ELT tomorrow: IATEFL or IATEEL

Sanja Bozinovic's picture

Future is here! Jun Liu, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Associate Provost for International Initiatives and Senior International Officer at Geogia State University, USA, gave a brilliant plenary session, which included the most recent data from his research into the themes and patterns that have evolved over the past few decades in the ELT world, and the trends that will shape the world through 2030. In his talk about the past practices and the future, we heard a lot about technology: machines will replace humans in some tasks, but also amplify us, enabling us to do things we never dreamed of doing before. There will be “digital everything“ and teachers will have to relearn, to be ready to teach digital natives. Professor Liu made us all think about a number of changes in the ELT world: standards to evaluate teachers' qualifications, teaching young learners, breaking the native speaker – non-native speaker dichotomy, to name only a few. The role of English is being redefined and to be a good teacher we need some new abilities:

  • make constant and effective changes
  • learn and speak at least one other language
  • teach less to maximize learning
  • teach in English at least one subject area
  • familiarize oneself with new learning and teaching modes
  • ensure learning outside the classroom

The data provided by the Instiute for the Future, as well the research based on the issues of TESOL Quarterly from 1967 until present time, provided us with a lot of food for thought and I saw a number of delegates take photos of various screens showing different amazing facts. It is, therefore, great to have the recording and go over them at a later point, when there is more time to think again about their true meaning.