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Warwick ELT Archive: Biographies

These pages contain biographical and bibliographical information, and some archival material, relating to selected figures in the development of ELT / the teaching of English as a foreign language (c. 1880 - c. 1980). See the links on the right for pages constructed so far.

Health warning: This represents a kind of 'received' or 'canonical' selection of methodologists, based on largely UK-focused research into the development of a particular European Reform Movement influenced British tradition in English language teaching (see Howatt with Widdowson 2004, Howatt and Smith 2000, 2002, 2014; Smith 2003, 2005).

The selection would be different for different worldwide historical contexts; also, the absence of women apart from Ingrid Freebairn shows the extent to which writing books on methodology and EFL textbooks seems to have been largely male-dominated in the period covered by the ELT Archive (c. 1880 – c. 1980). Further exploring the role of women in the history of ELT, alongside developing a more 'grounded' (bottom-up) approach to history in general, is one of our current areas of research interest, as is facilitating research into diverse histories of English language teaching / education in different contexts, including (currently) India and China.


Howatt, A.P.R. & Smith, R. (eds.) 2000. Foundations of Foreign Language Teaching: Nineteenth-century Innovators, six volumes; Vol. 1: Joseph Jacotot and James Hamilton; Vol. II: Claude Marcel (1); Vol. III: Claude Marcel (2); Vol. IV: Thomas Prendergast; Vol. V: Lambert Sauveur and Maximilian Berlitz; Vol. VI: François Gouin. London: Routledge, with 43-page General Introduction.

Howatt, A.P.R. & Smith, R. (eds.) 2002. Modern Language Teaching: The Reform Movement, five volumes; Vol. I: Linguistic Foundations; Vol. II: Early Years of Reform; Vol. III: Germany and France; Vol. IV: Britain and Scandinavia; Vol. V: Bibliographies and Overviews. London: Routledge, with separate volume introductions totalling 157 pages.

Howatt, A.P.R. & Smith, R. 2014. ‘The history of teaching English as a foreign language, from a British and European perspective’. Language and History 57/1: 7494.

Howatt, A.P.R. with Widdowson, H.G. (2004) A History of English Language Teaching, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Smith, R. (ed.) 2005.Teaching English as a Foreign Language, 1936–61: Foundations of ELT, six volumes; Vol. I: Selected Papers; Vol. 2: Eckersley and Elliott; Vol. 3: Palmer and Hornby; Vol. 4: Morris and Gurrey; Vol. 5: Gauntlett and Hornby; Vol. 6: West and Billows. Abingdon: Routledge, with 105-page General Introduction (pp. xv–cxx). [100%]

Smith, R.( ed.) 2003. Teaching English as a Foreign Language, 1912–36: Pioneers of ELT, five volumes; Vol. I: Wren and Wyatt; Vol. II: Harold E. Palmer; Vol. III: Michael West; Vol. IV: Lawrence Faucett; Vol. V: Towards Carnegie. London: Routledge, with separate volume introductions totalling 110 pages. [100%]