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Some Recent developments in ELT: Reflections on prospects and

challenges on second language education in India

A paper presented at National seminar
Organized by
CASE, Dept of Education, Faculty of Education & Psychology,
MSU, Vadodara
Dt.9th -10th March, 2015
Theme: Indian Higher Education: Expectations and Expressions
Paper presented by:
Kiritbhai K. Vaniya, Ad-hoc Faculty, H. M. Patel Institute of English
Training & Research, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand

Riteshbhai K. Vaniya, Ph. D research Scholar, CASE, Department of

Education, Faculty of Education & Psychology, The M. S. University of
Baroda, Vadodara


The present paper is an attempt of critical examination of

some of the latest developments or trends in the discipline of
English Language Teaching in the context of Indian Higher
education especially second language education and research.
The authors of the papers have reviewed and examined
number resources including academic journals in print, online
and archives. Many of the concerned information were sought
from online web resources.
The teachers and practitioners of ELT/ESL and the budding,
novice researchers would definitely get direction,
encouragement and guidance with this effort.
Many new area of research in second language learning are
being opened through new developments and changes in ELT.

The present scenario:

National Knowledge Commission had envisioned India to

be Knowledge base society".
The rapid changes in the information and
communication field at the onset of 21 st century.
ELT keeps pace with the rapid changes taking place in
the global economy.
Simultaneously, the roles of teachers and teaching
strategies are constantly being modified to deal with
the increasing complex conditions of classrooms and
the specific needs of learners.
These changes have introduced new trends in teaching
and have increased education costs.[ Saha in Cirocki,
et al. 2014)]

Language learning and teaching

Language learning and teaching is contextual, ever changing,

dynamic and fluid. There is nothing fixed about them.(Larsen
Freeman, 2004: 186 in Jimena (2013)
Compared to the other school core subjects like science,
maths, social science etc., language education undergo
constant changes.
Almost every decade there is a new approach or methodology.
comes into practice.

An overview of prominent changes in


Variety of changes and new emerging developments in ELT has been categorized
in the following manner for better holistic view for teachers and students of ELT.
Category: I. Some changes related with ELT classroom:
1. Strategic Teaching and Learning is a change seen in ELT and Education. In
view of Boraie ( 2013)Teaching in English language classes focuses on fostering
student thinking as well as language content, outcomes, and learning activities.
2. Method synergetic or eclecticism It is crossbreeding of elements of
various methods to find those practices which best support effective learning. If
we view classroom practices. (Jimena, 2013)
3. Anti-method era: The methodologists have ever been in search of more
effective method of teaching foreign languages or second languages. The era of
method is over. ELT, therefore, is now in post method thinking. (Jimena, 2013)
4. Strategopedia: A trend in ELT today has been to make the students
independent learners. Today, a school of thought has developed with the purpose
of equipping learners with appropriate learning strategies to take the
responsibility for self-direction. (Jimena, 2013)

Category: II. Some changes related

with teachers

Changing View of an English Teacher: (Boraie ,2013)

Teachers as Life-Long Learners as another change in
other words it is CPD.( Boraie ,2013)
Academic qualifications once acquired are not enough for
the teachers in any way to teach language effectively forever.
They need to go along the demand of the time and current
practices. (Jimena, 2013)
Reflective practice: This is about teachers questioning and
exploring their own practice of teaching. (Jimena, 2013;
Underhill, Adrian. (n. d )
Networking: Online ELT resources are growing rapidly;
newsletters on ELT are being used more by both the teachers
and students. (Jimena, 2013; Underhill, Adrian. (n. d)
Portfolio development for teachers:) This is linked to
reflective practice. It refers to a portfolio as the teachers own
statement of their teaching beliefs and values, and a profile of
themselves in action. (Underhill, Adrian. n. d)

Category: III. Some changes related

with teachers state of mind:
Frustration: On the one hand, the ELT practitioners have been
keeping update their profession going in line with the current
trends in ELT, a large mass of English language teachers have
not been able to follow the trends due to lack of resources
available to them, which in turn have developed a sense of
frustration in them. Particularly, the teachers working in the
hinterlands have been deprived of the online themselves to be
underprivileged. (Jimena, 2013)
Frustration in view of Underhill, Adrian. ( n. d ) seen in many
teachers .This may be due to constraints in the place where
they work, and it may be due to other conditions such as lack
of learner motivation, discipline problems, interest in grades
rather than learning and so on. So, these invitations to change
may frustrate those who feel restrained from changing.

Category: IV. Some changes related

with Teaching of English as subject:
Change in the Goal of Teaching English
Rethinking aims of EFL
Early Start in Teaching English
Change in Teaching Content and Test
Change in the Approach to Teaching
Culture[There is less focus on teaching the
culture of native speakers of English unless
there is a specific purpose for doing so]

Category: V. Some changes related with

ELT methodology:

Content and language integrate learning (CLIL) approach

is another emerging trend in ELT at the international level. It is
an approach where the English teacher uses cross curricular
content and so the students learn both the content and English.

Connectivism/Networked Learning Theory by George

Siemens We can no longer personally experience everything. We
create networks to learn more than we can as individuals.
(Sorden, 2012)

Jimena (2013) viewed that crossovers from the general

educational trends such as Cooperative Learning, Whole
Language Approach, and Neuro-linguistic Programming have
influenced language teaching and learning considerably.

Category: VI. Some changes related

with Learners of English:

Student-centredness(Jimena, 2013) & Learner

centredness and learner needs: Underhill, Adrian.
( n. d ): teachers have to play the role of facilitators in
the classroom, not authorities. As a matter of fact,
pupils learn by doing in pairs and groups.

Educators have argued that there is a need for an

approach to language education that aims at
fostering a sense of social responsibility in
students. A growing number of educators are now
beginning to discuss global issues and concerns in
relation to language teaching and learning. (Jimena,

Category: VII. Some changes related

with International outlook:

Conferencing (Jimena, 2013; Cates, 1997)

Grammaring: Larsen Freeman (2007) claims it
to be the fifth skill of language that
incorporates the ability to use grammar
structures accurately, meaningfully and
appropriately for ones communicative purposes.
Locally produced materials

Category: VIII. Some changes related

with ICT &Web 2.0 technology
E-communication (Special Interest Group
(SIG), Support Groups, discussion, chat room,
etc. )
Personalized Learning as a Disruptive
Innovation [Christensen, Johnson & Horn (2008
in Sorden. 2012] Disruptive Technologies is
an innovation that helps create a new market
and value network, and eventually goes on to
disrupt an existing market and value network,
displacing an earlier technology.


Mobile Language learning (m-Learning)

Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL): Sorden. (2012)
views MALL as a subset of both Mobile Learning (m-learning) and
Computer assisted language learning (CALL). MALL has evolved to
support language learning with the increased use of mobile
technologies such as mobile phones (cell-phones), MP3 and MP4
players and devices such as tablets.
Speech recognition and synthesis Voice (Sorden. 2012)
Online Language Learning Communities
Self-Regulated Learning or Self-Directed Language Learning
Learning Analytics
Intelligent Tutoring Systems
Game Based Learning/Alternative Reality
Personal Learning Environment (PLE):


Corpora approach
Blended Learning: Sorden. (2012) viewed this as a
new approach. Its not just a combination of online
and f2f .It is a combination of training methodologies,
which uses the best delivery method for the
successful achievement of the learning objective.
ICT & PLEs for Personalized& Informal Learning
Augmented Reality Language Learning: (Sorden.
2012) ARLL is the combination of real world and
computer generated data so that computer
generated objects are blended into real time
projection of real life activities.

Some prospects and challenges for ELT

The authors have tried to summarize, comment and bring to
notice what changes are being taken place in the ELT practices
at international levels.
The teachers of English not only gets benefits from the above
discussion but it invites novice and budding enthusiastic
researchers to explore these unexplored area as we still need to
establish their effectiveness and influence on students, teachers
and pedagogy.
It is great challenge to take up experimental and other types of
researches with the above topics.[A sample has been provided]
The real issue is with the review of studies in order to support
the study undertaken.
Lets hope for the best in the interest of Indian higher
education especially second language education.

Sample of Research topic

Area of study: Change in Goals/aims of Teaching English

Type of research possible:
/Impact/Suggestive Study
Nature of study: Quantitative and Qualitative exclusively or
Both, on the basis of research questions
Scope of study: from local i.e. state level to national and
international levels[e.g. studying aims of ESL at state boards ]
Add on Variables to study as per level-M.Ed, M.Phil, PhD:
comparative study with other first/second languages of the
state; English Method subject course of various universities of
the state- comparative/evaluative/analytical or suggestive type