Category Archives: Demand High ELT

Demand High ELT Part 3

This is our third post in our series on Demand High ELT. We hope you are getting into this topic as much as we are. This week we delve even deeper.

A teacher stands at the front of a classroom. Students arrive steadily. Quick nods or a simple ‘Morning’ are exchanged. The teacher is getting himself in the zone. ‘How are you today?’ Game face on. ‘Great weather today, right?’ Fresh caffeine courses through his veins. ‘How was the homework from yesterday?’

The teacher goes through his game plan in the last few moments as the students settle for the start of class. 

Right. Today I am going to do this Demand High ELT thing. 

CLT obviously has some gaps in it. 

I need to try this new approach. 

I am sure a new approach is what my lessons need to get more from my students. 

‘Right, everyone. Let’s get started…’


Our teacher here seems to be going in the right direction. However, before you go into your classroom trying to embody the new generation on Demand High ELT practitioners, let’s consider one more post from Adrian Underhill and Jim Scrivener at the Demand High ELT blog.

Here are the take away points from their post that we think are important for understanding Demand High ELT:

  • Demand High ELT is not a method -it appears to be a layer you can add to any method
  • Demand High ELT offers ‘a small course correction’ to your current teaching approach – it does not assume that you are going in the wrong the direction though
  • Demand High ELT is a meme – it allows for practitioners to interpret it in their own way and for their own contexts
  • Demand High ELT is ‘a learnING centred view of teaching rather than a learnER centered one’ – this seems to allow for demand moments to be explored

Now we return to our teacher pumped, psyched and raring to unleash his teaching talents on his class. Is this teacher as prepared as he thinks he is? What should teachers consider before trying to apply Demand High ELT? What do they need to do before to prepare for making a shift to Demand High ELT?

Please leave your comments below and join us on March 7th for our chat with Jim Scrivener.

Demand High ELT Part 2

This post continues on our topic of Demand High ELT. Don’t forget to join us on March 7th for our chat session with Jim Scrivener on this topic.

A teacher sits in a noisy staff room. An untouched tuna sandwich and a half-finished cup of coffee sit in front the teacher. A photocopier whirs away monotonously in the background. The teacher massages her own temples. Co-workers keep their distance. Migraine setting in? Deep in thought? A monologue rages within.

My students can do more. I know it!

What am I doing wrong?

The students had fun.

The lesson materials were very good.

I had a well-planned lesson.

The students were engaged.

I gave corrections and feedback at the end of tasks.

The lesson aims were achieved.

But I still feel they can do more.

What do I need to do differently?

Hmmm…I’m going to need another cup of coffee for this.

We introduced you to the notion of Demand High ELT last week. Let’s delve a little deeper this time into the details of this topic.

Demand High ELT poses a few basic questions that most teachers can ask themselves (we quote these from the Demand High ELT Blog) :

  • Are our learners capable of more, much more?
  • Have the tasks and techniques we use in class become rituals and ends in themselves?
  • How can we stop “covering material” and start focusing on the potential for deep learning?
  • What small tweaks and adjustments can we make to shift the whole focus of our teaching towards getting that engine of learning going?

These are placed alongside two caveats:

  • Demand High is not a method and it is not anti any method.
  • (N.B. We have paraphrased here.) Doable demand – helping the learner at the point they are being challenged in manner that lets them move forward

Please take the time to click through to introduction page at the Demand High ELT Blog as it goes through some of these points, and others, in more detail.

At this stage, it would be helpful to understand a bit more again about where Adrian Underhill and Jim Scrivener are coming from. Below you can see the slides from their 2012 IATEFL Conference presentation on Demand High ELT. Even without being there to hear them present, their slides allow us to understand how Demand High ELT might look in practice.

Where does this leave our teacher from before? What changes would a CLT teacher make if they were to take on some the notions of Demand High ELT?

Please join us on March 7th to discuss this topic further and feel free to leave a comment with the #AusELT community below.