Mainstream Education Follows English Language Teaching

This year, my university ran a staff development day for all lecturers, in which a visiting consultant spoke at length about student engagement. The talk was useful for colleagues and particularly galvanising for our English Language Teaching team, as the alternative teaching methods reflected ELT techniques, almost entirely.

Low Teacher Talk Time? Check.

Pair and Group discussions? Check.

Varied activities as in-session objectives? Yep.

Student-centered approaches? That one too.

Task Based Learning? Absolutely.

‘Flipped’ classrooms? You get the idea.

The fact of the matter is that ELT, free from the constraints of national curricula of mainstream education, is very experimental. As a result, it seems that methods derived from ELT are at the forefront of teaching methodology. This has been further emphasised in the national news, where the BBC have questioned the efficacy of traditional lectures as a format for teaching and learning. In the article, many of the above methods are mentioned alongside online learning, another massive growth area in English Language Teaching that has been around much longer than MOOCs.