Schools Publishing --- English Language Teaching

English Language Teaching

Our English Language Teaching (ELT) Division experienced a most challenging year with the biggest impacts of the pandemic felt in private language schools and emerging markets, with Latin America impacted on both counts. Even so, we were able to adapt quickly to the move to remote and hybrid teaching, and our market share remained stable.

The pandemic has led to a rapid adoption of digital content and tools, accompanied by a steep learning curve for teachers, students, and parents.

In these circumstances, it was imperative we focused on our digital products and services, and we enhanced our existing offer by standardizing and streamlining the digital components in our back list and improving our platforms for a better user experience. Since the pandemic started, we have created over 1,000 new digital course components (eBooks, classroom presentation tools, audio and video materials).

We also expanded the expert advice we give to our customers. Our position papers provided guidance on the major themes shaping language teaching: this year we looked at ‘Learner Agency’—how to nurture independent learners who have the confidence to take risks and learn from their mistakes. Our focus papers offer bite-sized insights and tips for the classroom such as using mobile apps, project-based learning, and managing online learning.

We have created over 1,000 new digital course components (eBooks, classroom presentation tools, audio and video materials).

Despite facing challenges in operating our test centre based Oxford Test of English, we provided 12,000 licenses in 14 countries, and secured over 330 recognitions from ministries, universities and employers in 28 countries. Also, from our ministries, universities and employers, we provided 627,000 Oxford Placement Test licenses across 94 countries.

There was significant growth in secondary rights (licensing), especially digital licensing to software-based learning services, online English tutoring services, and use of dictionaries for online search and reference.

We celebrated the renewal of the longstanding agreement with the Vietnam Ministry of Education for the adoption of Family and Friends Vietnam Special Edition in the local state school market. We also saw the renewal of the large eBook adoption with Saudi Electronic University, with its students being migrated to the recently launched Q Skills 3e eBooks.


licences were provided in 14 countries for the Oxford Test of English


Oxford Placement Test licences were provided across 94 countries

Other successes included:

  • Launching Smart Choice 4e, the latest edition of our bestselling American English course for adult learners. Smart Choice is known for its one page equals one lesson approach, with lessons that offer a perfect balance of challenge and support
  • Piloting the Oxford English Hub—a simplified and user-friendly experience, bringing together ELT resources in a rich mix of formats, from lesson ideas to activities, in one place
  • For English File 4e we published the final Advanced Plus level, making English File our first ever 8-level series. English File is one of our flagship series in ELT, loved by teachers worldwide for getting students talking. The Advanced Plus level is a step up from the Advanced level, providing students with more challenging input, focusing on concepts such as finer shades of meaning, using language flexibly, more abstract and complex topics, and humour

Education case study

Supporting teachers through virtual events