Post by Sonia Eusebio . Traducción de Francisco Nogales
We live in a globalised world – in the era of connectivism – where knowledge-based societies and new learning cultures play a major role. What does all of this mean for the concept of education?
- Language learning has become an essential tool towards professional and career development.
- The boundaries of formal education have extended to other areas, such as non-formal education – the knowledge taught by educational centres and similar institutions – and informal education – the knowledge acquired through one’s own experience and interaction with other professionals.
- Learning is a life-long process. Citizens are always on the lookout for courses that will help them develop skills and competencies which, in turn, will provide more job opportunities and possibilities for professional growth.
- Technology, which offers a wide range of tools, has paved the way for new ways of teaching and learning. Students find themselves scattered across the globe, and online teaching platforms offer them new opportunities to develop professionally in a more flexible way.
- The ultimate goal of online teaching is to create communities where the learning is built jointly by teachers and students.
Advocates of andragogy are busy people who have knowledge and learning experience. They certainly know what works best for them and they do not want to waste their time. They are autonomous and practical people who want to enrol in attractive, inspiring and effective distance-learning courses which will allow them to learn at their own pace and without a fixed schedule.
What are the characteristics of these students and what should these language courses be like?
They are defined by…
- Their motivation and thirst for knowledge.
- Their drive and enthusiasm.
- Their experience.
- Their autonomy.
- Their practice-oriented approach.
They are interested in online courses that…
- Offer them materials that are clear and well-organised.
- Are taught by highly-qualified teachers that guide them towards achieving their learning objectives.
- Involve creative activities which boost their capacity to use the target language.
- Offer them interactive dynamics and activities which allow them to discuss and exchange opinions and experiences.
- Respect their own learning styles and let them learn at their own pace.
- Are flexible and dynamic, allowing them to choose a path based on their own needs and interests.
- Are oriented towards real, professional and working lives.
The online Spanish courses Español, Lengua Global have been built upon this learning theory, which is known as andragogy.