Ben Knight

Ben Knight works for Cambridge University Press as their Director of ELT Research and Teacher Development.  His responsibilities include ensuring that high quality research underpins the learning materials, curriculum development and teacher support that CUP provides.  Ben has taught and worked in several countries around the world, with International House, the British Council, Cambridge Assessment, City & Guilds, and various other schools and universities.

Our past or their future?  What are we preparing our students for?

This talk focuses on how the skills students need to develop are changing  –  the skills they need to progress at university and as they move into a more globalised world of work.   It is about 21st century skills and how they can be integrated into an English language programme.




Ken Hyland


Is academic writing becoming more informal?
Informality has become something of a contemporary mantra as, from the denim-clad offices of internet startups to the pages of academic journals, we are encouraged to shed old constraints and relax conventions. Some, however, see this tyranny of informality as the imposition of an artificial equality which undermines precision and disguises hierarchies. It is worth considering whether the informality which has invaded a large range of written and spoken domains once characterized by formality (journalism, business correspondence, administrative documents, etc.) has also spread to academic writing. 

It is possible that authors are now freer to present a more human persona and construct a less rigidly objective and more inclusive relationship with their readers. But is this an illusion? Merely a function of intellectual fashion among discourse analysts for revealing interactivity in written prose? In this paper I explore changes in the use of informal features. Examining a corpus of 2.2 million words from the same leading journals in four disciplines at three periods over the past 50 years, I explore ten key features regarded as representing informality. The results suggest there have been changes in rhetorical conventions, but they have not been the ones we might expect.






Craig Thaine



New Zealand Teachers’ Perspectives on EAP

This talk will be on current issues for New Zealand based teachers of EAP. I will report on the perspectives from two groups of teachers: one that works for a private English language school and the other that works for a university where students have direct entry on to faculty programmes. It will outline what these teachers see as the main challenges for preparing their students for study at universities in New Zealand and abroad. It will provide insight into how these teachers aim to meet the varying needs of their EAP learners.


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