Digital know-how development, the new challenge for language teachers

The possibilities for letting imagination fly and involving creativity in language classes are greater every day.

Today, teaching and learning a new language is not just to attend classes with fellow students and regard the teacher as the holder of information. Language classes have now become small universes, environments of communication and constant change, allowing the development of numerous contents never considered before, largely thanks to the technologies we now have available.

The above is related to two fundamental aspects: on the one hand, the belief that the application of the communicative approach will enable teachers to instill in their students an effective communication of the language – the goal – and, on the other hand, recognize and value the possibilities offered by the new information and communication technologies, known as ICT. Hence, this leads us to believe in the need to develop a new competency in the language teaching staff: digital know-how. Here, it is worth asking yourself: am I a technophile or a technophobe teacher?

One of the characteristics of the ideal language teachers is the use of ICT in their work. This implies involvement in developing their digital proficiency, knowing their way in digital environments, being aware of the need to make the most of the ICTs didactic potential and encourage students to also use them to enhance their learning, and especially, to become autonomous students.

Teachers must have the ability to effectively use the digital resources available in their environment in the development of their work. This requires reflecting on the available or obtainable resources, with a view to utilizing them the best way possible. Teachers using ICT to develop their professional profile read themselves, critically, and contemplate the commitment to improve their digital competence, which requires developing an oddity.

Currently, language teachers must be open to change; the use of ICT to develop language classes allows experimenting with new environments and relying on stimulating resources. In general, they are innovation-sensitive teachers.

Teachers mindful of the use of new technologies in their work, get updates on an ongoing basis, are aware of the speed driving the world of technologies, obtain training through courses specializing in ICT, are part of digital communities, and seek reflection with other colleagues.

The Internet offer goes far beyond social networks. There are applications to record and edit audio and video; platforms enabling the creation of animations; also, there are photography tools, discussion forums, platforms to create video stories, and even, work with avatars.

Selecting, producing, communicating, editing, and sharing in the new didactic-technological environments, leads to a noteworthy production in the L2 classroom. So, understanding digital environments to explore proposals, for example, gamification, storytelling, and transmedia, definitely help make classes more dynamic and promote language production – goal – more naturally and creatively – which says a lot about the teacher who relies on ICT in the classroom. Technophile or technophobe?