategies to overcome these challenges. It also provides additional quantitative and qualitative results based on the participants' reflections and feedback.