English and education - key themes

Watch these short five-minute videos based on British Council publications and understand more about key issues in English in education.

These 'bitesize' videos provide a short snapshot of the British Council’s research and resources relating to English and development, Language for Resilience, the use of English in primary, secondary and higher education, teacher development and how to support creative language learning using the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The videos recount findings from around the world, from countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and many more.  

The videos raise questions about languages and teaching, such as: 

Who has ownership of the English language? What do we need to consider when developing and improving language teaching policies? What are the advantages of teaching in local languages? How can we promote sustainability, inclusion and equality through language education? What are the effects of trauma on learning? What skills and techniques can language teachers adopt to help with trauma? How can teachers act as agents of change in our communities? Can language learning provide opportunities to develop new perspectives and attitudes? What are the intended and unintended outcomes of internationalisation and English Medium Education? Is English a negative force, or can it also bring about positive change? 

Choose one of our videos as a discussion starter and talk about some of these questions with the teachers you work with. Read on to find short summaries below and links to each video and publication! 

Dreams and Realities: Developing Countries and the English Language 

Governments increasingly recognise the importance of English to their economies and societies, and individuals see English as a tool that can help them to fulfil their personal aspirations. However, there are complex issues and challenges associated with this. This video summarises our publication about teaching and learning English in developing countries and shows real life experiences of English language policy and projects from around the world. Watch the five-minute video and explore further ideas in the publication

English across the Fracture Lines 

English language plays a vital role in travel and migration. It is also building bridges and promoting stability and peace. This collection of sixteen evidence-based chapters shows how learners and teachers use English in alternative ways to express problems. One example includes a study from Afghanistan presenting English as a facilitator to open students minds and to express their ideas. A case study in Bangladesh explores the role of English in the peacekeeping process. Watch the five-minute video and find more case studies and research in the publication

Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom 

How are the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) connected to English language teaching? This video focuses on examples of practical teaching ideas for the SDGs ‘Zero Hunger’, ‘Quality Education’ and ‘Reduced Inequalities’. The twenty-two chapters in the book are full of practical ideas for learners at all levels. The activities allow students to learn about the SDGs and develop their language skills at the same time. Watch the five-minute video and find other practical ideas in the publication

Language for Resilience: Enhancing resilience of Syrian refugees 

Resilience has been defined as the ability of individuals, households, communities and institutions to anticipate, withstand, recover and transform from shocks and crises. This video looks at the role of language in enhancing the resilience of Syrian refugees and host communities. Using own language in the classroom gives students a sense of belonging and creates a sense of shared identity. Learning languages can help refugees be more successful in their education, training and employment. To learn more, watch the video and explore our Language for Resilience report

Professional development through Teacher Activity Groups

What are Teacher Activity Groups or TAGs? We answer this question and more in our video and publication Professional Development through Teacher Activity Groups. The purpose of TAGs is to share experiences and learn from each other, to practice subject knowledge and to prepare action plans. With a strong focus on sharing and collaboration, teachers have an opportunity to reflect on their practice and to obtain support through face to face and digital channels. Watch the four-minute video summary and learn more about TAGs in our recent publication

English in higher education - English medium Part 1: literature review

This literature review examines an increase in English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in higher education. We define EMI as the use of English language to teach academic subjects other than English in the countries where the first language of the population is not English. This research examines the relationship between EMI and perceived educational benefits, the challenges, as well as the criticism of the ‘Englishisation’ of higher education. Watch the six-minute video summary and read the literature review to find out more. 


Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

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