Cultural literacy and language Skills in the 21 Century

How teachers help their students acquire these skills?


Pat Lo, Susan Rui


New York State Asian Languages Bilingual/ESL Technical Assistance Center


Learning other languages and understanding the culture of the people who speak them is a 21 century skill that is vital for success in the global environment in which our students will live and work. Nowadays, language learning is more purposeful; students learn to use the language. Language teaching is focused on communication of three modes: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Language learning becomes an interdisciplinary experience for the students, which incorporate global awareness, civic literacy, health literacy etc. in thematic units. Language learning is also a process to foster studentsĺ skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and innovation. In the 21 century, our life is deeply changed with new technology. Media, information and technology skills can be enhanced in language learning.

Besides the mastery of content and pedagogue, teachers of 21st century should become culturally competent in order to teach Chinese to students from different language and cultural backgrounds. This workshop will discuss cultural literacy and cultural competency as well as the skills of 21st century with the Chinese language teachers.