Elgazette Logo newtrans  The magazine for English language teaching and English medium education

Don’t come up for air just yet.


After a long summer, UK teachers could do with a break – but there’s one last challenge ahead, writes Irena Barker

It’s been a long summer – and you’re exhausted. Teaching the future perfect continuous to a crowd of hungover Italians was probably what finished you off.

Or maybe it was that tricky lesson involving a malfunctioning projector and a class of near-mute French girls stroking their smartphones under the desk?

Either way, managers and teachers in the British ELT sector surely now deserve a break – except all is not over for management.

No sooner have they hung up their summer-school hat than it’s time to get that suit dry-cleaned and head to the cut and thrust of StudyWorld.

This annual festival of self-promotion is a vital part of the UK ELT calendar and not to be missed for anyone serious about getting noticed.

It is an opportunity to quite literally show the world what you have to offer via a curious kind of ‘speed-dating’ arrangement with agents, tour operators and others looking to do business with the UK.

Sure, after a high-octane August, many of us might prefer a lie-in than a lie-down with global suitors, but the adrenaline of the event should keep you going. And, in between appointments, why not take a seat with the EL Gazette and digest some food for thought?

For example, in our comment section, we examine the shocking extent of racism in ELT through one woman’s testimony and a look at the latest research. Is it really possible that in this day and age students are refusing to be taught by people because of the colour of their skin? Unfortunately, it is.

And in our EMI special, we take a look at the complex issues that can arise when institutions introduce English as a medium of instruction.
While finances and resources may be key concerns, it is important to consider the social aspects of the move and the dangers of sidelining local languages, experts tell us.

Also, Melanie Butler explains that a small class size really isn’t the thing that helps students progress – no matter what parents think. If you want to offer a low-cost, high-quality option, invest in good teachers who want to stay, and don’t worry about bigger classes. They can handle it.

For some light relief, we also bring you a feature about the growing trend for online grammatical pedantry. Are the ‘grammar police’ who stalk the internet doing a good deed by removing people’s misplaced apostrophes or are they merely bullies?

Finally, why not check out our biannual UK rankings supplement and see which language centres are riding high this year. (Click here to see the supplement)

Maybe yours is one of them?

twitter2Irena Barker, editor

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