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L.A. Hill (1918–2008)

  • British English language teacher and language teaching theorist, active as an ELT author in particular from the 1950s until the 1970s.
  • Born in 1918 in Greece
  • Educated at Cambridge University
  • Began teaching English in Greece in 1939
  • In 1947, he became a British Council teacher and teacher trainer in Iran
  • Moved to Indonesia as a lecturer and Education Officer for the British Council
  • Became Professor of English at the University of Indonesia in 1954, and was head of the Department of English.
  • Went back to England for BA studies specifically in English. Obtained his BA at the University of London Institute of Education
  • En route to Indonesia, participated in the UNESCO International Seminar (August 1953) in Sri Lanka on the Contribution of the Teaching of Modern Languages towards Education for Living in a World Community.
  • Hill began researching and writing about language teaching soon after becoming Professor / Head of Department in Indonesia. From the mid-1950s until the late 1970s, he regularly published articles in English Language Teaching (Journal).
  • Between 1957 and 1961, Hill was the most prolific author in the journal together with Michael West. Each published eight articles during this time.
  • Hill's articles were about various topics, including language teaching methodology, teacher training, the teaching of English in India and technology in language teaching.
  • From 1958 to 1960, he worked as Chief Education Officer for the British Council in India.
  • He resigned from the British Council in 1961 to become a full-time writer and occasional lecturer.

  • In 1965, Hill published his best-selling Stories for Reproduction series for elementary, intermediate and advanced learners with Oxford University Press.
  • Oxford University Press published Hill's compilation, Selected Articles on the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (Hill 1967b). This collected together 17 of the more than 50 articles he had published between 1955 and 1967.
  • In 1979, Cassell published his A Teacher Training Course for Teachers of EFL. 
  • Hill died in 2008, in Jersey.


1) Hill, L.A. 1967. Selected Articles on the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2) the following autobiographical audio-recording (originally recorded for a University of London Institute of Education oral history project, donated to the Warwick ELT Archive by John Norrish):



Further information

For more on L.A. Hill, see Lowe, Robert J. & Smith, Richard. 2019. 'L.A. Hill's "neutral English" – a historical counterpoint to ELF'. ELT Journal advance access:

After writing the above article, we came across this website – A Tribute to L.A. Hillwhich is dedicated to Hill's memory and which contains links to a long, unpublished autobiographical typescript by him (see p. 503ff. for ELT career details), along with his own typed CV and record of publications.