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Pilgrims 2005 Teacher Training Courses - Read More
Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching

Letter 1

Hi Hania,

Juan Padilla suggested that I contact you regardingmy resource project that I have been working on.

My name is Victoria Baker, a researcher of the online project -- -- a comprehensive and informative resource that systematically sorts out the available business undergraduate and graduate programs available today in the U.S. I think this information is very valuable to students today who are not only dealing with the competitive nature of higher education, but also the rising costs of it.

I hope that you will find this to be a powerful resource for anyone pursuing to further their college education. Please take a look and let me know what you think. If you like it, it would be great to see it listed as a resource on your page for students to refer to.

Thanks for your help. I look forward to hearing back from you soon!


Letter 2

Dear Hania,

(…) our latest achievement, in which we promote Pilgrims as well as for TT and coaching. We have developed a new website where you can find out more about us and see what we do in Slovakia as the result of coopeartion with Pilgrims trainers.

Would be happy to hear your opinion on this. You can view our blog here:

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Jana Chynoradská

Letter 3

Dear Hania,

thank you for appreciating my video! I will write the article during the next few days and I really hope to see it published on the Pilgrims Magazine. By the way, I attended a one-week Pilgrims course some years ago and I have a wonderful memory of the experience.

Warm regards,

Maria Antonietta

P.S: At the moment I am also developing a website for CLIL teachers.
The URL is

Letter 4

Dear Hania,

 (…) I'm currently on skype with a blind English teacher in Macedonia.  She too

(like me) really likes HLTmag... however she says she has difficulty accessing the materials

I've now asked a freind to run an accessibility audit on She was responsible for web accessibility at the London Olympics :)

Because English teaching is something that visually impaired people can do, and because I love HLTmag... I would like to assist in any way to make your

site a little more accessible.

Best wishes,

Claire Ozel

Letter 5

Dear colleague,

Knowing your interest in ELT, we invite you visit our site and use the  lesson plans and worksheets available for free download on website of the voluntary campaign Disabled Access Friendly. As well as teaching EFL skills, all our material raises awareness about issues facing people with mobility disability.

Our material helps teachers to:

  • Develop students’ social conscience
  • Make lessons meaningful
  • Encourage critical thinking through a curriculum of social empathy 

 Our material helps students to:

  • Understand more about mobility disability
  • Put themselves in someone else’s shoes
  • Become more sensitive and caring

By using our material you can be a teacher who makes a difference for tomorrow. For an explanation of how you can combine teaching EFL with raising social awareness, and examples of our lessons at all levels, please see these guidelines.

 “The best schools and teachers have always done more than just prepare students for tests.

They raise awareness of the world in which we live and try to make it a better place”.

The Disabled Access Friendly team

Letter 6

I teach lower intermediates.  How is the Disabled Access Friendly campaign useful to me?

Teaching students at lower intermediate level can present a challenge.  You may feel you have already exhausted familiar topics such as hobbies, summer holidays and families, and would like to work on something with a bit more substance with your students. You would like to be able to use your classroom as a tool for raising social awareness, and encourage your students to become critical thinkers. For education is not only about acquiring knowledge and skills, it embraces social improvement, respect for others, the promotion of well-being, truth, fairness and equality. You want your students to know that they are not helpless to overcome the gaps between ideals and reality.  When they “finish” with English, you would like to feel that in your class they learned something more than just a foreign language.

With younger lower intermediate students the stumbling block to achieving this can be that it is difficult to find material that fulfils all of the following criteria

  • It is written for B1 level
  • The topic appeals to young students
  • The content raises social awareness on a particular issue, without making the text unappealing or boring

With older or adult lower intermediate students you need to find material that incorporates the following:

  • It is written for B1 level
  • The topic appeals to older students or adults
  • The content raises social awareness on a particular issue, without sounding patronising or insulting the reader’s anticipated existing level of knowledge on the subject.

This is where the Disabled Access Friendly campaign can help you. 

Thisvoluntary campaign focuses on issues of mobility disability and paves the way to changes being made both in attitude and infrastructure so that people with mobility disability are less isolated, have better access to the world, and are empowered to live more independent lives. The campaign’s EFL website,, provides teachers with free online lesson plans and reading texts. These can be used as additional material, for project work or examination practice. At the same time they provide students with the information necessary to allow them to put themselves in the shoes of someone with a mobility disability and stimulate them to understand others and to think how others feel.

Why not consider using some of the campaign’s graded reading texts with your lower intermediate students?  It may be helpful at this stage to have a look at some of these texts in more detail, so you can see how you could use these with your students. 

For younger students

A text entitled “Facebook asks what you dislike most about being a wheelchair user” uses Facebook “format” and colloquial language.  The text practices direct and indirect speech and the modal verb can.  The responses to the question posed highlight inappropriate behaviour towards wheelchair users and prompt readers to think about how they would interact with someone with a mobility disability.

“Staff Benda Bilili” is a successful pop group from Africa.  The band members are all wheelchair users, and although not popular in their native country of the Democratic Republic of the Congoin Africa, they have achieved considerable success in the UK.  The text’s vocabulary is based on the music industry.  The text will make readers to think about how rare it is to see performers with a mobility disability, and to think about integration, as the musicians were not welcomed by other bands because of their disability.-

The text “Be happy for me” uses both the simple present and the simple past.  It talks about how a young wheelchair user feels when people express pity or show they feel sorry for her.  She is a fighter and the text ends with the words “Be happy I'm here, not sad.  I don’t cry, I fight.  I have no time to cry”.

For older students

The fact that some buildings remain inaccessible to wheelchair users will not be an unfamiliar concept to adult readers.  The text “Access, all areas” is based on a newspaper report about how a wheelchair user took a bank to court for not providing him with access.  The text is also appropriate for learners of Business English.  The text shows the author’s humiliation at being forced to conduct his banking business on the pavement, and also the bank’s attitude to people with disabilities.

“Are there wheelchairs in heaven” is quite a philosophical piece adapted from an article written by a wheelchair user. In terms of language it uses gerunds, and its vocabulary is largely about feelings and behaviour.  The article is about a eulogy for a dead wheelchair user, in which it is suggested that death has set him free as in heaven he will be able to walk again.  The issue raised is whether this was an acceptable thing to say.

On a lighter note, “My wheelchair wedding” talks about the difficulties in choosing a bridal gown for a wheelchair user that will not get caught up in the wheels.  It raises awareness about issues affecting people with mobility disability, as this is a practical consideration most people have probably never thought about.  The text uses general grammatical sturctures and concentrates on wedding vocabulary.

The best teachers have always done more than just prepare students for tests.  They raise awareness of the world in which we live and try to make it a better place.  We invite you to visit our site for material to help you be one of those teachers.

Katie Quartano


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