In this section, you will find a number of publications, webinar recordings, conference presentations and interviews, as well as video tips which have been written to help you develop your skills and knowledge as a teacher in the professional practice 'Understanding learners'. From advice on how to teach primary-aged students to supporting adult learners in the EFL classroom, the content you will find here is practical, insightful and full of ideas to support your teaching and planning for all kinds of learners.

Understanding learners involves:

  • Making decisions about teaching and assessment by applying an understanding of the following learner characteristics:
    • level of attainment
    • age
    • interests
    • preferred ways of learning
    • group dynamics
    • motivation to learn, both generally and in relation to specific subjects
    • educational, social, cultural and linguistic background
    • any special educational needs
    • level of autonomy
    • personality
  • Exploring theories of learning and applying them to my context and learners.
  • Conducting needs analyses and applying the results.
  • Applying an understanding of the impact of the learning environment on my learners.
  • Reflecting on my approach to understanding my learners and the impact this has on their learning
7 November, 2019
This report documents findings of a study investigating the relationship between Content and Language Integrated...
17 October, 2019
This self-study guide for teachers and teacher educators looks at understanding learners
11 January, 2017
This paper explores the nature and role of emotional and social competences as key components of effective classroom...
16 July, 2014
Lixian Jin, Changsheng Jiang, Jie Zhang, Yuan Yuan, Xiaohua and Qun XieThis paper investigates attitudes, perceptions...
4 July, 2014
Teaching teenagers is a lot more than just methodology and materials. Helping them to overcome some of the...
3 July, 2014
Teacher talk is a new series of videos featuring some of our TeachingEnglish Associates speaking about important...
16 June, 2014
What benefits can English language skills bring to a person’s life, both professional and personal? This paper...
26 May, 2014
Recorded on 12 June 2014, this webinar with Jo Budden takes a look behind the scenes of the LearnEnglish Teens website...
1 December, 2013
Martin Lamb and Martin WedellWhat makes teachers motivating? This paper reviews the literature on motivational teaching...
23 September, 2013
Encouraging learners to explore the language through creative activities in class is not as difficult as it may at...
7 March, 2013
This is a recording of Carol Read's live talk in Poland from February 2012.
12 September, 2012
Date: 18th October 2012 Theme: Current coursebooks have moved away from the 'describe your house/last holiday format...
1 September, 2012
Watch a recording of this talk by Chia Suan Chong from November 2012.
25 October, 2011
Date: 25 October 2011Theme: This webinar will explore different aspects of learner-centred teaching. What does it...
25 September, 2011
Date: 15 December 2011Theme: In this session we will explore what works in CLIL. We will stress the final L in CLIL....
24 September, 2011
Date: 14 February 2012Theme: What is a challenging learner? Why do some learners challenge us more than others? How...
14 June, 2011
What advantages can the English language bring to individuals and societies? The British Council commissioned the...
16 May, 2011
This publication consists of papers written by Brazilian ELT teachers and teacher educators between 2001 and 2010 as...
21 March, 2011
Date: 21 February 2012Theme: Most people think of a language as having four main skills: listening, speaking, reading...
15 March, 2011
Date: 15 March 2012Theme: Lexical Chunking is a way of thinking about language which puts lexis in the centre of our...
8 January, 2010
This study, by Dr Simon Borg of the University of Leeds, assesses the impact that studying English has on students’...
10 November, 2008
This 54-page booklet comprises a collection of papers with contributions from leading researchers on global citizenship...
1 October, 2019
Watch a recording of the opening plenary talk by Antonia Clare from the World Teachers' Day web conference 2019.