Robert McLarty140-character bio

Teacher, teacher-trainer, DOS, principal in Hastings, Paris, Oxford. Author and publisher with OUP. Now Head of Professional Development.

1. What do you do?

I publish content which allows teachers to find out more about the theories of learning and how they can be practically applied with learners.

2. Why do you do it?

The growth of the need for English is relentless. The quality of teaching needs to grow at a similar rate. That’s a huge challenge.

3. What’s the most interesting thing happening in ELT right now?

The education pie is being divided up differently. Publishers are offering extra services, schools and teachers are starting to publish.

4. What do you think the developments in EdTech mean for learners of English?

More accessibility, more mobility, more opportunities outside classroom.

5. What do you think the developments in EdTech mean for teachers?

Good teacher + good tools = great lesson. Average teacher + great tools = average lesson.

6. What does EdTech mean for publishers?

Fabulous opportunity particularly in ELT. Books by their very nature are finite. Course content has to be more flexible to suit learners.

7. Gamification: a fad or the future?

You cannot deny the English language exposure benefits of “Call of Duty”. Nor the competitive nature which so often suits learners.

8. How will mobile learning transform ELT?

Switching off phones becomes dated. Reference and all content in one place. “Practise anywhere” good for listening and vocabulary.

9. What next for online learning?

Who knows which way it will go? 25 years ago we felt teaching on the telephone was wrong. Overexposure to screens is a risk. Dull exercises is a danger.

10. How will ELT be different 5 years from now?

More customized courses, individual pathways. Genuine blended learning. Keep the classroom for activities where teacher is vital.

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