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ELT experts discuss future trends and challenges in language education
From 3-5 July 2017, Cambridge University Press’s ELT team hosted an exclusive three-day Better Learning conference for leading experts in the world of education.
Over 100 delegates from over 35 different countries across the world attended the event at Churchill College in Cambridge. The Press’s Language Research and Teacher Development team designed an event to support educational leaders and help build stronger results both inside and outside the classroom.
Andy Buck, founder of Leadership Matters and #honk, kicked off the conference with the opening talk. He showed, giving real classroom examples and reciting Shakespeare, the power of language in leadership. Ana Halbach delivered a session on adopting a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach in foreign language teaching and the Press’s Claire Dembry and Leslie Hendra delivered a talk on creating a speaking environment in which learners can thrive. In the afternoon Vic Richardson, Director of Academic Development for Embassy English, spoke about how ELT teachers can develop to deliver stronger results for their students.
The second day of the Conference was packed full of talks and activities. Some of the highlights included Zoltan Dornyei’s talk on how to engage learners. He brought with him the latest academic thinking on the subject and talked about his ‘formula’ for engagement in the classroom. The Press’s ELT Marketing Research Director Jose Antonio Mendez facilitated a Research in Action session where delegates broke into small groups and spread across the gardens at Churchill to think up ways to create tools and new parameters for measuring success.
Eric Baber led a passionate panel session and Geoff Stead delivered the last talk of the day focusing on the digital future of the classroom. The day closed with a virtual trip around Cambridge and the launch of a global competition aimed at getting attendees to think up ways to incorporate virtual reality into teaching. Delegates were given Google Glasses and using their phones were able to view King’s College in virtual reality from drone video footage which can be viewed here.
On the final day of the Conference, Ben Knight, Head of Research in ELT at the Press, gave a talk outlining the Cambridge Framework for Life Skills in Education. Delegates then broke into six groups facilitated by Press staff members to discuss a topic of their choosing. The closing talk was delivered by Deborah Eyre who explored the establishment of a culture of success in schools before Rupert Daniels delivered closing remarks.
Sharing her thoughts on the conference, Caroline Thiriau, ELT Associate Business Unit Director at the Press, said: “There was a wealth of great topics and speakers throughout the conference… I came away with renewed energy and enthusiasm.”
The event presented an excellent opportunity for influential speakers and some of the very best minds in English Language Teaching to meet to discuss the latest key issues, innovations and challenges in language education. For more information, visit the World of Better Learning website where world-leading Cambridge research is used to help shape English Language Teaching and learning around the world.
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