Agile publishing: a case study

Since 2013, ELTjam has evolved from a blog to a learning agency, but what got us fired up to start in the first place was our interest in tech, startup culture and new ways of working, and how these could be brought into ELT. One example is Agile – the standard way of running software projects and developing tech products – but in our experience still not used much in ELT materials development when done at a large scale. This post is about how we recently used Agile in a large ELT course development project.

Content marketing in ELT – Interview with Dan Shepherd

We sat down with our Digital Content Partner, Dan Shepherd to talk about using content marketing to grow your business. Dan, who has experience in both ELT and content marketing, lets us in on what content marketing is, why it’s important for young companies and how you can start creating educational content that will help you turn leads into customers.

AI discovers the secret to the perfect brew

The potential impact of AI on English language teaching and learning has been the topic of hot debate for some time, with computational linguists and language teaching professionals clashing over the benefits and drawbacks of integrating the technology into a language learning environment. The latest research coming out of the Artificial Intelligence department of the … Read more

Claire Dembry ELT

The speaking situation: an interview with Dr. Claire Dembry

ELTjam sat down for a chat with Dr. Claire Dembry, Principal Research Manager in ELT at Cambridge University Press, to talk about how the wide-ranging research she was engaging in was impacting the conversations that were taking place around CUP’s products … especially when it comes to learners actually speaking … 

laura patsko

The pronunciation problem: an interview with Laura Patsko

All things considered, it seems there is still some way to go before ELT course materials – and the teachers that use them – are able to address pronunciation in class appropriately and effectively.

Laura Patsko is a language consultant specialising in the practical applications of linguistic research. In this post, Laura addresses how pronunciation is currently being addressed by ELT publishers and content creators, and what could be done to better support English learners.

Addressing access to English for refugees and asylum seekers: An interview with Anna Lloyd from Cambridge English Language Assessment

Towards the end of 2016, Cambridge English Language Assessment held the ‘Access to English for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ conference with Techfugees –  a social enterprise mobilising the international tech community to respond to the refugee crisis. We spoke to Anna Lloyd, Head of Education Technology at Cambridge English Language Assessment and member of the Techfugees Cambridge chapter, about how the partnership came about and what solutions have come out if it so far …

The new wave of learning styles

It’s pretty widely accepted that the concept of learning styles is unsubstantiated. There is a distinct lack of evidence to suggest that catering specifically for audio-linguistic learners, or kinaesthetic learners, or whatever the others are, has any actual benefit. As far as cold hard evidence goes, it just doesn’t stack up, which is a worry to the small nation of educational consultants and publishing companies that have forged a lucrative career advocating learning-style oriented teaching strategies.

All’s not lost, however, as a brand spanking new set of learning styles has been identified by educational researchers at the London Institute of Education Studies, and there is more than enough debate surrounding them to power the next decade of educational keynote speeches.

Categories ELT

Why ELT needs a bot strategy

The capability of bots to perform tasks that were previously the sole domain of human intelligence seems to be growing rapidly – tasks that involve communication, reasoning and analysis. A lot of the noise about bots is just hype and their value is still unproven but, despite that, is there a role for them in ELT? And does that extend beyond their use as a tool to support language learning?

ELT in the digital age Q&A

Video: ELT in the digital age Q&A

What is the digital age, and what does it mean for ELT?

Find out what the panel of our recent ELT in the Digital Age webinar made of that question. Kirsten Cambell-Howes (busuu), Laura Patsko (CUP) and ELTjam’s Nick Robinson and Tim Giifford discuss in this recording of our recent Live Q&A webinar.

velawoods english

Velawoods English

Velawoods English is an immersive, self-study English course that, according to its website, “offers the next best thing to living in an English speaking country”. We spoke to the Managing Director of Velawoods Learning, Hani Malouf, and Cambridge University Press’s Publisher for Consumer, Keith Sands, to hear more about the vision behind the product and their experience of putting it together.

ELT video games

ELTjam LXD Session: Lindsay Clandfield and the game changers

ELT EdTech, if we use a video game metaphor, is like Pong. (Lindsay Clandfield)

Possibly the best quote on the state of ELT digital products ever. Lindsay was one of the four speakers that addressed the topic of Learner Experience Design (LXD) at our ELTjam Session on the 13th April. His 10-minute spot covered the growing influence of video games and the surprise survival of the fitness industry. Find out how Lindsay tied it all together…

ELTjam’s top 5 posts of 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, we look back at our most popular posts of the year. As ever, we’ve had some gems this year, so here’s your chance to make sure you haven’t missed out. And this year’s number one post was also the most-read ELTjam post ever.

So here, in reverse order, are the TOP 5 posts of 2015. Can you guess what #1 is?

speech recognition

Apple’s electric car and the death of language teaching as we know it

When I was four, going on five, a TV show called Knight Rider premiered in the UK. I loved it and remained a fan for most of my childhood (OK, I admit it; I’m still a fan). There was The Hoff, of course  –  all leather jackets, open shirt buttons and swagger  –  but the real star of the show was K.I.T.T  – Knight Industries Two Thousand  –  the ‘advanced, artificially intelligent, self-aware and nearly indestructible car’. Over thirty years later Apple and Google are in a head-to-head race to bring K.I.T.T’s spiritual successor  –  the driverless car  –  to market. And, as a little-known and hard-to-spot side effect, the ramifications for the teaching of languages, especially English, could be huge.

agile

Does Agile work in ELT print publishing?

Two years ago, ELTjam asked whether it was possible to produce an ELT course book using Agile workflows in the strictest definition of the term, creating lots of discussion. At emc design, we’re starting to see our clients use many different approaches to new courses, some using agile-inspired techniques. But can traditional ELT print publishers take ‘true’ Agile on board sustainably? Is it possible to approach a print product in exactly the same way as we approach digital products? Or are they just too different?