Transforming teaching and learning for the 21st Century

21st century skills-how competent are your students?

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competenciesI read an interesting article recently on about lesson plans and what to include 12 tiny tips for writing lesson plans. It made me reflect upon my own lesson planning and gave me an idea for this and subsequent posts. It was interesting to see the inclusion of tip 8 “developing the whole child”.  In Spain, where I teach EFL in a secondary school, the recently amended education law (LOMCE) defines the following 7 Key Competencies to be be developed, based on a European Commission document on 21st century competencies:

  • Linguistic competence
  • Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology
  • Digital competence
  • Learning to learn
  • Social and civic competencies
  • Initiative and entrepreneurship
  • Cultural awareness and expression

The integration of these key competencies into the curriculum sees the focus on holistic learning and the practical application of acquired knowledge.  Faced with more, and new challenges in an increasingly global and modern world, educators are focusing on the skills necessary in the 21st century to lead a successful life, and to be able to contribute to a well functioning society.

The Spanish curriculum states that all subject areas should contribute to the development of as many key competencies as possible, although, some competencies will be more relevant than others to specific areas of study.  The most obvious competence related to the teaching of EFL is Linguistic Competence, however, other competencies can be clearly developed through the teaching of English.

In no particular order, over the next few weeks (or months!?) my aim is to put together a collection of activities I have used to facilitate the development of each key competence related to EFL.  Although my point of reference is the Spanish curriculum, these key competencies relate directly to the much talked about 21st century skills (The Glossary of Education Reform) life skills or soft skills. The activities, I hope therefore, will be of use to fellow English teachers around the world.

My first post deals with digital competence, for no other reason than that I enjoy using new technologies in the classroom to enhance the teaching and learning process.  Interested in how you can help your students develop this competence?  Read my post Developing digital competence. Look out for further posts related to the other key competencies, coming soon…

Check out some great resources for teaching life skills from Macmillan

To what extent do these competencies/skills play a part in your teaching context?


Author: lisajwood

I am an English language coach and Neurolanguage Coach® I current teach adolescents and adults. My areas of interest include brain-friendly learning, flipped learning, student-centred learning and promoting lifelong learning skills. I am also a keen advocate of using new technologies to facilitate the learning process.

One thought on “21st century skills-how competent are your students?

  1. Pingback: Developing digital competence | ACEnglishteacher

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