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BIG Questions for 2013!

The BIG Question:

Checken or Egg (photo TG ver)


...could be applied to matters of LEARNing and TEACHing.

8 Actually - as I was drafting (the original version of) this post, I (quite accidentally) discovered that Scott Thornbury is using a very similar title for his new e-book (to be published very shortly by The Round). Scott's idea is a pretty cool one - "re-engineering" a number of the core posts from his great "A-Z of ELT" and helping those lovely guys at The Round realise their goal of creating more bridges between the blogosphere and the world of conventional publishing. This is why I felt I (just) had to re-blog a new, re-imagineered version of this post - to lose the Xmas "feel" I went with originally! 8 Scott's book is already shaping up to be a great addition to our ELT Library -  you can get a "taste" (or a "tease") by clicking HERE. 8

The THING is...

...YOU guessed it !8 There is a bit of a problem with much of this "library"  of ours - a library that publishers have been helping us build up since the late 1970's...a library that, I would argue, misses a great deal of the the "wood" for the "trees" (trees all those conventional publishers are busy "chopping down" on our behalf)! 8 TEACHers do, of course, need books n' stuff to help with their LEARNing.   I'm not suggesting we should go all "Fahrenheit 451" on our favorite volumes and works of EDUliteracy. I'm saying perhaps we need a different "perspective" on how we look at the "business" we are in - and how we "do" that "business" around the globe through the books we read! 8

Let me elaborate...with some BIG NUMBERS!8

Lies (people and stats)

How many English Language LEARNers are there - on the planet?

A tough oneI know!8 Well, if David Graddol is even close to being half-right - around a third of the world's population (yes, I said 33.33% of around 7,018,500,000 human beings) - are trying to LEARN English - right now!


...give or take a million or so (and their dogs)!8 If you (as I have just done) also do a quick Google search for the acronym "ELT", you'll get around 37,800,000 potential bits of "bedtime reading". However, when you do a similar search for "English Language LEARNing" - Google can only come up with around 1,910,000 pages for you to ignore. And, "yes" - I know you can get just over 62 million pages of digital reading, if you use the acronym. But, then again...take a closer look at some of these hits - not all ELL "hits" are equal! BESIDES...if you try "English Language Teaching"...the world's favourite search engine will cough up 171 million results for you. 8

Yani, almost three times as much "stuff" on TEACHing...than LEARNing!8 Now, this may not be much...when compared with the 252,000,000 results that you can potentially browse when you type the two little words "Justin" + "Bieber(and do not even ask me what happens when you type "Lady Gaga")! 8


...the point is...8 English Language TEACHing is BIG business...a huge "industry"...and we ain't even touched on "textbooks" just yet! An industry, for example, that nets the UK almost £1,500,000,000...everysinglebloody year! Not too shabby...not too shabby at all...just don't get me started on global sales of the Top 50 publishers! Let's just say Amazon and Kindle have NOT delivered on their "promise"...yet!


The BIG question I have, when I consider these HUGE numbers...numbers that relate to LEARNers and their LEARNing