TESOL in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

by Zübeyde Sinem Genc (Volume editor) Işıl Günseli Kaçar (Volume editor)
©2020 Edited Collection 594 Pages


In the 21st century, there is a great need to rigorously examine "old" issues through newer perspectives and to put forth contemporary ones for thorough and proper consideration. With the widespread use of English in diverse contexts, the accumulation of knowledge and the innovations in all fields of study as well as the changes in every step of life around the world, things got more complicated and, at times, it has become harder for English language scholars and practitioners to find their ways. The book is an attempt to address the affordances and caveats regarding TESOL-related issues in the 21st century. The aim of the volume is to provide a comprehensive picture of the TESOL-focused research on an international level by shedding light onto the status of TESOL in the 21st century with the challenges and opportunities. The volume is intended to address the state-of-the-art TESOL-related issues for prospective and in-service teachers, language teacher educators, course developers and researchers.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Redefining English Language Teaching and Teacher Education (Zübeyde Sinem GENÇ & Işıl Günseli KAÇAR)
  • I. Language Skills and Assessment
  • Language Learning with the 21st Century Skills (Ipek MENEVİŞ & Nazan DOĞRUER & Ramadan EYYAM)
  • An Overview of Grammar Instruction in the English Language Classroom in the 21st Century (Jimalee SOWELL)
  • Teaching Grammar to 21st Century Students: Choosing the Relevant Approach (Svetlana BOGOLEPOVA & Paulina KOCHINA)
  • The Ugly Duckling of English Language Teaching: Grammar (Gizem AKÇOR & Merve SAVAŞÇI)
  • The Changing Status of English Pronunciation Instruction with Reference to Pronunciation Teachers: Insights from Turkey (Hasan SAĞLAMEL)
  • The Difficulties Caused by the Schwa Phoneme of English Language to Turks (Mehmet DEMIREZEN)
  • Teaching EFL Speaking through the Lenses of Teacher Educators, In-Service and Pre-Service Teachers (Gökhan ÖZTÜRK & Elçin ÖLMEZER-ÖZTÜRK)
  • Timed Reading in EFL Classes: Learners’ Perceptions, Reading Speed and Comprehension (Zübeyde Sinem GENÇ & Kıymet Selin ARMAĞAN)
  • Translation Concordancing and Vocabulary Development (Elif TOKDEMIR DEMIREL)
  • Teaching Medical Terminology to Speakers of English as a Foreign Language (Aynur ISMAYILLI-KARAKOç)
  • Formative Assessment: A Classroom Teachers’ Guide (Christina L. KITSON)
  • II. Technology in Language Classrooms
  • Technology for TESOL in the 21st Century: Transforming Teachers’ Classroom Practice (Azlin Zaiti ZAINAL)
  • A Digest of Web Tools Used in Language Teaching Today (Cemile DOĞAN & Seher BALBAY)
  • Integrating Technology for Reading and Writing in the EFL/ESL Classroom (Philip McCARTHY, Kristen HIGHLAND & Khawlah AHMED)
  • Prospective Turkish EFL Teachers’ and K-12 Students’ Perspectives on the Flipped Classroom (Işıl Günseli KAÇAR)
  • Using Email-Based Voice Record Conversations to Improve the Speaking Skills of EFL Learners (Mehmet Emre ALTINBAŞ & Gölge SEFEROĞLU)
  • III. Professional Development for Teachers
  • Research Literacy: Resources for English Language Teaching Professionals (Christine COOMBE & Lana HIASAT)
  • An Innovative Model of Motivation and Belief System: Attribution Retraining and Vision Training (Sibel ÇAĞATAY & İsmail Hakkı ERTEN)
  • Turkish EFL Teachers’ Perceptions and Practices of Creative Pedagogy in Young Learner Classes: A Case Study (Gökçe KURT)
  • English Language Teaching Professionals’ Grip of Post-Modern Language Teaching (Muhammed Fatih GÖKMEN & Mehmet TAKKAÇ)
  • Games in Teacher Education to Develop an Awareness of Language Growth (Shannon M. HILLIKER, Chesla Ann LENKAITIS & Marisol MARCIN)
  • Professional Development: In-Service English Language Teachers’ Perceptions and Activities (Ali KARAKAŞ & Zeynep YÜCEDAĞ)
  • Contributors

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Zübeyde Sinem Genç & Işıl Günseli Kaçar

Redefining English Language Teaching and Teacher Education

With the advent of the 21st century, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) has taken a new turn. In this epoch, learners and teachers have started to take on different roles. In addition, the approaches, methods and techniques adopted in teaching and learning languages and language skills have been revisited and revised in line with the changing needs of the diverse learner profiles in diverse learning environments. The professional development has also been acknowledged as an important goal for the prospective and in-service teachers in this era. Communication, collaboration, technology, critical thinking and creativity are depicted as 21st century skills and integrated into the current TESOL methodology in various ways.

As stated by Genç (2018: 7), “Foreign language teaching is a centuries-old field that has attracted scholars and practitioners working in various fields from linguistics, psychology, sociology, education, technology, anthropology, neurology, and etc. Reciprocally, the field of foreign language teaching has been affected by all these disciplines, and naturally has undergone a lot of major changes with fads and trends coming and going. Inevitably, teaching English language as a foreign language has got its share, which has prime importance when we think about the status of English language in the world today. In the 21st century, there is a great need to rigorously examine “old” issues through newer perspectives and to put forth contemporary ones for thorough and proper consideration. With the widespread use of English in diverse contexts, the accumulation of knowledge and the innovations in all fields of study as well as the changes in every step of life around the world, things got more complicated and, at times, it has become harder for English language scholars and practitioners to find their ways”.

In fact, this book is an attempt to address the affordances and caveats regarding TESOL-related issues in the 21st century. The aim of the volume is to provide a comprehensive picture of the TESOL-focused research on an international level by shedding light on the status of TESOL in the 21st century with the challenges and opportunities. The volume is intended to address the state-of-the-art TESOL-related issues for prospective and in-service teachers, language teacher educators, course developers and researchers. In this regard, it is an attempt to bridge the long-standing gap between the theory and practice ←11 | 12→in TESOL as it incorporates both current theoretical and practical concerns in TESOL.

The edited volume is composed of three parts. Starting with a profile of 21st century learner, the first part highlights a new perspective on teaching language skills. The second part sheds light on the impact of technology integration on TESOL in the 21st century. The last part is devoted to various aspects of professional development for prospective and in-service TESOL teachers in the 21st century.

The first part features eleven chapters and focuses on learner profile, teaching language skills and assessment. Following this introductory chapter, Meneviş, Doğruer and Eyyam provide information about 21st century skills, the importance of schools and language learning. The main focus is on language learners and the skills they need to be successful in this era. Because information changes so rapidly in today’s world, they emphasize the point that the traditional education methods and approaches are not enough for the young generation to get prepared for their future careers and personal lives. In Chapter 3, Sowell provides an overview of grammar instruction in the English language classrooms. She argues that it is important to understand the history of the field for effective grammar teaching in the 21st century. The author further argues that there are no universal absolutes for grammar teaching: choices for instruction should fit the context in which they are carried out. Chapters 4 and 5 also focus on teaching grammar. In Chapter 4, Bogolepova and Kochina examine the effectiveness of opposing positions towards grammar instruction, namely, the view advocating focus on forms, and grammar acquisition through completion of meaningful tasks. In Chapter 5, Akçor and Savaşçı discuss the misconceptions and alternative conceptions about teaching grammar by focusing on how to teach grammar effectively as well as how not to teach grammar. The authors provide some effective grammar teaching strategies and example tasks in the light of recent SLA theory and research. Chapters 6 and 7 move from grammar to an exploration of issues related to teaching pronunciation. In Chapter 6, Sağlamel looks into the recent global developments and the growing role of English as a lingua franca that caused many countries reconsider their commitment to English language teaching. The author argues that the shift from a native speaker-focused orientation to non-native speakers as the agents of the English language has inevitably made teachers, textbook writers, and material developers question the pronunciation models and come up with workable solutions. In Chapter 7, Demirezen provides a comprehensive theoretical background on pronunciation and investigates how and why the schwa phoneme happens to be a perception and recognition obstacle for Turks as a specific pronunciation problem. ←12 | 13→In Chapter 8, Öztürk and Ölmezer-Öztürk explore the perspectives of teacher educators, in-service teachers, and pre-service teachers on teaching speaking in classrooms. The authors report on the different priorities for each group. In the light of their findings and considering the current trends, the authors offer suggestions for teachers and other practitioners to be used as effective strategies in teaching speaking skill. In Chapter 9, Genç and Armağan investigate the effects of timed reading intervention on the reading speed and comprehension level of EFL learners, in addition to the learners’ perceptions about the benefits and problems experienced during the intervention. Based on the findings of their study and related literature, they provide a number of implications for reading instruction. In Chapter 10, Tokdemir Demirel explores the benefit of translation for vocabulary development in a foreign language and the benefits of using concordancing for initial terminology extraction for a source text to be translated. A detailed analysis of the translation processes of the EFL students reveals that the students developed a positive attitude towards using concordancing as an aid for translation because concordancing speeds up the process of terminology exploration. In Chapter 11, Ismayilli Karakoç looks at a problematic issue in vocabulary teaching for EFL learners and discusses the effects of various authentic techniques for teaching medical terminology. Based on the results of a qualitative-based methodology comprising teacher’s observations and students’ reflections, the author suggests that medical terminology courses can be introduced at the preparatory levels before students enroll in mainstream courses at tertiary level. Finally, in the last chapter in the first part of the book, Kitson covers the important issue of formative assessment in TESOL. In the chapter, Kitson provides an overview of the topic to help teachers understand the process and purpose of formative assessment. The overview may also assist teachers in creating their own tools and materials. The author emphasizes that formative assessment is a process that uses the results of a measure or assessment to improve teaching and enhances students learning opportunities. The chapter ends with descriptions of possible formative assessment procedures for EFL teachers.

The second part of the book features five chapters and focuses on the integration of technology in language classrooms. In Chapter 13, Zainal outlines the key skills language learners need in the 21st century and provides guidelines to language practitioners on how to implement technology to enhance these skills. After a thorough review of the relevant literature on technology in the context of language teaching and learning, the authors provide practical pedagogical strategies for ESOL classrooms in order to transform teaching procedures to meet the needs of 21st century learners. In Chapter 14, Doğan and Balbay introduce Web 2.0 technology tools that can be incorporated into language classrooms ←13 | 14→depending on teachers’ contextual needs. Various tools, including Google applications, are illustrated in relation to their possible practical applications and integration in the procedures of teaching foreign languages. In Chapter 15, McCarthy, Highland and Ahmed examine digital technologies in the 21st century. The chapter includes discussions on such technologies as Learning Management Systems (LMS), platforms, cloud spaces, and applications, in addition to a thorough analysis of new and developing technologies such as automated peer reviewing. The authors focus particularly on reading and writing skills but also discuss the role of the teacher and student in incorporating and utilizing the resources now available, emphasizing the point that technology is best when it assists teachers, rather than replaces them. In Chapter 16, Kaçar investigates K-12 EFL students’ and pre-service teachers’ perceptions of flipped grammar learning and teaching experiences from the socioconstructive perspective in terms of cognitive, affective and behavioral dimensions. The chapter contributes to the literature by introducing an innovative blended approach to TESOL in the 21st century, the flipped classroom model, and by revealing the perspectives of students and prospective teachers regarding this approach. The author found that both parties held favorable perceptions regarding the flipped classroom model but encountered certain pedagogical and technological challenges. In addition, the author reports that the flipped classroom was shown to promote K-12 students’ classroom engagement and prospective teachers’ professional development. In Chapter 17, Altınbaş and Seferoğlu explore the effects of these conversations on the development of speaking skills. By involving EFL learners in extra-curricular speaking activities through email-based voice records on a regular basis, the authors discovered the positive role of these conversations in overcoming the lack of speaking practice, developing fluency, accuracy, pronunciation, overcoming potential anxiety problems and the limitation of time restrictions.

The third part of the book features six chapters and is devoted to professional development. Each chapter in this section addresses a different aspect of professional development related to TESOL in 21st century. These issues are as follows: research literacy, games in teacher education, in-service English language teachers’ perceptions and activities, and English language teaching professionals’ perspectives on the post-method pedagogy. In Chapter 18, Coombe and Hiasat highlight the lack of research literacy among English language teachers worldwide as a major concern in 21st century English language teaching. The authors discuss the main obstacles hindering language teachers’ research engagement and emphasize the importance of research literacy for English teachers. Coombe and Hiasat then go on to propose a research ←14 | 15→competency framework to promote research literacy among teachers. Having specified the key competencies for English language teachers to be regarded as research literate, the authors provide clear and detailed guidelines for teachers to enhance their level of research literacy. These guidelines include participating in graduate and post-graduate programs, training within the workplace, taking online courses, reading books on research, reading research journals, attending workshops and talks on research or research-related topics at conferences, attending specialized research conferences and joining research associations and/or organizations. The authors also inform the audience of the research literacy resources developed as part of an ongoing Research Literacy Resources project at an UAE-based university and provides a classroom activities e-book on helping instructors teach research skills. In Chapter 19, Çağatay and Erten cover Attribution Retraining (AR), which has been proposed to convert learners’ maladaptive causal attributions into adaptive ones making them more motivated to put in future effort for themselves. Referring to the model of Haynes, Perry, Stupnisky, and Daniels (2009), the authors designed a new AR treatment model embodying the current motivational dynamics and implemented it in the language-learning field. The authors’ findings yield positive changes in maladaptive attributions and they achieved the promotion of ideal L2 self. The chapter provides insights into how 21st century skills can be integrated into an innovative motivational implementation, which can be easily used by language instructors or incorporated into syllabi by the program developers. In Chapter 20, Kurt addresses the theme of creativity, which is regarded as a fundamental skill for the 21st century TESOL pedagogy for young learners in the Turkish context. Adopting the theoretical framework of creative pedagogy, the author explored Turkish EFL teachers’ perceptions and practices of creative teaching, teaching for creativity and creative learning. The chapter provides valuable insights into how to promote creativity in young learners’ classes. The findings of the study indicated that TESOL teachers of young learners considered it impractical to implement creativity because of certain factors such as overloaded curriculum, classroom management issues and students’ poor performance in creative behavior. The chapter points out the link between creative learning and student autonomy. It is argued that teacher flexibility, students’ willingness to learn and peer collaboration among teachers are likely to facilitate creativity while unfavorable classroom dynamics, the pressure to cover the course content, the physical setting in the classroom and the parents’ attitudes inhibit it. The chapter also contributes to the relatively scarce literature in the field of creative pedagogy and brings new understandings on Turkish teachers’ perceptions and experiences of creative teaching, teaching ←15 | 16→for creativity and creative learning in EFL context. In Chapter 21, Gökmen and Takkaç address a state-of-the-art issue in TESOL in the 21st century, the post-method pedagogy. The chapter is concerned with the exploration of the ELT professionals’ views regarding prospective and practicing EFL teachers’ and a teacher educator’s views on the post-method pedagogy at a state university in the Turkish context. The findings of the study indicated that prospective teachers tended to be non-cognizant of the post-method framework perceptions regarding the post-method pedagogy because of the widely-established transmission-oriented teaching model adopted at the tertiary level. The teacher educator in the study pointed out certain context-deterrent factors that prevent the implementation of the post-method pedagogy such as national educational constraints, teachers’ learners’ and administrators’ hallmarks, physical conditions and the socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-political particularities. The in-service teachers in the study were found to be subconsciously practicing most of the post-method principles or frameworks. Their classroom practices showed familiarity with the post-method pedagogy principles and frameworks to a certain extent. They seemed to have adopted an eclectic approach in their classes by taking into account the contextual and institutional constraints in their teaching contexts. The chapter emphasizes the need for ELT professionals to reconceptualize the conventional method concept in the face of the philosophical and pedagogical shift from methods to methodology and from the top-down to the bottom-up approach in TESOL in the 21st century. In Chapter 22, Hilliker, Lenkaitis and Marcin address the salience of games in teacher education as a way to raise the language awareness of the graduate students in a K-12 TESOL teacher preparation program. In the study, which adopts the Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning framework, the researchers explored the pedagogical opportunities for TESOL teachers in a K-12 teacher preparation program, the utilization of games to promote lesson planning for the language classroom, and how the ESL teachers in a teacher preparation program reflect and conceptualize ideas for their own classrooms. The study emphasizes the authentic opportunities games provide for K-12 teacher candidates to bridge the gap between theory and practice. It reveals that the authentic experience enables them to test their own pedagogic theories and promote students’ academic achievement. In the final Chapter, Karakaş and Yücedağ explore English teachers’ professional development perceptions and activities in the Turkish K-12 context. The authors reveal that teachers’ perceptions of professional development as an ongoing process to be promoted in line with their teaching experience. They displayed the major impediments affecting the effectiveness of their professional development activity ←16 | 17→engagement such as restricted time allocation, excessive teaching load, limited funding opportunities, lack of self-motivation, and lack of support from the administrative units. The researchers pointed out no perceived challenges related to teachers’ subject-matter knowledge, theoretical basis and English language skills. They emphasized that the teachers’ challenges mainly centered on the external factors that they can exercise very little control over. Their engagement in professional development activities helped language teachers become more qualified and effective, boosting their self-confidence, motivation and job satisfaction. The researchers pointed out the importance of considering the contextual factors in the investigation of the perceptions and practices of in service TESOL teachers. They also underscored the responsibility of teacher education programs to raise prospective language teachers’ awareness about professional development. The chapter also included valuable suggestions for the EFL teachers regarding their own professional development pursuits and for the teacher education curriculum developers regarding planning and implementation of the professional development programs in line with the needs and demands of teachers.


Genç, Z. S. (2018). Introduction. In Z. S. Genç (Ed.), Updating perspectives on English language teaching and teacher education, 7–12. Berlin: Peter Lang.

Haynes, T.L., Perry, R.P., Stupnisky, R.H., & Daniels, L.M. (2009). A Review of Attributional Retraining treatments: Fostering engagement and persistence in vulnerable college students, in J. Smart (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of theory and research, 24, 229–275, The Netherlands: Springer Publishers.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

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Ipek Meneviş & Nazan Doğruer & Ramadan Eyyam

Language Learning with the 21st Century Skills

Abstract: As information changes rapidly in today’s world, traditional education methods and approaches are not enough for younger generation to prepared for their future careers and personal lives. For their future lives which are full of obscurity, young people need to be well equipped with the necessary skills. In traditional education subject-specific content is the main focus and students are expected to memorize the given information. On the other hand, in the 21st century education has diversified its focus and it more student-centered. In today’s world students are expected to be more active to find their own way. It is believed that today’s world is full of vagueness and in order to deal with these obscurities students need to be equipped with the necessary skills to be able to compete and survive. These skills are known as the 21st Century Skills in other words, the 7 Cs; critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity, career and learning self-reliance, computer and ICT fluency, and cross-cultural understanding. This chapter aims to provide information about the 21st century skills, especially the importance of schools and language learning in the 21st century with the main focus on language learners and the skills they need to be successful in this era.

Keywords: 21st Century Skills, education, future life and career, language learner.

1 Introduction

In today’s world which is the globalized society of the future (Halvorsen, 2018) everything changes so rapidly that the information or knowledge given at schools is not enough for future careers or personal lives. While preparing the new generation for their future lives, it is important to keep in mind that future is full of obscurity for them and they need to be equipped with the necessary skills to be able to compete and survive in this obscure world (Halvorsen, 2018). Such skills in the 21st century have clearly been defined by a group called Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) as the 21st Century Skills (Rotherdam and Willingham, 2010). Nowadays all information is accessible to students. Only knowing the information is not enough, however; making use of it is also a necessity. Processing information requires learners with a specific type of profile who can successfully utilize the 21st century skills. That is why Driscoll (2018) declares that education in the 21st century aims to provide students with these skills for their success.

When students graduate and start their professional lives, the education they have receive until that day becomes meaningless if they are not well ←21 | 22→equipped and ready for the increasingly international marketplace (Allen and Van der Velden, 2012). Since the world has become a global village, graduates need to have skills such as global awareness, financial, economic, business and entrepreneurship literacy as well as other basic skills like communication, collaboration, organizing and analyzing information, having up-to-date information and making crucial decisions (Mishra and Kereluik, 2011; Kaufman, 2013). Consequently, P21 aims to have 21st century students “become effective citizens, workers and leaders; learn what they need to join 21st century communities and workplaces; thrive in learning environments aligned with the real world” (Magner, 2019, p. 5). This is emphasized in Richard Riley’s famous quote that “We are currently preparing students for jobs and technologies that don’t yet exist… in order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet” (Trilling and Fadel, 2009, p. 3). Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to provide information about the 21st century skills, which is a timely topic and becoming more trendy in EFL research, the importance of schools and language learning in the 21st century with the main focus on language learners and the skills they need to be successful in this era.

2 Skills Needed in the 21st Century

Students of the new era need different skills from previous generations, which can be described in terms of four of the 7Cs in and these can be mentioned as the 21st century skills: communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation, and critical thinking and problem solving (Kivunja, 2014). There also are many more skills needed to be able to survive in today’s world, which include global awareness, practicality, analytical thinking, teamwork, flexibility, learning independently, knowledge management skills, digital skills, civic literacy, health literacy, environmental literacy, and financial, economic, business and entrepreneurship literacy (Mishra and Kereluik, 2011; Kaufman, 2013). For instance, students are obliged to cultivate civic literacy (i.e. to have the knowledge and skills necessary for active involvement in civic life), which is a newly required talent about being informed and understanding governmental issues and procedures as well as, the rights and necessities of being a citizen in a society and globally.

In order to conceptualize a framework for the 21st century learning and 21st century skills a number of business leaders, educators (and consultants) and politicians formed the national organization called P21 in the USA in 2002 (Rotherdam and Willingham, 2010). The goal of this organization is enabling students “to become effective citizens, workers and leaders, to learn what they ←22 | 23→need to join 21st century communities and workplaces, and to thrive in learning environments aligned with the real world” (Magner, 2019, p. 5).

Silva (2009) defines 21st Century Skills as the skills to be able to “find and analyze information from multiple sources and use this information to make decisions and create new ideas” (p. 631) and she emphasizes that 21st century skills which are also called skills for success (Tooley and Bornfreund, 2014) are not new but they are newly important skills. Johnson and Reed (2008) support this notion by stating that “Historically, this need for learning and innovation skills can be traced back to Socrates and the Sophists, who were ‘the first professional teachers’ ” (p. 23). Even though the term 21st Century Skills has been defined by many individuals, there has not been a clear consensus on which skills are specifically included so the interpretation may vary from one place to another, which leads to ambiguity and discrepancy (Glossary of Education Reform, 2014). The only agreed point is that these skills are referred to as achieving 21st century learning through digital age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication, and high productivity (Larson and Miller, 2011).

In the past, since the only purpose of schools was to educate students, education was mainly based on the notion of 3Rs which are the skills of Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic within the core subjects; the teaching model was based on teacher-centredness focusing on rote-learning, memorization, and assessment with tests and quizzes (Alismail and McGuire, 2015). These were called 3Rs because of the strong R sound at the beginning of each word in the phrase. Since From the 17th century until recently these skills were considered essential and sufficient for learners’ higher education and career lives. In today’s world, however, these are only considered the core skills of elementary education, in other words, the prerequisite of future career skills (Kivunja, 2015). Today the focus is on developing the 21st century skills to combine education and contributing to society (Kaufman, 2013). In other words, nowadays the emphasis of education has shifted from 3Rs to 21st Century Skills (Trilling and Fadel, 2009) in order to provide students with the academic knowledge and skills they will need in their future careers (Lombardi, 2007). The integration of such skills into the curriculum also provides students the opportunity to communicate and share information, organize and express their ideas and work with others collaboratively (Paige, 2009; Robin, 2008). Therefore, embedding the 3Rs with in 21st Century Skills (particularly with 4 Cs) makes today’s teaching and learning more meaningful, relevant and engaging (Mishra and Kereluik, 2011).

The students of today’s world are considered technologically savvy and the most visually sophisticated (Stamats, 2008) as they are supported with the ←23 | 24→framework of the 21st Century (Battelle for Kids, 2019). Eleven competencies are categorized under three headings with a support system that includes four elements, which is shown in Fig. 1 below:

Fig. 1: The Framework of the 21st Century Skills

The Key Subjects shown in figure Figure 1 are referred to as the core subject knowledge related to learning. The 3Rs mean reading, writing and arithmetic; the 21st Century Themes consist of Global Awareness, Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurship Literacy, Civic Literacy, Health Literacy and Environmental Literacy (Battelle for Kids, 2019). What is meant by Global Awareness is learners’ knowledge of global issues and suggestions to global problems, that is, being able to understand diversity and learn more about different cultures. Making personal decisions on appropriate economic choices, understanding the importance of economy in a society and enhancing productivity in a career with the help of entrepreneurial skills are all involved in Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurship Literacy. Being able to make changes in a society by having knowledge and understanding of the civic life of the community is the meaning of Civic Literacy. The meaning of Health Literacy can be explained as being able to understand and process basic healthcare information to make appropriate health-related decisions and follow the instructions needed for treatment. Last but not least, Environmental Literacy can be defined as being able to understand, interpret and synthesize information on the living environment, both the society students live in and ←24 | 25→the landscape their country is placed on. The traditional schools focus on both learning subject areas like maths, language, arts, social sciences and so on and their assessment with tests at the end of units. The 21st Century Skills framework, however, emphasize both the subject areas and modern content themes in line with the interdisciplinary 21st Century themes (Pacific Policy Research Center, 2010).

Life and Career Skills mainly focus on creating lifelong learners who are successful outside school too. These skills help students “manage and organize their efforts, coordinate and organize relevant and important information and serve in the development of end products (tangible and intangible) in the pursuit of the resolution of specific solutions to relevant problems” (Mishra and Kereluik, 2011, p. 11).

a)Flexibility and Adaptability,

b)Initiative and Self-Direction,

c)Social and Cross-Cultural Skills,

d)Productivity and Accountability, and

e)Leadership and Responsibility.

Learning and Innovation Skills mainly focus on developing, implementing and communicating ideas and demonstrating the originality and creativity (Tech4Learning, 2019).

a)Critical Thinking and Problem Solving,

b)Creativity and Innovation, and

c)Communication and Collaboration.

Information, Media and Technology Skills which also are called be stated as digital literacy (Mishra and Kereluik, 2011) are used to describe the knowledge and skills needed to handle the enormous power of digital technologies to think, learn, create, communicate and collaborate (Trilling and Fadel, 2009).

a)Information Literacy,


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2021 (July)
professional development for teachers teaching English as a foreign language language teacher education 21st century skills technology in language teaching
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 594 pp., 43 fig. b/w, 45 tables.

Biographical notes

Zübeyde Sinem Genc (Volume editor) Işıl Günseli Kaçar (Volume editor)

Zübeyde Sinem Genç is a full Professor at the Department of English Language Teaching at Bursa Uludag University in Turkey. Her professional interests include pre- and in-service foreign language teacher education, theory and practice in language teaching methodology, second language acquisition, and technology in language teaching and learning. She directed research projects, and published articles at international journals. She has a number of book chapters and an edited book published by international publishing houses. She is currently the Head of the Department of Foreign Languages Education at Bursa Uludag University. Is¸ıl Günseli Kaçar is an English instructor at the Department of English Language Teaching at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She is interested in pre-service language teacher education, pre-service teacher identity, English as a Lingua Franca, flipped instruction, mentoring, the integration of technologies into English language teaching, telecollaboration, and teaching writing. She worked as a tutor at the Academic Writing Center of METU previously. She is currently coordinating national and international research projects on flipped learning, pre-service teacher education and e-mentoring.


Title: TESOL in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities
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596 pages