APAC ELT Convention 2014


(Recognised by the Catalan Education Dept.: Resolució 18/09/2013 Codi 9000090472)

The huge impact that internet has had in our lives tends to obscure the fact that only 20 years ago most of us did not know what email was and hadnever accessed the world wide web. With more than two billion users today and projections for double that number by 2020, internet will have drastically changed the way we access information, and the way we consider education and learning takes place.


How are these changes materializing? It’s not about resources any more. For some years now, teachers at conferences have been sharing links to online dictionaries, exercises, videos, podcasts, speech recognition and error analysis systems, all for free. However, the wealth of resources available were used basically as additional inputs, or extra practice materials and had not yet changed the structure of our classes, nor the role of the teachers.

Recent developments using web 2.0 technologies aimed at catering for personal learning styles and rhythms such as PLE (Personal Learning Environments) MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are making their way into our society and will surely reshape our classrooms and our role as teachers. Connectivity, networking and life-long learning are the basis in both approaches, and full responsibility stays with the learners, who can and must decide the content, the method and the timing wiith learning opportunities now available 24/7.

What is the role of the teacher of English in this context? Web 2.0 technologies and free availability of courses online offer a learning paradise but they also present challenges which are diverse for the different educational levels. Many questions arise, to which we still have no answers. Will diversity in the classroom increase with 24/7 accessibility? Do we teachers still have a role as content providers? What should be our role? How can we help students streamline the wealth of opportunities according to their needs and interests? What should the links be between the classroom and round the clock accessibility?

We hope to be able to share our questions in the coming APAC ELT Convention, and look forward to finding some answers.