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(A) A Short History of ELT, with Richard Smith + followed by (B) Beyond computer assisted language learning, with Huw Jarvis | Cardiff, United Kingdom

British Council Seminar Series

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (BST)

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Event Details

Tuesday 26 June 2012, 1800 - 2030 | The Parc Thistle Hotel, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3UD

A Short History of ELT

With Richard Smith


Beyond computer assisted language learning

With Huw Jarvis

A short history of ELT, with Richard Smith


This talk provides a fast-paced, informative chronology of ELT developments which counteracts some common myths and raises issues for critical reflection. The following questions are considered:  


•How can ELT be defined? 

•When did it begin?

•What predated it?

•What people, institutions , ideas and practices have made up ELT?

•How did ELT spread and what has its impact been?

•What aspects of ELT should be maintained or superseded?


Dr Richard Smith is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick. He is a leading authority on the 19th-20th century history of language teaching and is the founder and director of the ELT Archive ( Richard has particular interests also in learner/teacher autonomy; teaching in ‘difficult circumstances’; and engaging and supporting teachers in/with ELT research. See:


Beyond computer assisted language learning, with Huw Jarvis 

This presentation seeks to probe some of our established frameworks within the field of computer assisted language learning (CALL) and suggest an emerging alternative. The advantages of computer assisted language learning (CALL) are of course well-documented within the literature.  Computer-based materials or C-bMs (Jarvis, 2004) are used to deliver CALL and are typically characterised as having a valued tutorial function within the classroom and beyond.

This established framework has dominated our teaching and research over many years.  However, recent language education-based studies (Jarvis and Szymczyk, 2010; Jarvis and Pastuszka, 2008; Figura and Jarvis, 2007; Jarvis, 2008a; 2008b; 2005), including most recently (Jarvis, forthcoming) a British Council supported project with Thai and Arabic speakers questions whether this traditional CALL paradigm is still the most appropriate.

The paper will argue that conscious learning using one C-bM is no longer suitable for looking at how today’s web generation students use technology.  Our students multi-task and in doing so many things  unconscious acquisition is as important as conscious learning particularly when students are accessing and transmitting information in both their first language and in the English language.

The paper will further argue that in an era of ever-increasing digital devices locating our work exclusively within “computer” assisted learning is somewhat problematic.  These recent studies suggest a shift from Computer Assisted (language) Learning to Mobile Assisted (language) Use. The presentation will discuss all of these issues in relation to implications for classroom practice. 


Huw Jarvis is Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Salford, Manchester. He has worked with teachers on training programmes and projects as far and wide as Thailand (with the British Council), Kuwait (with the Ministry of Defence) and Sudan (with the Ministry of Education). Huw's main research area covers computers in language pedagogy, specifically the role of computer-based materials in independent self-study contexts. His work in this area has been supported by the British Council’s English Language Teaching Research Awards. Huw is also the editor of which disseminates TESOL-based research via free video webcasts.


Who is this for? 

All EFL/ESOL teachers (newly qualified to experienced).

Programme (approximately)

1800 – 1815  Welcome and refreshments

1815 – 1900  Presentation A

1900 – 1915  Comfort break and refreshments

1915 – 2000  Presentation B

2000 – 2030  Networking reception


Please note that there is no charge for attending seminars, but places are limited.

Find out more at TeachingEnglish/Seminars

Follow us on Twitter @BCseminars 

For further information please contact

Have questions about (A) A Short History of ELT, with Richard Smith + followed by (B) Beyond computer assisted language learning, with Huw Jarvis | Cardiff, United Kingdom? Contact British Council Seminar Series

When & Where

The Parc Thistle Hotel
Park Place
CF10 3UD Cardiff
United Kingdom

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (BST)

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British Council Seminar Series

The British Council Seminar Series takes place across the UK, including once a month in London. The seminars are intended to provoke debate and discussion on current issues in English Language teaching and can contribute to the continuing professional development of English Language teachers based in, or visiting, the United Kingdom.

Every seminar is free of charge and includes the opportunity to network with fellow ELT practitioners.



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The United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland).

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