The article describes the prevalence of digital content such as videos and podcasts that are accessible and cover a wide range of topics creating new and exciting opportunities to master essential skills in a way that leads to success and achievement. The most effective way to implement a curriculum to develop these skills is to stop using traditional teaching style and to activate different forms of intelligence and learning styles through a dynamic approach that activates the unique skills, abilities, and interests of individual students.
Keywords: dynamic approach, traditional learning, digital content, standardized tests, rote memorization, argumentative abilities, cognitive and analytical skills.
Traditionally established curricula for international students often do not take full advantage of the many advantages that technology offers, both academically and in terms of student engagement. International students from a wide variety of countries want to develop skills to express themselves in their specific areas of expertise and interests, but most approaches fail to achieve this.
Currently, mastering these skills can be challenging for students, immigrants, newcomers, and learners of English as a second language, especially given the rigid and standardized nature of most typical methodologies. Indeed, there is a monopolistic business-oriented model that dominates the standardized testing industry in Uzbekistan and abroad, resulting in a sterile and inhumane learning environment that can create obstacles, especially for abstract and creative thinkers, many of whom show no interest or are driven solely by weak extrinsic motivation based on a single superficial goal of passing the exam. In fact, extrinsic motivation was classified as aggressive and the opposite of creativity, critical thinking, and valuable learning. Kohn states [2, p 127] «It's also pretty clear that intrinsic motivation is more desirable and stronger in the long run. No external motivation for something can compensate for the lack of genuine enthusiasm».
Unfortunately, modern methods related to teaching basic academic skills can be too standardized, inappropriate, and uninteresting for students; this can not only intimidate, but also tire students, many of whom cannot fully realize their potential in language acquisition due to discomfort with archaic pedagogy. It has also been argued that standardized testing and teaching methods fail to objectively assess the vast reserves of intelligence and creativity that students are capable of, thereby depriving them of their full potential. Kohn states [2, 97], «Standardized tests cannot measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, goodwill, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable qualities and attributes. What they can measure and count are isolated skills, specific facts and functions, the least interesting and least meaningful aspects of learning».
Standardized testing is more ubiquitous than ever before, and its detrimental effects on students and the education system as a whole are widespread. Standardized testing has bloated and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point where it now threatens to engulf our schools entirely. Of course, on the late, late show, no one ever insists that the monster is actually doing us a favor by making its victims more responsible. In real life, many people should be convinced that these tests do not provide an objective assessment of learning or a useful incentive to improve teaching, that they are not only unnecessary, but also extremely dangerous.
Indeed, the standardized testing model is corporate and capitalist in design, often focusing primarily on profit-driven motivations rather than on a reliable and objective assessment of student performance. Of course, this may not be fair to students who do not have the financial resources to afford a quality education and are therefore deprived of its potential benefits. In addition, there is a growing field of research in educational psychology concerning the negative effects of test anxiety.
Similarly, the central English teaching methods used in foreign countries are based on rote memorization and lack authentic and realistic content, resulting in high levels of anxiety and low levels of motivation. For example, studies have shown that Chinese students often do not distinguish between memorization and comprehension in the context of traditional pedagogical approaches in their home country, which rely heavily on repetition, audio-language exercises, and grammar instruction. As a result, they show a higher level of anxiety about individual self-expression; they are often too shy and reluctant to participate in internationalized learning activities due to a lack of self-confidence about the natural use of English. Clearly, curricula that are constrained by this outdated, over-structured, and inauthentic approach tend to increase the pressure and emotional filter of international students, leading to increased anxiety and reduced intrinsic motivation to learn and succeed.
Moreover, in many academic programs, students are not encouraged to think critically or question the status quo. In some cases, ethnocentric assumptions and stereotypes are not questioned. This has been the subject of considerable debate in the education system, especially in the context of diverse and multicultural classes, in addition to internationalized education.
Indeed, many of the teaching methods and materials used are outdated, inappropriate, and uninteresting for intellectually stimulated students in our modern, globalized society. Obviously, a new approach is needed these days. Outdated and overly structured pedagogical approaches have many negative consequences for students and the education system as a whole. For example, humanizing pedagogical research has shown that students in different classes are not valued for their own identity, opinions, and culture, but instead are subjected to a universal approach that alienates the entire population. The enormous potential for creativity, individuality, and multiple intelligence of students is largely overlooked in these suffocating constraints. Moreover, the tendency to follow curricula based on outdated methodologies and standardization has led to inversely proportional high levels of anxiety and low levels of intrinsic motivation or genuine passion. Conversely, extrinsic motivation or a relatively superficial incentive to learn solely to achieve a specific goal, such as passing a test, can lead to a low level of interest and significance in the student. Consequently, students can easily fall into a state of apathy or complete abandonment, never reaching their full potential, not because of their own failure, but because of the poor design and uninspiring nature of the curriculum itself. Obviously, this problem requires careful consideration, attention and innovative solutions for the future.
In order to reflect the innovation of the movement towards the internationalization of education, progress must be made on new teaching methods that are fresh and effective. By using different multimedia materials strategically in the curriculum, different goals can be achieved to improve the effectiveness of lessons; students will be able to create natural language in a modern, realistic and engaging way, they will be able to develop and hone their academic skills in a worry-free environment, and as a result, self-confidence and motivation will increase due to their intrinsic interest in the material.
According to the theory of communicative language learning, meaningful and authentic language use will promote a higher level of intrinsic motivation and genuine interest, thereby increasing real skills in mastering a second language. There are different characteristics of teaching a communicative language [3, p 20]:
– Instructions should be based on communicative competence, and not just focus on grammatical or linguistic competence;
– Language learners' attempts to communicate with each other are encouraged during the learning period through negotiation and interaction;
– Educational materials are determined by their content, function and meaning;
– Communication, meaningfulness and contextualization are three basic principles that are inextricably intertwined;
– Teaching methods should support the interests of language learners.
The general idea of the theory is to help language learners speak the target language reliably.
Innovative models need to be developed and implemented to provide a more holistic approach to education that is more flexible, relevant, and empowering to the modern learner. The widespread and monopolistic nature of standardized testing had a detrimental effect not only on students, but also on teaching methods that tended to become harsh and inhumane. This approach has been criticized as not necessarily the most accurate measure of students «cognitive and analytical skills, especially because it may not take into account students» unique characteristics, beliefs, opinions, and intelligence.
At its core, Internet-based digital content is virtually limitless, and hence the ability to instantly discover new information is endless. Consequently, students have the opportunity to be more competent in any learning environment, as well as to reflect and find new information for themselves. In fact, the scope of what can be learned is not limited to the curriculum or a specific teacher. «I don't want my son to be limited to learning only what his teacher already knows!» John Couch, vice president of education at Apple, Inc., said in a statement. In other words, innovative, flexible, and adaptable approaches to learning can lead to higher levels of meaning, meaning, and empowerment .
In other words, analytical thinking, creativity, and innovation are essential skills that can be presented in a realistic, authentic, and relevant way for success in the context of an ever-changing society and the rapid technological development of the modern world. Modern students should have the ability to think logically and critically as individuals, as well as to understand and be able to synthesize different points of view. Moreover, Bartolome supports this idea by explaining how strategic teaching methods can empower students by enabling them to express themselves effectively, as well as providing context for developing essential skills such as forecasting, hypothesis generation, generalization, and teamwork [1, 175].
Indeed, outdated pedagogical methods and approaches are no longer relevant or effective for achieving these goals in modern information, some characteristics of effective teaching methods are described below, ideal for the modern era and in the future education should move to teaching that develops higher-order abilities, including the following:
– Skills should be constantly developed and improved in the process of achieving personally significant goals;
– Logical thinking and problem solving must be applied daily to achieve real results;
– The high quality of real knowledge must be constantly demonstrated;
– Intuition and creativity are valued and explored as a way of life;
– Flexibility and adaptability are practiced and considered necessary.
In particular, the obsession with rote memorization of facts for tests is superficial and largely ineffective. Instead, learning that is more dynamic and student-centered inherently has a more «natural flow» for the modern learner.
- Bartolome, L. Beyond the methods fetish: Toward a humanizing pedagogy. -Harvard Educational Review, 1994. -173–195p.
- Kohn, A. The case against standardized testing: Raising the scores, ruining the schools. -Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000.-97–158p.
- Langacker, Ronald W. A dynamic usage-based model. In Michael Barlow and Suzanne Kemmer.-Palo Alto, CA: CSLI, 2000. -1–63p.
- Nguyen, Hong T. P. A dynamic usage-based approach to second language teaching. Groningen: University of Groningen dissertation, 2013.