In language teaching, teachers have to face different challenges. When it comes to learning languages, students may have gaps in their knowledge hindering their development and improvement in the proficiency of the foreign languages they study.
Below, we include why these gaps occur, what tools can be used to identify them and how they can be avoided or mitigated to help students in their learning progress.
Causes of gaps in language learning
Although there are several reasons that can explain why there are students who, despite studying a second language for several years, do not retain basic things, forget knowledge already acquired, or make the same mistake over and over, there are some common factors that are often observed in students and that, sometimes, are at the root of the problem:
Lack of Personal Motivation
Sometimes, students feel that certain subjects are only an obligation, therefore they do not enjoy the classes and do not think they are interested in them other than to achieve a passing grade.
A methodology based on grammar only
It is common to see methodologies in language teaching that are based mainly on the study and memorization of grammar. These types of classes are usually not very fun for students and they are prone to forget what was learned in previous courses.
Lack of practice to test knowledge
When lessons do not have a practical component, students may feel that it is of no use to them. On the other hand, practice helps retain and strengthen knowledge.
Very few moments of conversation in the language
It is likely that you have met people who have a good ability to understand and express themselves in written English, but who do not perform well in a conversation or have serious problems in expressing themselves in speaking the language.
This is not surprising, since many of the traditional language courses do not include enough speaking activities that help students acquire the necessary fluency to be able to speak a language with confidence.
Identifying knowledge gaps in language learning
Identifying what the weaknesses are is key to encouraging students to continue making progress. One of the biggest concerns in education is discovering which areas students have difficulties in, whether it is listening comprehension and speaking, or in aspects of writing or reading comprehension.
The Dexway language educational platform offers teaching tools that allow students to assess their knowledge and identify their gaps. Both, at the beginning of the course and before starting a new lesson. Thus, it is positive to carry out tests to guarantee that everyone advances having acquired the required skills.
Thanks to the identification of knowledge gaps, teachers can design activities aimed at improving students’ weaknesses. In this way, teachers may detect that their group of students has some common gaps to work together, for instance, gaps in grammar, vocabulary, or lack of concept retention that only affect some students that can be addressed individually.
Avoid knowledge gaps in language learning
Dexway’s language e-learning software is designed to facilitate teaching where students go through lessons without gaps. In fact, it is known that when a student learns a language without gaps, they master it at a theoretical and practical level.
Our LMS platform includes functionalities designed to enhance the teaching activity. Let’s see how it helps to avoid the causes of knowledge gap in students:
Self-study to internalize what has been learned
The structure of the lessons within the platform is designed to seek interactivity. Linguistic immersion is produced through natural and constant progress motivated by the students themselves.
Courses and lessons are intuitive. The objective is that students themselves are the engine of their progress in the language.
You learn to speak a language by speaking
The Dexway method encourages activities where the overriding factor is speaking. The tool itself includes comprehension and speaking exercises. In addition, there are conversation groups between students, where students can talk to each other every day at any time.
Gamification fosters motivation in the classroom
There are many benefits of gamification in learning. One of the most outstanding refers to student motivation. The playful nature of Dexway’s e-learning solutions helps students stay engaged in class.
Knowledge consolidation through practice to gain confidence
Of course, grammar is essential, if students do not strengthen it, it is difficult for them to make progress in writing and speaking. For this reason, with the Dexway methodology, students advance by putting theory into practice through different activities that range from exercises to practice vocabulary, to dialogues or association of images.
On the other hand, the courses are divided into different units: construction of knowledge, reinforcement, and consolidation. These lessons are presented in many different ways with multimedia material for the student to acquire the skills and knowledge in an entertaining way.
A methodology designed so that no one falls behind
The tool incorporates test exercises at the end of each lesson so that both, the student and the teacher make sure that the necessary concepts have been acquired and that they advance to the next topic without any gaps.
The Dexway Method is based on a trial and error structure developed by language learning specialists.
The purpose is to learn in the same way that a native speaker does, through association, repetition, and contextualization.
Languages used in real life
It is important for students to see that what they learn will be useful in real life. To this end, the Dexway method is based on the participation of students in contexts that recreate communication in real situations.
Through the lessons and activities, communication skills and abilities to function not only in general but also in professional situations are covered.
As we have seen, avoiding gaps is one of the common concerns of schools when teaching a language. It is important that teachers help students to consolidate what they have learned and that they can provide an environment that allows a pleasant linguistic immersion.
At Dexway we have been developing e-learning solutions specialized in languages for more than 40 years. If you want to know much more about our tools, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team will be able to advise you so that you can select the solution that best suits your educational institution.