BLENDED LEARNING: USING TECHNOLOGY IN AND BEYOND THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM IN VOCATIONAL COURSES

ABSTRACT

This work aims to reflect on the importance of including components of on-line teaching in the professional courses in the area of foreign languages, in Centro de Educação e Desenvolvimento (CED), de Pina Manique of Casa Pia de Lisboa, an institution that promotes social inclusion, support, education and teaching of young people from different cultures, with social, economic, family and emotional problems. Thus, this project work develops, in first place, the theoretical and practical reasons which justify the implementation of language courses for students of vocational education in mixed teaching (b-learning), to optimize learning opportunities, combining instructional goals with e-learning formats. The objective is to check alternatives to provide students of the CED with different ways of learning foreign languages that goes beyond what is set in the curriculum for this area of vocational education, according to their needs, through flexible timetables and the possibility to select their own learning materials. To achieve this goal, it is important that the teachers of the Department of Languages work together, sharing experiences and resources. Two projects are presented in the last chapter, which are currently being implemented at the Centro de Línguas of the CED, in English, using the learning management system Moodle, integrating the information and communication technology (ICT) in language teaching, with teachers and infrastructure support, a place where students have access to technology, which allows them to access courses outside the classroom, including a component of self-study.

The teacher there is the moderator of the interactions, based on collaborative work, by promoting activities that encourage the active participation of students in the construction of knowledge and the establishment of communities of learning. It is therefore useful to their metacognitive habits in order to promote lifelong learning, teach them to learn how to learn, understand the importance of language learning, providing new employment opportunities and mobility as well as facing new business markets.

KEYWORDS: e-Learning, blended learning, Moodle platform, digital tools, learning communities.