A lot of teachers talk about "21st century skills" and "The 4 Cs" – but what are they, and why are they important?

These are the skills students need for great futures.

  • Critical thinking:

    A lot of schools and teachers want to bring critical thinking into their teaching. How do you do this?

  • Communication:

    What do students need in order to really communicate and express themselves?

  • Creativity:

    What kinds of projects would make your parents, students, and teachers proud? How do you encourage creativity?

  • Collaboration:

    Would you like support in managing pair work and group work in your classroom?

You can access a variety of resources designed to support you with each of these “4 Cs” below.

For more details and lots of ideas on how to implement 21st century skills in your classroom, login to or register for the Oxford Teacher’s Club.


What are 21st century skills?

Watch our full selection of teaching 21st century skills videos through the Oxford Teacher’s Club

Blog posts

Read our blog posts for more practical tips for your English Language classroom from the Oxford Discover authors

5 Ways to Prepare Your Students for the 21st Century

Oxford Discover author and English language teacher Charles Vilina provides some great tips on why 21st century skills are important, and how to incorporate them into your classroom teaching.

Critical Thinking in your lessons – It’s easier than you think!

Oxford Discover author and English language teacher Charles Vilina talks about critical thinking skills and how you can bring critical thinking into your lessons.

Creativity in the young learner classroom

Charles Vilina and Kathleen Kampa, co-authors of Oxford Discover, share teaching ideas on an important 21st century skill: creativity.

Using discussion posters and… an elephant’s foot

Kenna Bourke, co-author of Oxford Discover, explores the benefits of using discussion posters with young children to aid learning, cognitive skills, and vocabulary development.

Getting Young Learners to Write

Charles Vilina shares some tips on helping young learners to write well in English.

Don’t gobblefunk around with words!

Kenna Bourke looks at three reasons why reading makes students better writers.

Bring on Utopia! Make us all equal! How mixed ability plagues my life…

Kenna Bourke offers some practical tips for making the most of your mixed ability classroom.

Managing the Perfect Classroom

Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina share some classroom management tips.

Mimosa’s report card – strengthening the school-home connection

Kenna Bourke gives some creative ideas for using technology to help parents support their children’s learning.

Engaging Young Learners Through CLIL

Charles Vilina offers some practical tips on making the most of CLIL in the young learner classroom.



How to use Creativity in the Classroom

Oxford Discover authors Charles Vilina and Kathleen Kampa deliver this webinar on creativity. Creativity is an important part of 21st Century Skills and inquiry-based learning. Creative children grow up to be creative adults and learn how to be leaders and innovators.

Login to or register for the Oxford Teacher’s Club to access the webinar archive.

Discover the course for 21st century children

Oxford Discover 1 Student's Book Cover

Find out more

Watch Oxford Discover authors teaching sample lessons from the course

Why are 21st century skills important?

Here’s what some of our competition entrants thought

“The acquisition of skills that are important not only during the language class, but also in life.”

— Norma Patricia Marcial Covarrubias, Mexico (Competition winner)

“Creative thinking can really change the world around us”

— Paul Keyworth, US (Competition winner)

“Teaching critical thinking, collaboration and creativity effectively in the classroom is vital for students.”

— özlem akin, Turkey

“Children's spontaneity, creativity, insatiable curiosity and acuteness are an everyday delight and challenge”

— Lorena Amador Aguilar, Mexico

“Language teaching is the best place to bring in creativity.”

— Rachana Sivadasan, United Arab Emirates

“Critical thinking is important because students can make learning meaningful, they can relate new concepts to their everyday life.”

— Alejandra Borja, Mexico

“Encourage an inquisitive learning environment which promotes creativity through asking off-the-wall and complex questions about what, why, who, where, how and why”

— Paul Keyworth, US (Competition winner)

“Learning them leads students to develop other skills, such as a higher level of concentration, deeper analytical abilities, and improved thought processing.”

— özlem akin, Turkey

“To succeed in life and work today`s students should master new skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, an ability to communicate and efficiently collaborate, to be creative.”

— Elena Mishatkina, Russia

“Bringing students to discover this world”

— Juan Xiu Lai, Taiwan