NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED540739
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
Teaching Other Languages. Educational Practices Series-20
Bernhardt, Elizabeth B.
UNESCO International Bureau of Education
Being able to use other languages is an essential tool for the modern world. While the image of the world as "a global village" is indeed popular, it does not always correspond to reality. A village would tend to be relatively homogeneous in terms of culture and language. Surely, this monocultural, monolingual picture does not reflect the complexities, the complications and the richness of the modern world. Mass communication has brought all peoples into closer contact, but it has not eliminated the need to be able to talk to others in their language and on their cultural terms. Modern views on language teaching reflect this situation. The old notions of language as a school subject that had to be taught by a teacher and tested by an examination are no longer true. The current view puts cultural practice and cultural values squarely in the middle of language teaching by focusing on the individual's interest in using another language and its potential as a tool. While language teaching in earlier times emphasized grammatical form and accuracy of spelling and pronunciation, a newer view places the emphasis on what learners can accomplish with the language they are learning. One cannot think about modern life and learning without acknowledging the impact of technology. The first resources for language teachers remain books, pens, pencils and paper, but digital technologies, if available, increase the materials available in a way that teachers from the past could never have imagined. Technology allows teachers to acquire an almost infinite array of audio- and video-based materials that enable learners to see and hear a wide variety of speakers of a language in action. On a final and critical note, technology plays an equally important role in the professional life of each teacher. Given that most language teachers across the globe are not teaching their primary language, but a language that they too have learned, technology enables teachers to maintain contact with the language and culture that they are teaching.
UNESCO International Bureau of Education. C.P. 199, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland. Tel: +41-22-917-78-00; Fax: +41-22-917-78-01; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Bureau of Education (IBE) (Switzerland); International Academy of Education (Belguim)