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The changing landscape of ELT: takeaways from IATEFL 2024

Sam Richter, Operations Manager, ELL Newgen, talks about her experience, learnings and takeaways from the Brighton 2024 conference of the IATEFL. Read all about how the ELT industry is changing, how the growing community is connecting with publishers all over the world and where the industry is fast heading to in the near future, all in tandem with AI-generated tools.  

Brighton 2024 was Newgen’s third time attending the IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) and our first time having a stand. I have now attended the IATEFL as a freelancer and as a Newgenite, and the buzz is always the same – the people are always the best part. The chatter and exchange of ideas and experiences was so uplifting and inspiring. Connecting with the wider English Language Teaching (ELT) community beyond publishing to teaching, technology, and innovation was my favourite aspect of this fantastic event.

The buzz this year was very much around artificial intelligence (AI), with the plenary talk about the impact of AI on ELT. Given that AI has so many potential applications as well as risks within the ELT world, it was great to see it being discussed so widely and given the attention it deserves. As the implications of AI and tools such as ChatGPT come to light, the ELT community are keeping one eye on the challenges as well as the potential uses of this technology. The ethical questions surrounding AI must certainly be taken into consideration, both around the use of existing materials and when using AI to replicate tasks currently performed by skilled people.

There was a marked increase in the presence of publishing service providers, which was refreshing and a wonderful thing to be a part of. We represented Newgen as an established part of the ELT publishing landscape and found that our interactions reflected this strong standpoint. We are very much here to stay, and our new and existing working relationships were strengthened in this knowledge.


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