the future of English language teaching

More than 150 teachers, education policy-makers and language specialists recently attended Regent’s University London’s ‘The Future of English Language Teaching’ conference.

Held in partnership with Trinity College London, the event addressed the most pressing topics for English language teaching, ranging from multilingualism and the globalisation of English, through to using drama to help children become more effective learners.

A prominent topic was the rapid growth in teaching using the medium of English overseas, along with increasing demands for training programmes to equip teachers with the necessary skills, methodologies and language needed to deliver integrated learning.

Julian Kenny, Associate Director of Regent’s Institute of Languages and Culture, explained:

“Our delegates included representatives from teaching centres, the British Council, publishers and exam boards across the UK, as well as education specialists from France, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Indonesia and beyond.

“There is clearly a growing demand for English teaching internationally, and debate addressed the skills-gap in teacher training and standards.

“One of the ways Regent’s is seeking to address this challenge is to implement a new, fully-blended MA Teaching & Learning programme in association with our partner institutions abroad.

“This will be a practical and flexible course, with modules including: Developing Approaches to Learning & Teaching; Assessment & Testing, Research Based Professional Development – all linked to the realities facing teachers in our partner institutions.”

Regent’s is currently negotiating its first MA Teaching & Learning programme with a partner in Pakistan, adds Mr Kenny, who believes innovation and reflection are key to the successful growth of English teaching globally.

“As well as faculty flying to Pakistan to deliver week-long intensive teaching blocks, our staff will also champion technology offering feedback to students via video blog, using short clips of their lessons so they can examine how learners respond.

“While Regent’s remains fully committed to face-to-face teaching at our central London campus, the advantages of taking the fully-blended route with our MA Teaching & Learning is that teachers can remain in employment, and apply their learning in the classroom.

“We believe this type of approach should be followed by all UK universities operating teaching programmes overseas to support English teachers working at kindergarten, A-Level and university levels.”