The purpose of this magazine-style 1999 publication was to ‘identify key trends and suggest opportunities for British ELT’ in the expansion of the internet.
Eastment, in his introductory Overview, takes a more optimistic long view than many others, seeing learners and teachers – rather than institutions – driving the exploitation of what the internet has to offer. For Eastment, ELT websites were the least interesting phenomenon, given that most at the time merely re-presented essentially paper-based materials online. The potential for teachers and learners to use the web for communication, access to authentic materials, and collaborative content creation, all in English, was the real game-changer. Today’s reader may be amused, not only at some of the ‘how to’ advice, but also at the wonder and bewilderment expressed from time to time in this publication. These emotions tend not to be those of the matter-of-fact author, however, but of quoted teachers, tech-experts, and others. Much has happened online since 1999, and although much has been transformed completely, many concerns raised in this book remain current in ELT. Anyone wishing to look back to see how far ELT and the internet has come will find this fascinating reading.
This book is free to download here as a pdf file.