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A model for teaching foreign languages in a digital world

Language, communication & technology

Marker Helsinki, Finland
The innovation includes useful tips for teaching languages, with a special emphasis on language education aimed at strengthening students' ability to work in different language environments.

What is it all about?

“We want to develop teaching languages by utilizing educational technology. We have planned language education with teachers of different languages by utilizing the special characteristics of each language.”

Sampo Lokki, Assistant principal, SYK

Language proficiency in communication is increasingly important in a globalizing world. Versatile language proficiency and readiness for different language environments are also required in working life. At the same time language education is becoming more digital.

In the curriculum of basic education, teachers are being encouraged to collaborate extensively with their colleagues. A communicative approach has been brought to the forefront of language education, i.e. the ability to act in an authentic language environment. This is achieved by developing students’ communication skills, among other things.

Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu (SYK) school specializes in teaching foreign languages, such as French, German, Russian and English. The aim is to get children to use languages in innovative ways. Particular attention is paid to how a student can demonstrate their know-how and interests.

This innovation, developed by six foreign language teachers, provides methods and assignments suitable for all languages for other teachers wishing to develop foreign language education.

Read more ›
Intended Outcomes
7 - 16
Age Group
Resources Needed
At least two teachers, time for planning, electronic learning environments or applications.
HundrED Criteria
Language teaching is given a push forward in a more concrete direction by utilizing students’ own lives and interests as a basis for assignments.
Easing the use foreign languages in different contexts.
The model can also be used in municipalities and regions where language teachers don’t have counterparts.

See this innovation in action.


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Have a talk with your colleagues and propose collaboration. Collaboration boosts language education and enables organizing the language events presented in step 5.
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Find and awaken language awareness
It’s important for the teacher to observe the language environment of the school, i.e. the different languages spoken and written at the school.
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Identify students’ skills and appreciate them
Let the students showcase their skills and interests. Trust that the students are competent and support their development.
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Tips for language lessons
Some assignments and evaluation sets that can be used in all languages are listed below. When carrying out assignments electronically, find applications and programs that best suit you and your students (e.g. Book Creator).
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Language event
Multilingual language events are meant to raise language awareness by playing games.
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