Academic Research – Developing 21st Century Skills Through Theme-Based Instruction and by Applying Multiple Intelligence Theory: Teacher Competencies (Not published yet)

Hello, my dear colleagues!

I will shortly present the research I recently conducted with my colleague Nevena M. It was presented at the Faculty of Education in Jagodina, Serbia, at an international conference –Professional Competences for Teaching in the 21st Century.

Main topic:

Teaching young learners English following the CLIL methodology – a presentation about theme-based instruction, 21st-century skills and why is it important to integrate content into language learning in the critical age of development and cross-curricular teaching. Along with a theme-based unit which will be analyzed and used as a practical example for the CLIL methodology.



Our research framework:



The paper provides a methodological overview of the framework, which aims to establish the language of instruction from first to fourth grade, as well as to improve the current pedagogical practice in teaching foreign languages in general. During the planning of theme-based teaching units, in correlation with the content of other subjects, an innovative English teacher should aim to develop the 21st-century skills and try to select the resources for the class by applying Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Besides the proposal of the framework with concrete aims and principles, interactive methods for teaching, such as the use of digital technologies and project work, are presented in the paper as well.

21st Century skills are essential when it comes to education for sustainable development and lifelong learning. In this paper, they appear as the development of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory is the basis for the use of a variety of teaching resources. Such diverse means mentioned in the activities have application not only in learning the language but also in the development of hearing, gross and fine motor skills and acquiring knowledge from different fields. The aims of using Gardner’s theory and development of 21st-century skills are connected, represent an inseparable unity and complement each other.

The activities of theme-based teaching units are described and analyzed through the main principles of the framework. Each activity develops a certain skill of a young speaker of a foreign language, taking into account the integration with the rest of the curriculum, the development of communication and learning autonomy. The paper concludes that this versatile approach continues to influence the development of teachers almost as much as it affects the child’s development and development of language. Through innovative curricula, teachers indirectly and unobtrusively apply for a self-directed professional development program, precisely through improving the practice itself. The work motivates foreign language teachers to cooperate with colleagues from other areas to create a thematic based curriculum and integrate higher education.

Here are the screenshots of the presentation from the conference we used while presenting our research.

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What do you think about Theme-based Instruction? Which methodological theory do you use the most while developing your lessons? What are the most important 21st-century skills (according to you)? Drop me a message in the comments or via the contact page.

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