Published 28th March 2019
The field of English language teaching may be as old as the hills, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not changing. Teaching methods and techniques are continuously being developed, and our teaching styles change accordingly.
One factor which will always have an impact on our teaching is innovation. Innovation in different fields can have a knock-on effect on education. Innovation comes in many different forms and from many different sources. Innovations we use on a daily basis today were probably not even ideas a few years ago.
Our favourite innovations which have changed the field of English Language Teaching
Authentic materials may not be innovative in themselves, but the idea for using them in the EFL classroom sure is. Before, teachers were intent on using the coursebooks given to them, believing them to be the ultimate teaching materials. After all, many years and loads of research were put into developing these coursebooks. These days teachers are more discerning in their choice of teaching resources and they understand that even though coursebooks can be great learning aids, authentic, natural language is best for learners.
Interactive White Boards
Interactive White Boards (IWBs) have been a godsend for teachers all over the world. There is no more need to buy new whiteboard markers every week or to redo the same board work for each class. Now teachers can save and reuse their board work, play listening activities, access the internet and so much more with their whiteboard. With IWBs, teaching has become so much easier.
With the increase in popularity of the internet in education, there was a surge in the development of digital tools we can use in the classroom. Teachers can use websites to find lesson plans and resources, access classroom materials, utilise interactive classroom games, or even share documents on platforms like Google Docs. Plus we can’t forget how online teaching has added a new dimension to English language teaching.
Online Continuous Professional Development
The explosion of the internet and social media now means that the majority of teachers have the tools for continuous professional development at their fingertips. Teachers can now access development courses, online books, podcasts and even communicate with other teachers to collaborate. Continuous Professional Development has never been easier, as it can be done anywhere, anytime.
Dogme is a materials-light approach to teaching. Dogme is a school of thought which has taken the EFL world by storm. It promotes a focus on student-generated language rather than making use of materials to introduce or highlight language. Dogme has become popular largely as a result of teachers wanting to move away from making photocopies and depending on paper materials for their lessons.
English language teaching will always change and improve. Innovations in many different industries will affect teaching and change the EFL classroom. It is up to us as teachers to keep up with the times and evolve our teaching practices with the help of innovation.