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Scott Thornbury at iELT18: ‘No pain, no gain’ & ‘All work and no play’

Scott Thornbury at iELT18: ‘No pain, no gain’ & ‘All work and no play’

Here’s a look back at the two talks Scott Thornbury gave at InnovateELT in May 2018 about fun in the ELT classroom. We hope they’ll get you thinking about how affective factors impact on learning; give you a sense of how to combine both the serious and the pleasurable and leave you with a more finely-tuned capacity to assess the claims of certain content merchandisers. All the slides are embedded throughout the videos so you won’t miss a thing.

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5 tips for choosing & using video in ELT by ITN Productions

5 tips for choosing & using video in ELT by ITN Productions

During the “Making Effective Use of Video in ELT” pre-conference event at this year’s InnovateELT, ITN Productions shared some practical ideas for creating activities and lesson plans using video which teachers could start using in their classes immediately. This included the five key questions you need to ask when choosing a video for your class. 

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Online tutoring: disruption, risks and opportunities

Online tutoring: disruption, risks and opportunities

The accessibility, individuality and flexibility of online tutoring is pulling more and more language learners away from face-to-face modes of learning. But what does this shift away from the classroom mean for teachers, learners and the ELT industry?

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InnovateEdTech sessions: Harriet Ballantyne & Doug Belshaw

InnovateEdTech sessions: Harriet Ballantyne & Doug Belshaw

Here’s another look at some of the excellent talks from last year’s Innovate EdTech conference. First, we hear from Harriet Ballantyne, who talks about how to manage and develop online communities through learning apps, as well as the importance of gathering feedback from learners and acting on it. Then, Doug Belshaw gives us some great insight into developing digital literacies and shows how we can demonstrate achievement online with Open Badges.

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2Ts in a Pod: InnovateELT podcast

2Ts in a Pod: InnovateELT podcast

2Ts in a Pod is a podcast for English learners and teachers alike with each episode focusing on a different theme. The podcast is hosted by Tim Warre and Katy Wright. Tim and Katy joined us at the InnovateELT conference in Barcelona last month and spoke to a selection of speakers and delegates, including Scott Thornbury and our very own Jo Sayers. Check out the interviews here.

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All we need is fun? A review of InnovateELT 2018

All we need is fun? A review of InnovateELT 2018

When I saw the word “fun” in the title of this year’s Innovate conference, I’ll admit I was skeptical. It reminded me of an article I’d read a few months previously entitled, ‘Millennials Don’t Want Fun; They Want You To Lead Better’, which got me thinking: if we replaced ‘millennials’ with ‘students’ and ‘lead’ with ‘teach’, would that be a fair reflection of the needs of our students today? Moreover, could we extend this viewpoint to incorporate teachers, namely that they also don’t want fun at conferences, and instead want their practices to be challenged?

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Learning, design and sustainable development

Learning, design and sustainable development

“For an activity to be engaging, it needs to be meaningful; for that meaning to endure, it needs to be memorable.”

Zahra Davidson and her work with Enrol Yourself is challenging our vision of lifelong learning. This award-winning social enterprise has been exploring the potential of peer groups to maximise individual and collective progress. Zahra shared her thoughts on the future of learning and assessment at the IATEFL event ELTjam co-organised with Cambridge Assessment English.

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Big data, trust and the future of language assessment

Big data, trust and the future of language assessment

“Educators and examiners perform an array of functions that, as far as I’m concerned, make them irreplaceable.”

During the recent IATEFL conference in Brighton, ELTjam and Cambridge Assessment English hosted a series of talks exploring the future of learning and assessment. Below is the transcript of the talk given by Pamela Baxter, the Director of Cambridge Exams Publishing.

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Do students really want fun in the classroom?

Do students really want fun in the classroom?

“By ELT emphasising fun I think it undermines our professionalism and distorts the image of what language learning and teaching should look like.”

This is the transcript of my plenary ‘Do students really want fun in the ELT classroom?’, that I gave on Saturday 12th May 2018 at InnovateELT.

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InnovateEdTech sessions: Ed Jones & Caroline Thiriau

InnovateEdTech sessions: Ed Jones & Caroline Thiriau

There were a number of fascinating and insightful workshops during last year’s Innovate EdTech conference. Here are two of the many excellent sessions that were recorded during the event.

In the first presentation by Ed Jones of Cambridge Assessment English you’ll get a peek into the intriguing world of User Experience (UX) and see how it impacts reading comprehension. Caroline Thiriau from Cambridge University Press gives a publisher’s perspective and explains how data analysis can enrich our understanding of online learning.

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VUI: the dawn of voice

VUI: the dawn of voice

“Hey, Alexa. What is VUI?”

The concept of a voice user interface isn’t new. Phone operators have been infuriating their customers with it for decades already. But, with the advent of smart virtual assistants, powered by artificial intelligence, VUI is fast becoming the next big tech disruption. The prediction that 50% of all internet searches will be voice searches by 2020, is just one indication of its potential impact.

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What is Learner Experience Design?

What is Learner Experience Design?

We introduced the concept of Learner Experience Design (LXD) within ELT back in 2016. Since then, we’ve continued to develop it, and it now forms the bedrock of most of the work we do with our clients in the design and development of learning products. At our recent InnovateEdTech conference in London, we took the opportunity to ask some of the delegates and speakers what Learner Experience Design means to them. Here, we share some of their fascinating responses – both from within ELT and beyond.

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