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What are our Insights and
what do they mean for you?

We research how people learn and use English, so that the Cambridge learning experience is effective, efficient and enjoyable. We work with teachers to ensure we're learning from your classrooms so we can give you the best quality help and support.

Take a look below to understand what this really means.

Our research expertise

We combine our history, our research knowledge and skills, and our collaboration with experts and teachers around the world to identify key ways we can support learning and development.

We do all of this to make sure teachers and learners get the best materials and content possible.

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Cambridge University
  • We are part of the University of Cambridge

    Being part of the University of Cambridge continually drives us to give our teachers and learners the best possible learning experience. The standards expected at our University are reflected in all that we do.

    We work with leading experts within the University and beyond to ensure we're at the forefront of the latest educational research. With our collaborators, we explore how best to inform our materials to support teaching and learning.

    Being part of the University gives us a strong partnership with Cambridge Assessment. We are able to draw together our expertise in language learning and assessment to create insights and support learners from the beginning of their learning journey all the way through to their exams and beyond.

Cambridge Bridge of Sighs

The only publisher with a dedicated
team of ELT research specialists

We have a dedicated, in-house Language Research Team who specialise in language learning and educational research for ELT. They conduct empirical research and develop innovative tools and frameworks to better understand teaching and learning. It's one area that sets us apart from other publishers and ensures we create better materials for you.  

Our research tackles a wide range of issues:

Answering questions from our teams about how English is used by consulting the Cambridge English Corpus.

Analysing and summarising theoretical concepts and applying these to our courses.
 

Large-scale curriculum analysis, customisation and development.

All of our research plays a vital role in the development of our learning materials and services. By taking a research-informed approach to understanding how language is best taught, learnt and used, we help learners and teachers to be more effective.

Discover more about our history

We were first granted permission to publish books in 1534 by Henry VIII, which makes us the oldest publishing house in the world. We've come a long way since then. Today, we are a multi-platform learning organisation committed to delivering what teachers need, so that students succeed. Our purpose is to further the mission of the University by sharing knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research.

Find out more

A global network of research collaboration

We work with leading experts, research teams and institutions worldwide on a wide range of research projects.

Collaborating with a global network of researchers allows us to address the need for multiple perspectives and voices to be present in our research.

Our network includes specialists in different areas of linguistics, pedagogy, educational psychology, and various areas of language, learning and teaching research. These experts contribute to a variety of research projects undertaken by us to help better inform the development of our ELT materials.

The Spoken British National Corpus

Find out more about how we built a world-leading spoken language resource that documents and describes current spoken British English, in partnership with Lancaster University.

See the results

Overcoming linguistic challenges

Discover our work with Leeds University on the linguistic challenges of the transition from primary to secondary school.
  

Find out more

Our Research Insights

Our research team uses investigation and experimentation to improve the teaching and learning experience. They:

Look at patterns of language use and acquisition using the Cambridge English Corpus.

Conduct evidence-based research and communicate this using our Cambridge Papers in ELT series.

Have a joined-up and cohesive approach to our syllabus and curriculum design by using the Cambridge Life Competencies Framework and the Cambridge English Curriculum Framework.

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Cambridge research team
  • Cambridge English Corpus

    A corpus is a massive collection of language data, and our corpus data is world-leading and unparalleled.

    By analysing learner language and progression we can understand how best to provide learners with the right support and development.

    By looking at patterns in spoken and written English we can choose the vocabulary and grammatical structures that are the most helpful when learning English.

  • Practical outcomes of pedagocial research

    Our commitment to research enables us to deliver useful and practical guidance that teachers can use to promote research-informed classroom practices.

    We also develop frameworks and approaches so teachers can integrate areas such as Life Competencies into their teaching.

  • Cambridge English Curriculum Framework

    The Cambridge English Curriculum Framework enables us to set out the learning objectives that we draw on to build all of our courses and assessment materials.

    This means that our approach to language learning is both principled and flexible and we’re able to react sensitively to the needs of different learners, keeping them moving as efficiently as possible towards their goals.

Cambridge Life Competencies Framework

Our research on Life Competencies allows us to prepare students with skills and experiences that go beyond simply learning an additional language.

Through in-depth research we have uncovered increasing evidence that the engaging and collaborative nature of the language classroom is the perfect place to develop and embed key competencies that surpass language alone. We're working with educators to understand how these skills can be integrated seamlessly into your English language programmes.

Find out more
Research team

Our teacher insights

Teachers are our eyes and ears – the insights they have into the realities, challenges and successes of teaching practice is hugely valuable to us.

We gather feedback from our global network of teachers continuously. This helps us to have a clear understanding of what learners and teachers need and how we can best offer them support.

Ways we work with teachers

  • Teacher feedback

    We spend a lot of time working with and talking to teachers all around the world from a wide range of backgrounds and contexts. We understand that there are certain universal difficulties that teachers face as well as many more localised challenges, and we endeavour to solve these through research and outreach.
      

  • Class observations and interviews

    We support teacher-led research initiatives worldwide and this lets us really understand what teachers and their learners need. This, along with information we gather through our pedagogical research projects, equips us to provide more tailored and useful continued professional development.
      

  • Trialing new content and materials

    We regularly test our materials with teachers and learners and this can range from trialling a course book or other classroom resources, to technology like new apps or software. The insights we gather from these trials through focus groups, surveys, interviews and conversations help us to improve the learning support we offer.

Insights in action in the
World of Better Learning

With thousands of experiences, insights, ideas and resources for language teachers, the World of Better Learning is your place to explore articles, resources and interviews with industry experts that are perfect for you. Subscribe today for updates direct to your inbox or tell us if you have an idea you want to share!

Take a look for yourself

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Research in the news

What is a chunk? How do you know a chunk when you see one?

Our latest Cambridge Paper in ELT is now available!

This Paper, written by Scott Thornbury, is all about learning language in chunks, and answers questions like ‘what is a chunk?’, ‘why learn chunks?’, and ‘how can we learn chunks?’.

Read more
Cambridge research paper- chunks
 

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