Global Trends in World Languages Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century
Chicago State University
The field of world languages is one of the most exciting and promising fields in the 21st century. World languages have one of the most important roles in terms of equipping people from different cultures and backgrounds with the skills to communicate in everyday life, but it is also a field that allows ideas to circulate, a conduit for exchange and collaboration around science, technology, the environment, politics, and diplomacy, just to name a few. In a world where communication and collaboration across different fields and cultures is vital, new methodologies for teaching and learning world languages have arisen. We do not ask students “what do you know about the language?”, but rather “what can you do with the language?” and how can you function appropriately in specific cultural contexts demonstrating cross-cultural competence? The presentation will start by highlighting what many educational and professional organizations view as the top 21st Century Skills essential for success in today’s world. These include an array of applied skills, cross-curricular and interdisciplinary skills, transferable and soft skills, in particular. We will then look at how the world languages classroom (including English as a world language/EWL) can address these skills in innovative ways.
Keywords: world languages teaching twenty-first century skills interdisciplinary studies
applied languages EWL (English as a World Language)