Four Strands of Core Competencies in the Post-Methods Era

Gio PaniIzzon

Building a strong, well-balanced core is essential to the academic development of learners in the “Post-methods Era.” Many experts agree that pedagogical approaches come and go in a cyclical-fashion, leading teachers to return to the fundamental and traditional approaches of yester-year. It is undeniable that pedagogical advances are occurring, and through this workshop we will look at ways to build a balanced course and curriculum that incorporates modern components that are necessary in achieving success while also incorporating tried-and-true approaches of the past. We will examine how to develop learners’ competencies through the structuring of Paul Nation’s Four Strand Theory of English language learning: meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, language-focused learning and fluency development. The Four Strands will allow us to implement fundamental needs, while also providing a window to integrate Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) topics, providing a strong foundation of knowledge for successful learning outcomes. This structure and design for courses allows us to provide learners with a balanced and focused curriculum, which goes beyond what many courses provide, and to thrive in the “Post-methods Era.” The workshop will focus on integrating content with activities that develop the four strands in learners. It will also show educators the benefits of using CLIL in the classroom in order to provide learners with content which is relatable and of high interest.