Fact or Fiction examines “truths” in English language teaching


Join us as our Fact or Fiction report examines 10 of the biggest “truths” in English Language Teaching (ELT) – you might just be amazed by what we dig up, debate and debunk with the help of leading experts.

We’re delighted to have assembled a troupe of some of the best-known and most exciting up-and-coming names in ELT to explore 10 of the biggest and most talked-about teaching methods and technological advances in the ELT industry. These stars, including David Crystal, Scott Thornbury and Ozge Karaoglu, will help us examine the extent to which these ideas are shaping the world of ELT – and what that means for you.

With an estimated 2 billion people in the world who are learning or want to learn English, there’s a growing demand for clarity about what best supports teacher effectiveness and learner success. Of course, nothing is black and white in ELT. Combine that with our hyper-connected world of rapid technology and social change, and there is no definitive guide to what works well in every learning environment. That’s why Pearson has partnered with ELTjam, thought leaders in the ELT industry, to bring you Fact or Fiction. We also appreciate that the context, relevance and application of the themes discussed in this top ten of biggest “truths” in ELT may differ depending upon a range of factors such as the teaching and learning environment and whether specific learning purposes are at play.

We invite you to learn what experts David Crystal, Nicky Hockly, Ozge Karaoglu, Russ Mayne, Katharine Nielson, David Nunan, Scott Thornbury, Alistair Van Moere, Laurie Harrison, Nick Robinson and Diane Schmitt think about these claims:

  • Technology has the power to transform English language learning and teaching
  • Learning how to use technology is much easier for young people
  • Online learning will never be as effective as classroom learning
  • Technology can help low-level learners use authentic materials better
  • Computers are as effective as humans in assessing learners’ English proficiency
  • There is such a thing as learning styles
  • Grammar is still the best basis for a language learning syllabus
  • Mobile and social media, e.g. text-speak, are having a negative impact on the English language
  • Real-time translation services signal the end of language teaching as we know it
  • English measurement scales, e.g. CEFR, accurately show how proficient learners are in English.

We hope you enjoy, share and continue the discussion.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook by using #ELTmyths

In this article