Learning of English as a Foreign Language and Gifted and Talented Students: The Role of ICT in Educational Innovation

Learning of English as a Foreign Language and Gifted and Talented Students: The Role of ICT in Educational Innovation

Mª del Carmen Trillo-Luque, María Josefa Vilches-Vilela, Belén Quintero-Ordoñez, Fernando Fuentes-Gómez, María Sánchez Dauder
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2588-3.ch011
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The current outlook regarding the provision of educational services for students with high intellectual abilities has changed significantly in Spain. This has led to a greater visibility of these students in the educational environment and a greater awareness on the part of teachers of their existence. According to the literature, it is evident that this group of students needs curricular proposals that are coherent with their pace of learning. In this regard, a proposal is presented based on the results obtained in an ad hoc questionnaire on the perception that parents (N=45) have of the English as a second language (ESL) education received by their children. Initial indications reveal the need to promote the implementation of less traditional methodologies in the classroom that are more appropriate to the characteristics of high ability students. The use of Lesson Plan by SymbalooEDU, gamification, and m-learning with Escape Room are proposed as a teaching alternative.
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The need to offer students with high intellectual abilities an educational response which is better adjusted to their characteristics and needs is a prevailing social reality, given their visibility in the classroom, in which a greater presence and recognition by teachers has been observed. This increasingly evident reality implies an educational demand that has to be met and a significant challenge for the school as a key element in the teaching-learning process that has to respond to these demands. Gifted and talented students need flexible curricular proposals that are motivating and appropriate to their interests, needs and pace of learning. According to the personal experience of the authors of this chapter and their extensive experience close to families of children with high intellectual abilities, it is evident that many children show great interest in their knowledge and learning of a second language (L2), such as English, from an early age. This may be derived from informal contact with an L2 from a very young age, possibly before their non-gifted and talented peers. This approach to a foreign language can mean that, at the beginning of its formal learning, it becomes routine. It should be noted that there are authors who express the impact of early learning of a L2 in later learning (Huertas, 2015, 2016) and in the promotion of language acquisition skills (Halliwell, as cited in Okan & Ispinar, 2009). It is therefore possible that, when they enter the educational environment, they have achieved a level of linguistic competence for the foreign language (L2) which causes a motivational decrease in terms of their learning in the classroom. The literature shows that these students, faced with routine educational proposals, tend to show boredom in the school environment (Wallace, 1988). Thus, the learning of a second language for gifted and talented students becomes a repetition of unattractive and flexible knowledge and/or resources that, consequently, cause a loss of interest for these students. This lack of interest in learning an L2 can also lead to poor competency achievement in the classroom and, therefore, poor performance in this area.

In this sense, it is important to emphasize that the Spanish education system advocates the active use of innovative methodological proposals, consistent with the characteristics and educational needs of students as seen in the Organic Law 8/2013 of December 9th for the improvement of educational quality (LOMCE, 2013) and Decree 97/2015 of March 3rd, which establishes the organization and curriculum of Primary Education in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. However, with regard to students with high intellectual abilities, even when a change is observed in the actions implemented in the classroom, these actions are inadequate, leading to a high probability of school failure (Garcia, 2014). For this reason, the chapter aims to provide a flexible and motivating proposal that promotes the interest of these students, while facilitating the teaching of a second language from an inclusive education perspective. The cornerstone of this proposal is the incorporation and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which promote interactive learning (Abakumova, Bakaeva, Grishina & Dyakova, 2019) and facilitate the use of attractive and innovative methodologies in the classroom. In this respect, Cabero (2015) suggests the inclusion of current student-centered models and, in order to promote more autonomous and collaborative learning among students, Trillo, Vilches and Muñoz (2017) have observed the need to use more modern approaches, such as the Flipped Classroom in the face of new social and educational demands for the teaching of a foreign language. This is especially important when on the basis of Galindo's conclusions (2018), it can be seen that this approach and its application is scarcely used for the teaching of a second language in relation to gifted and talented students in Spain. Contributions in this sense derive from Fernández & Barreira (2016), with their focus on Early Childhood education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Escape Room: Games based on live action teams where players discover clues, solve puzzles and perform tasks in one or more rooms in order to escape from them in a limited amount of time.

TPACK Model: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) which is achieved through the interrelating of Technological-Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) and Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). It requires that teachers be trained in this arena to achieve the interrelation of the three types of knowledge of which the model is comprised.

BreakOut: Escape Room modality that consists of opening a locked chest or a closed box with coded locks in which a prize is found.

Gamification: Implementation of game elements in non-ludic or non-play contexts.

Flipped Classroom: An alternative approach or pedagogical model to the traditional one (instructional, routine and memory-based) which is centered on the student, who inverts the teaching procedures given in the classroom and completes them outside school hours in order to focus in the classroom on more specific, active and enriching tasks that promote other processes, thus allowing it to be combined with inclusive methodologies and educational technology.

High Intellectual Capacity Individual: A person with high potential who may possess, according to his or her profile, one or several talents, which imply a series of differentiating characteristics that affect the way of acquiring and developing his or her teaching-learning process. He or she requires specific educational attention that uses innovative and emerging methodologies combined with educational technology for an enriched, flexible and multidisciplinary curriculum.

CLIL Methodology: Simultaneous teaching of subjects from the curriculum with non-linguistic content that considers the foreign language as a working language for the presentation of culture and for the construction of new knowledge.

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