Fakers and Pretenders

The vast majority of the “influencers” in the huge, multi-billion dollar industry of English language teaching (ELT) are fakers and pretenders.

An influencer is someone with sway.

ELT Influencers do the conference circuit, giving plenaries at the international IATEFL and TESOL conventions and at as many other of the hundreds of ELT conferences around the world that they can. They write best selling “How to Teach” books. They write coursebooks. They design teacher training courses and they contribute to high stakes tests. They have a big presence on social media.

Most ELT influencers fake knowledge about language learning and pretend to know how to teach. They know next to nothing about how people learn an additional language and, as a result, they base teaching practice on unquestioned false assumptions about language learning.

As in all walks of life, ELT influencers give the impression that they’ve convinced themselves that the bullshit they spout isn’t bullshit. Are they sincere? Does their absence of pretence, deceit, or hypocrisy shine through?

Most ELT influencers are in the pay of the business people who run ELT for profit. Ergo, most ELT Influencers are reactionary.

A few ELT influencers are progressive and challenge the status quo. Most of them will be recuperated, bribed back into compliance.

Beware ELT Influencers.


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