How do we prepare our students to succeed in a fast-changing world? To collaborate with people from around the globe? To create innovation as technology increasingly takes over routine work? To use advanced thinking skills in the face of more complex challenges? To show resilience in the face of constant change? These are questions educators around the world are trying to address and to determine the skills and competencies our students need for the 21st century - each relating to different contexts.

At Cambridge, we have been working on how we can help you with this and are responding to educators that have asked for a way to understand how all these different approaches to life competencies relate to English language programmes. We have set out to analyse what the basic competencies are. This is to help us create an underlying framework to interpret different initiatives. We have also started work on examining the different stages of the learning journey, and how these competencies vary across each stage. Click on the images below to view the introduction booklet and the booklets for each of the 7 competencies (pdfs).

Cambridge Corpus of Academic English

Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment are undertaking a research project to develop a better understanding of the English language skills needed by students at English-medium universities. This resource will complement the existing 400 million words of academic English already included in the Cambridge English Corpus. At the heart of the project is the creation of a huge collection, or corpus, of academic writing. We aim to collect as wide a variety of written materials as possible, from essays and reports written by A Level students to research theses and journal articles produced by academics.

Cambridge Papers in ELT

Written by academic experts, this series of papers connects the deeper insights of linguistic and pedagogical research with the reality of everyday ELT practice. Click on the images below to view/download the papers (pdfs).

GrammarThe English Grammar Profile (EGP) is a sister resource to the English Vocabulary Profile, and has been put together by Anne O'Keeffe (Limerick University) and Geraldine Mark, the co-authors, along with Ron Carter and Mike McCarthy, of English Grammar Today (Cambridge University Press). Mark and O'Keeffe investigated the extensive data in the Cambridge Learner Corpus to establish when learners begin to get to grips with different linguistic structures. 

A series of insights from their research will be posted on this page, each one putting the spotlight on an interesting aspect of learner grammar development. Please note that all of the learner examples come from the Cambridge Learner Corpus, a 55-million word electronic collection of written learner data. The examination and the candidate’s first language are given in brackets after each learner example.

See the latest Grammar Spotlight entry below. Scroll right down to the bottom of this page to browse through previous entries.


wowWith its 120th word, Word of the Week has now come to an end. We hope you enjoyed this free feature and that it has given you an insight into the thinking and research behind the English Vocabulary Profile.

All 120 are still available to read in our archive, below. Each Word of the Week in the archive is followed by a link to the full entry for that word on the English Vocabulary Profile. To view the entries, you will need to subscribe to the EVP: to subscribe for free click here.

Here you will find examples of the press coverage that our language and pedagogy research has received.

British National Corpus 2014 in the News

Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press are collaborating on the creation of the ‘Spoken British National Corpus 2014’ (the Spoken BNC2014) - a collection of 10 million words of spoken English.

The project, which is led jointly by Lancaster University’s Professor Tony McEnery and Cambridge University Press’ Dr Claire Dembry, is to compile a very large collection of recordings of real-life, informal, spoken interactions between people whose first language is British English.

These will then be transcribed and made publicly available for a wide range of research purposes.

Here you can read our interesting and entertaining research insights from the project, looking at how the things we say has changed over the past 2 decades!


Cambridge University Press