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Language Centre

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Didactic principles

This is an overview of the didactic principles that the Language Centre uses in its language teaching.

Didactic principles of language teaching

  • Language of instruction = target language: The target language, i.e. the language that the participants want to learn, is used as the language of instruction.
  • Language teaching is as concrete and applicable as possible. In courses for specific groups, the content must dovetail with situations that the participants will face in the new language.
  • Language is a communication instrument. Being able to communicate in the relevant language is what matters most.
  • The aims of language teaching are described in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
  • Pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar are not goals in themselves but are used as tools to enhance the students’ communication skills.

Student

  • The student should be at the centre of the educational process.
  • The student must have an active learning attitude and an active role in the educational process.
  • Students are responsible for their own learning process.
  • Students should reflect on their own learning process, using instruments such as DIALANG, the CEFR, a portfolio or personal learning objectives.

Teacher

  • The teacher must let the students work as actively as possible during contact hours.
  • The teacher must organize the lessons in such a way that the students are given an active role in the educational process.
  • Teachers should use teaching methods that stimulate an active learning attitude in students, for example cooperative learning and peer assessment.
  • The teacher’s use of language must be correct and must match the students’ level.
  • The teacher speaking time amounts to about 30% of the teaching time; students should do the talking during the other 70%.
  • Teachers should make students aware of what learning a language involves: they should help students to reflect on their own learning process and stimulate a critical attitude towards this process.
  • Teachers must enable students to apply what they have learnt in meaningful situations.
  • Teachers should act as sounding boards. They should provide feedback in line with the CEFR, correct students’ questions and remarks by repeating them correctly and ask test questions.
  • Teachers should respond to the diversity within groups (different learning styles, learning objectives, backgrounds).
  • Teachers must have a clear course plan and lesson plan in mind, discuss the importance of the aims and activities with the students and provide regular feedback about this.
  • Teachers must stimulate independent and semi-independent learning, for example by providing advice on language learning outside contact hours, offering extra exercises, giving feedback, providing links to high-quality websites and communicating in the target language even outside contact hours.

Fellow students

  • Fellow students play an active role in the language-learning process.
  • Students and fellow students must take an active role and attitude when using working methods where cooperation is involved, such as peer assessment and cooperative learning, in both online and in-person teaching activities.

Contact time

  • The teacher contact time must be optimally used; lessons will only include activities that actually need a teacher to be present.

Online learning environment

  • The Language Centre offers a broad range of both online and on-location courses. The extensive University online learning environment supports both participants and teachers during our courses and serves as a learning and communication resource.
  • The University online learning environment is not only used in lectures but also in our general group courses and, where possible and desirable, in specific courses.
  • In online teaching, the extensive University range of online tools is also used, whereby principles like collaborative learning and mutual assessment are safeguarded.
Last modified:23 September 2022 10.34 a.m.
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