Design Thinking: A Catalyst in Language Teaching
Barry Tomalin (UK)
Leading organisations throughout the world including universities and colleges are adopting and teaching design thinking to educational organisers and teacher trainers as a human-centric way of improving products and services. This is particularly important in the teaching of languages for special purposes where students have specific career needs in learning a foreign language but which may not be met by standard curriculum requirements and standard classroom or one-to-one teaching approaches. This presentation followed by Q and A explains the five stages of Design Thinking, and how they work using examples from language teaching around the world, in particular English as an international language of intercultural communication. The five stages are empathy mapping, problem statements, prototypes, testing and production. Going through these five stages and being prepared to review and revise them as you go offers strategies to improve language teaching both in increasing user (ie. student) engagement and stakeholders’ (teachers, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, teaching materials producers and education administrators) satisfaction. Design Thinking can be used as a lifelong learning module for preparing undergraduates for building successful careers or to enable schools and colleges to adapt their approaches and products to improve user and stakeholder satisfaction. It represents a catalyst in the way we think about our language teaching and how we act on what we learn.
Barry is an expert in international communication and intercultural studies with a Masters from Westminster University London and a Diploma in International Education from the Institute of Education, London University and a Dip.TESOL from International House. Barry lectures on Professional Development at Glasgow Caledonian University London and teaches Design Thinking for University of Law Business School. As an international consultant he has worked in over 60 countries and is author of a number of books and articles on intercultural communication and language teaching. Barry is a board member of ICC Languages, Editor of the ICC-Journal and co-organiser of ICC Webinars.