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Higher Education and Second Language Learning

Promoting Self-Directed Learning in New Technological and Educational Contexts

Edited By Rosario Hernandez and Paul Rankin

This volume explores the challenges involved in facilitating student learning of second languages at university level. Easy access to information and communication technologies inside and outside the classroom, alongside an increasing tendency for students to play an active role in shaping their own learning, are having a significant impact on second language learning and teaching in the twenty-first century. Although several recent publications have focused on technologies in education and student-centred learning, there has been very little previous research into how second languages are learnt within universities. This book aims to support teachers of second languages in higher education by setting out practical ideas that can be implemented in everyday contexts, as well as ensuring that pedagogical practice is underpinned by relevant theoretical frameworks.
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1 The Use of Technology to Promote Critical Thinking and Creativity in Language Learning

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RICHARD BADGER AND GOODITH WHITE

1  The Use of Technology to Promote Critical Thinking and Creativity in Language Learning

Introduction

According to Collard (2012), ‘What the world is looking for now are not job seekers but job creators.’ Twenty-first-century graduates now enter a job market characterized by rapid change in terms of the skills and communicative competencies they will need. One of the signs of that fluidity is the increasing speed of developments in digital devices (Runco 2004: 672). Another is that new graduates now need to be able to communicate globally in a number of languages, and while the use of English as a second language continues to expand, languages such as Mandarin, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish are also growing in importance, and the most employable graduates will be bilingual or multilingual (Graddol 2006: 63). Technology and communication needs are producing new ways of using linguistic resources for global communication (Warshauer 2009); these include Skype, email, the internet and social networking, as well as future developments we cannot yet imagine. These and other factors present universities with new challenges. In the rapidly changing global workplace, they can no longer predict the knowledge which young people will need in order to get jobs. Collard (2012) argues that 60 per cent of the jobs which graduates will do have not been invented yet, that young people will need to create their own jobs, and may have several jobs at the same time. He asks...

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