It used to be that if you were a language student, you had to come to us, the experts. Language schools, teachers, and course books were the gatekeepers that controlled access to knowledge. It used to be that you had to come through us if you wanted to learn a language.
Just as the internet changed the way music industry works, it has also started to change the way languages are learned and taught, forever.
Language schools no longer control access to the best language learning methods, materials, or data. We are no longer the gatekeepers, and so we can no longer afford to be complacent.
Learners have access to online tools that can help to practice their listening, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. For speaking they can connect to a native speaker for a language exchange. All for free.
For all of us in the TEFL industry – teachers, trainers, managers, product writers, and owners – this has profound consequences for our jobs and careers.