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16 November 2016

What it means to be a University Press for ELT

Cambridge University Press began publishing English Language Teaching materials in 1973 as part of its remit to ‘advance learning, knowledge and research worldwide’.  What began as an initiative to extend its reach in international markets soon became a significant part of Cambridge’s overall publishing business.  The impact of ELT on innovative editorial and printing processes, on international sales and marketing, and on the position of Cambridge University Press across the world has been enormous.  ELT publishing has been a key factor in turning Cambridge into an extremely international organization – with 50 offices in 39 countries. In today’s environment, the competitive and international nature of ELT has driven an intense programme of investment in complex digital developments, providing benefits across the whole Press. 

"Cambridge ELT's deeper insights from research help shape richer content in its materials, leading to stronger results and outcomes for language learners."

But it is not just ELT shaping Cambridge University Press; it is also the University Press shaping ELT.  Cambridge’s approach to ELT has been unique in its integration of research and learning.  It pioneered the use of corpus linguistics to understand better how English is actually used in a range of contemporary contexts, so that the language taught in its courses are of most use to learners.  It extended this to corpus analysis of learners’ texts to develop English Profile – a research-informed description of the different levels of learning English.  English Profile has informed the curriculum of Cambridge courses as well as becoming the model of language level description for English with the Common European Framework of Reference.  Cambridge continues to extend its research base for ELT – with pedagogical research projects and impact studies for new programmes – with the aim of providing better research-informed support to teachers and learners of English around the world.  Cambridge sums this up with its Better Learning approach, where deeper insights from research help shape richer content in its materials, leading to stronger results and outcomes for language learners.  

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