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.

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.

SOLE – does it work with adult language learners?

SOLE – does it work with adult language learners?

When Sugatra Mitra introduced the ELT world to his concept of the SOLE (self-organised learning environment) at IATEFL 2014, half of the audience stood up and walked out while the other half were still in the auditorium giving him a standing ovation. It was an engaging and thought-provoking talk which was followed by many blog posts and tweets accusing Mitra of having a neo-liberal agenda, of being an idealist and not an educator and anti-teacher. Intrigued, Varinder Unlu, Director of Studies at International House London, decided to actually try it out with adult learners and see what the results were.

Shaping targets in language learning

Shaping targets in language learning

Most teachers, linguists, and polyglots will have been asked the same question many times: “What’s the best way to learn a language?” Answers and debate often start flowing without a full understanding of the question, which is actually much more complex than it seems at first glance.

What is the best way to learn a language? Typical answers usually involve the names of common or popular resources: Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, Memrise, or even our own Linguisticator. Other common answers include taking traditional classes or moving to another country. These are non-answers, because all beg a very important question and assume we all know and agree on what it means to learn a language.

Guest post from Aaron Ralby of online language learning provider, Linguisticator.