Published 7th April 2017

Sometimes it can feel like we’ve been doing the same things in the EFL classroom for a really long time. Our lessons are based on the same theories of language learning we were talking about decades ago and so our lessons can start to feel a bit same-y.

With the New Year here, it’s a good time to re-evaluate what we do in the classroom and rethink our teaching strategies. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the new teaching ideas and techniques that are set to become talking points in 2017.

Critical Students

Hopefully they won’t be too critical of you (!) but there is definitely a move towards helping our learners become more actively involved in the learning process with regards to the content of their lessons. This is nothing new, but this year will see a shift in attitudes towards our learners, especially the older ones. Teachers will try to develop their students’ skills for critical analysis, enabling our EFL classrooms to become not only language learning classrooms but critical thinking spaces too.

Blended Learning

Working with technology in the classroom has been around for a few years and it’s about time it was taken up a notch. Expect 2017 to bring even more technology into the learning environment. This may not take the form of using technology during the lessons but will instead relate the technology use of our students in their free time to their learning. In other words, this year technology will help our students connect with the language in their everyday lives outside the classroom.

Formative Assessment

Assessment has been under the spotlight for a while and this will continue to be the case in 2017. Thankfully, our ideas on assessment have changed dramatically and we now realise the effect of the assessment is as important as the results of the assessment. Consequently, our methods of assessment will change to allow for greater transparency of the assessment process, hopefully in this way increasing intrinsic motivation and ensuring positive washback.

Of course we have no way of knowing what 2017 has in store for those of us in the EFL field, but, mark our words, these concepts are set to become the key topics of the year.