Speaker: Prof. John MACALISTER

Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics, Victoria University of Wellington

Date: 26 April 2024

Time: 18:30-20:00

Venue: Room E33 – 2036, Faculty of Education

Language: English

Title: The Importance of Small Things: Improving Language Learning Experiences and Outcomes


The literature around language learning and teaching can often make for depressing reading. There are too many accounts of innovations that have failed, classrooms that remain teacher-dominated, and disengaged learners. Too often teachers comment on how the demands of the curriculum, of assessment, and of tradition act as constraints on innovation. Yet it does not need to be like this. In this talk I suggest that if teachers have at least a passing familiarity with a conceptual framework that explains decision-making options in the classroom, change becomes more possible. I will introduce one such framework, based on curriculum design, and draw on recent research to illustrate the power of small change in promoting engagement and developing language proficiency in the language classroom.