English language teachers are increasingly under pressure to do more than just teach the language—they are expected to develop international citizens of the future. Employers, ministries, and parents want them to develop students’ creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and other so-called 21st century skills. How can teachers understand better what exactly is expected of them, and what they need their students to learn? How can they develop these skills during English lessons, when they need all the time they have to teach core language skills? These are the questions that Cambridge has been trying to address by developing the Cambridge Life Competencies Framework, which defines in more detail what each of these competencies look like in the classroom. It also supports teachers in how they can develop those competencies without taking time away from language learning.
Making sense of how we develop life competencies through ELT
About the speaker
Ben Knight is director for language & pedagogy research at Cambridge University Press. He leads on using high quality academic research to develop more effective learning materials and resources. With his expertise in curriculum development and pedagogical research, he helps to underpin Cambridge’s educational resources with research-based insights and conceptual models. He has worked on educational reform projects in countries from Mexico to Japan and is particularly focused on integrating the different components of education to maximum impact. He was a teacher and trainer in various countries: Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Italy and the UK, working for International House and the British Council, as well as a couple of universities. For a number of years he specialised in assessment, developing new exams at Cambridge Assessment and managing vocational qualifications at City & Guilds, and now combines his expertise in assessment and learning to provide a holistic and evidence based approach to education.