ELT and the Crisis in Education
Sunday 7 November 2010
by Nik Peachey
In this first blog posting I’d like us to look at some of the major issues that are affecting education at this time and try to examine them in relation to English language teaching and how they may affect it.
One of the reasons I want to start this series by looking at the broader field of education and the changes taking place is that over the years it has been a source of annoyance to me that English language teaching or EFL, ESL has so often been seen as a kind of ‘poor relation’ within the field of education.
English language teachers, particularly native speaker ones who have graduated, as I did, through the kind of 1 month certificate course followed perhaps by a diploma course some years later are very often not viewed as ‘proper teachers’ within the education establishment. I often feel this is very unfair particularly as English language teaching has in so many ways long been ahead of many other teaching disciplines, both in terms of its awareness of learner centred pedagogical approaches and its, at times, obsessive need to continuously reflect and reevaluate and invent itself.
However, more recently I’ve started to feel a reversal of this trend, as many educational institutions, particularly in developed countries, start to face up to what is being described as a crisis in education. At the same time I’m starting to experience a sense that English language teaching is perhaps becoming more conservative as language schools, language departments, ELT publishers and language teachers themselves seem to want to ignore the huge changes that are taking place, in order to hang on to the established practices and patterns of working that they are comfortable with.
Before I go on to point to some of the information sources that have stimulated my thinking about the way education is changing and how that should impact on English language teaching, I would like you to have a look at this questionnaire.
It’s a social questionnaire, so by answering the questions in it you will be able to compare your answer with other people who have read this post and answered it (all responses are anonymous and you don’t need to register). If you register you can also add questions to the questionnaire.
I’d also like to leave you with a few questions to comment on:
1. What do you feel are the major challenges facing ELT?
2. How have things changed within your teaching context over the last five years?
3. Can we change the way we train new teachers to help them cope with what’s being described as the new ‘digital native’ students they need to teach?
I look forward to your comments and questions.
To read the second part of this posting go to: ELT and the Crisis in Education – Part 2
Delta Development Blog
This blog will be updated at least once a week, so add it to your bookmarks. You can also subscribe to the feed to be notified when it's updated.
Meet the Bloggers
- Bob Dignen & Steve Flinders (February to April 2013)
- Hania Kryszewska & Paul Davis (April to June 2012)
- Louis Rogers (January to March 2012)
- Ken Paterson (December 2011 to February 2012)
- Richard Brown & Lewis Richards (September to November 2011)
- Liz Walter & Kate Woodford (September to October 2011)
- Kyle Mawer & Graham Stanley (April to August 2011)
- Nik Peachey (from November 2010)
- Nicky Hockly (September & October 2010)
- Julie Pratten (July & August 2010)
- Gill Johnson (April 2010)
- Chaz Pugliese (March 2010)
- Luke Meddings (August 2009)
- Lindsay Clandfield (July 2009)
- Duncan Foord (June 2009)
- Scott Thornbury (May 2009)
The Developing Teacher
The Developing Teacher has been awarded the 2009 Duke of Edinburgh/ESU Award for Best Entry for Teachers. The Developing Teacher suggests that teachers themselves are the most powerful agents of change and development in their own professional career.
Teaching Unplugged was awarded the British Council 2010 ELTons UK Award for Innovation. Teaching Unplugged is the first book to deal comprehensively with the approach in English Language Teaching known as Dogme ELT.
The Company Words Keep
Part of the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series. The Company Words Keep is a practical and thought-provoking guide for language teachers, showing how the latest insights into “language chunks” can lead to learners acquiring natural and fluent English.
Teaching Online is essential reading for any teacher interested in online teaching and course delivery. It deals comprehensively with both the tools and the techniques necessary for online language instruction.
Culture in our Classrooms
Part of the Delta Teacher Development Series. Culture in our Classrooms acknowledges the role of culture in the English Language Teaching classroom and provides lesson content which is relevant, useful and engaging for students.
The Business English Teacher
From the multi-award-winning DELTA TEACHER DEVELOPMENT SERIES. The Business English Teacher is a book not only for teachers who are thinking of making a career move into the field of business English teaching but also for those who would like to increase their skills and develop their potential.
The Book of Pronunciation
Part of the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series. The Book of Pronunciation is a definitive account of the key role pronunciation plays in teaching and learning, providing a highly authoritative but hugely accessible overview of the essential elements of English pronunciation as well as a wide range of classroom practice.
Part of the Delta Teacher Development Series. Being Creative takes you on a journey that reveals how all teachers have the potential to become creative. Whether you are experienced or new to the classroom, Being Creative allows your teaching to take flight.
DIGITAL PLAY - 2012 ELTONS WINNER IN INNOVATION IN TEACHER RESOURCES! Digital Play is a pioneering book on the use of computer games in language teaching. Authors Kyle and Graham are experts in teaching with technology and training teachers in innovative classroom practice.
11 Feb 16
8 Jan 16
2 Jul 15
16 Jun 15
2 Jun 15
29 Apr 15
10 Apr 15
8 Apr 15
1 Apr 15
13 Mar 15
13 Feb 15
30 Jan 15
16 Jan 15
11 Dec 14
27 Nov 14