It is acknowledged that real world language in context represents a challenging and productive technique in order to enable students to develop their skills. The double linguistic input of text and dialogue exposes students to a wide variety of forms and registers and builds their language awareness. They engage students to develop their study and learning techniques. That is why, teachers should connect the online/offline world language classrooms with the real world. How can we do it successfully?
“LANGUAGE permits its users to pay attention to things, persons and events, even when the things and persons are absent, and the events are not taking place. Language gives definition to our memories and, by translating experiences into symbols, converts the immediacy of craving or abhorrence, or hatred or love, into fixed principles of feeling and conduct.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
Firstly, the usage of descriptive or informative texts on topics of interests to students is essential. But the most challenging thing to do is making decisions in terms of choosing adequate materials to attract students’ attention. As far as I am concerned, I constantly research on the topic of the lessons and select appropriate texts that are both relevant and in accordance with the level of the students.
Secondly, dialogues are also effective since they present the structures and lexis which enable students to practise communicative functions using their own ideas. Representing real-life speeches, teaching culture in different social situations and leading to improved conversation abilities speak for the necessity of introducing dialogue in our real/ virtual classrooms.
From another perspective, English teachers have a unique opportunity to improve their students’ language skills through CULTURE, CLIL and LITERATURE. With regard to culture, we should be aware of its importance in shaping one’s personality due to the simple fact that culture represents the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Additionally, the benefits of CLIL (content and language Integrated Learning) may be seen in terms of cultural awareness, internationalization, language competence, preparation for both study and working life, and increased motivation. Finally, the texts enable students to acquire a knowledge of literature through the English language. Consequently, the usage of prose, poetry and drama are meant to familiarise students with literary genres.
REAL FACT. In 2020 I have learned that remote teaching is vital. Consequently, I had to adjust to the NEW US in order to face the NEW REALITY. Going through different educational scenarious, being part of a variety of webinars and conferences, identifying the best methods and techniques for my students, working mainly with GSuite platform, accessing: Kahoot, Google classroom, padlet, quizizz, mentimeter, vacaroo, etc., as well as teaching Shakespeare’s Sonnets or Maya Angelou’s phenomenal poetry online proved to be the ingredients of my professional development.
To an ending note, the exposure to the language of the real world can motivate both students to become effective communicators and teachers to enhance their role in making the best decisions in engaging students through real world language, especially in the current Covid-19 pandemic period. After all, we guide students for making their own decisions in connection with their future employment in this progressively globalized world.