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Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching

Letter 1

Hello Hania

I watched the video with you and Paul Davis about the new book. I loved Paul's way of illustrating how the lexis comes first followed by the grammar.

Also, it was interesting reading how excited everyone was by Michael Lewis' initial explanation of the concept but how the method of implementation left a lot to be desired and how this book bridges the gap and has made the concept a reality for teaching.

I'm looking forward to buying it myself soon - I know the logic and benefit of teaching chunks but am not yet sure how to organise it. I don't want to deny my students any longer!

Best wishes to you in Gdansk or wherever you are when you read this.

Letter 2

Dear Hanna,

hope you are fine! This is the link to my new ELT/ edtech blog !

Please take a look when you have some time! I've also written a post about our summer seminar in Oxford !

Kind Regards,
Christina M

Letter 3

Letter 4

Hi there Hania,

I have just published a book, Language Learning Unlocked, written primarily for the language learners, which seeks to provide understandings and strategies that can help turn around the generally poor outcomes experienced in the language learning field.

Professor Joe Lo Bianco from the Languages Dept at the University of Melbourne had this to say about the book:

"Between the recent explosion of research based knowledge about successful language learning and current practices in education and learner expectation there resides a large chasm. Filling this is Mr, Weiler’s aim. His vision is for universal success, a goal whose achievement we should all welcome and which this important book will help make achievable."

I believe that this book would fit well within your publications as the book takes a very human look at learning, drawing on what we know about first language acquisition, the power of our feelings, the importance of beliefs, the role of awareness and so on. The book is intended for language learners however language teachers can gain a lot from better understanding what language learners need to do (apart from study! :-) ). I have a had a lot of feedback from language teachers about what I have been doing with language learners, so it is clear that there is value here for them.

I wonder if you would have someone interested in reviewing the book, or alternatively I would be willing to write you an article.

with kindest regards,

Andrew Weiler - a book to inspire language learners to regain ownership of their language learning so they can be as successful as they wish to be & - bite size pieces to inspire language learners to successful practices

Letter 5

Hi Hania,

We're delighted to announce that Eric Baber, president of IATEFL has joined the board of LingleOnline.

Eric will help provide Lingle with the clarity and focus required to meet the challenges of our next stage growth.

Kind regards

Letter 6

Hi Hania,

I hope all is well! I am writing to follow up with you about the resource

The project -- is a general information website with many resources useful to all people looking to further their education. The site discusses the offline and online educational paths one can follow to obtain a degree from an accredited institution. As a valuable resource to anyone interested in pursuing a degree, I thought the project could be of interest to yourself and others who frequently visit your site.

With October being National Disability Employment Awareness month we recently published an article that we thought would be of particular interest to you:

Take a look and let me know what you think. If interested, it would be great to see it listed as a resource for those interested to refer to.

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


Letter 7

Dear Hania

I've just produced an Apple iBook, entitled eHandbook (I was going to call it iHandbook but Apple wouldn't allow that), outlining the ways teachers can use Apple's iBooks Author to create learning material in the form of an iBook, downloadable to an iPad. This can be useful to your readers, principally those who already use Macs, but particularly also for those who may be thinking of getting a Mac.

Here's a link to the book on iTunes:

It's free. I hope you will find the iBook worthy of a review

Mark Addison
Hilderstone College

Letter 8


Macmillan Education is thrilled that its IELTS Skills app has been shortlisted for the English Speaking Union’s (ESU) prestigious 2013 President’s Award

Each year, the coveted President’s Award recognises and encourages the widespread use of technology to enhance English teachingworldwide. The award was initiated by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is supported today by HRH The Princess Royal.

This is the latest in a long line of nominations for Macmillan Education. Chris Willis, Acting Exams Publisher, is delighted to have been shortlisted:

“This nomination is great news. It shows we’ve achieved our goal of creating an indispensable app that is a powerful tool for both teachers and students and we’re staying ahead of the game in the digital revolution that’s happening in education.”

Written by the renowned author Sam McCarter, the app brings together decades of exam experience through high quality content and functionality to help students develop the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills they need to pass the IELTS exam, taken by over 2 million students each year. Incorporating the latest technology allows it to work on all devices from tablets to smartphones so it can be used anywhere, anytime.

The ESU panel were impressed by the app’s content, functionality and design. They commented:

“The IELTS Skills app is a very high quality and comprehensive piece of software, both in terms of design and content. It suits its target audience perfectly and the fact that it can be used on a smartphone is highly advantageous.”

The winners of the award will be announced on 2 December 2013

--- ENDS ---

Notes to Editors

Macmillan Education is one of the world's leading publishers of English Language teaching and school curriculum materials, with 170 years of publishing experience.

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, and is one of the best-known examining bodies in the industry. In many English-speaking countries students are required to pass this test in order to study at their academic institutions, and some governments use it as a measure of English levels for visa approval. They provide a standardised measure of English language skills.

The English Speaking Union is an educational charity with a Royal Charter that brings together and empowers people of different languages and cultures.

For more information, please contact
Peter Newman | Macmillan Education
Tel: +44 (0)207 014 4010| |

Letter 9

Dear Hania

I teach young learners. How is the Disabled Access Friendly campaign useful to me?

When you are teaching young learners, a good course book can provide a great feeling of security, both for the teacher and the students. It gives you the teacher a well organised framework that enables you to deliver the building blocks your students need in order to learn English, and the format and topics used are specially designed to appeal to young children.

But when you became a teacher, maybe you had hoped you would be able to do something more than just teach the English language. 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. Good teachers want to encourage students to realise that they are not helpless to overcome the gaps between ideals and reality. They realise that education should equip children to become adults who will take responsibility for the world they inhabit, and to think and question what they see and hear. An awareness of the world in which we live and the belief that through their own actions students have the ability to make improvements, is at the heart of education. As Marian Wright Edelman, an American activist for the rights of children said, “education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it”.

You may well agree with the above, but you may also be wondering how you can put all this into practice and raise social awareness in the classroom at young learner level in English. After all, your students have very limited English language skills, and because of their young age, cannot relate easily to many topics. This is where the Disabled Access Friendly campaign can help you.

This voluntary 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 and 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 in parallel with your course book? These texts combine the following elements:

  • Language suitable for A1/A2 level
  • Topic appeals to young children
  • Text prompts children to think about issues facing people with mobility disability and to consider attitudes and behaviour towards people with mobility disability.

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.

A reader entitled “A dog on wheels” is about a dog whose back legs are injured and it is therefore harnessed to wheels so it can move. The text provides practice of the present simple tense, and uses very simple vocabulary. The dog’s friends ask it inappropriate questions about its disability, and make various assumptions. The text indirectly provides children with information about how a wheelchair user feels and how to behave towards someone with a mobility disability.

“Party time” talks about a little girl getting ready for a party. Like all children, she takes great pleasure in making herself look pretty. The text provides practice of the present simple tense and uses vocabulary about clothes and appearance . At the end, it is revealed that the child is a wheelchair user, and feels she is made unattractive by her wheelchair. The text puts the reader in the position of the little girl, prompting the reader to think about issues she faces and how she feels.

Accessibilty is the topic of a text entitled “A schoolboy sits alone at school”. This is based on a newspaper article reporting on a young wheelchair user who was unable to reach his classroom at school because of a broken lift. The text practices the present simple, can and can’t, and the future with will, and uses adjectives expressing feelings. Students are prompted to consider issues of accessible infrastructure and how lack of access can isolate and disempower a wheelchair user.

“Babies love learning about the world” practices the present simple, the present continuous and the modal verb can. The text talks about how babies reach, grab, crawl and learn to walk, and how these skills enable them to explore their environment. Readers are introduced to a baby who is unable to do all these things because of a mobility disability, but who has the same instinctive desire to do so. There is a link to a YouTube clip showing a kind of wheelchair for babies that enables them to move around by operating a joy stick. The text indirectly shows how someone with a mobility disability is restricted in reacting with his environment, and also how technology can help.

If you are teaching adverbs of frequency, you could use a text entitled “Video games”. This briefly touches on the subject of assistive technology, which can help children with disabilities use a computer. It also talks about how a wheelchair user can improve his skills at manoeurvring his wheelchair by playing a specially designed video game. The idea that successfully operating a wheelchair can be a challenging skill to obtain is probably a new one to most readers.

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

Letter 10

Dear colleague,

There is now a large number of people involved in the Disabled Access Friendly campaign. On the one hand it is wonderful to feel the support of an extended team, on the other it means keeping up with everyone on an individual basis takes more and more time. This is why we have decided to send a mass mailing to you all. Thank you for your understanding.

The first reason for this mail is to update you briefly on the campaign's activities and where we are today.

The campaign is going from strength to strength. Our webstats show that teachers from all over the world are accessing our site, and we know also that many are using our material in their classrooms. Feedback is always very positive and encouraging, and we hope you are proud to be part of this voluntary effort, which is definitely beginning to leave a footprint on the world. Have a look at some comments from a teacher in Thessaloniki if you need convincing that it is all worthwhile.

This year we have welcomed new Ambassadors to the campaign, who have spread the word as far from Thessaloniki as South America and China. We have given conference presentations at IATEFL in Liverpool, at ISTEK in Istanbul and at TESOL in Athens, as well as many teacher training sessions. We continue to be published in the ELT press. All the events at which we are represented are listed on our website, as well as all the articles where our work is mentioned, and we have uploaded lots of photos.

The second reason for this mail is to solicit your feedback on the following issues, as we value your opinion and ideas.

  • We are concerned about the sustainability of the campaign. The site has to look fresh to remain attractive. We therefore have an ongoing need for new teaching material raising awareness about mobility disability. Maybe you have an idea how we could go about getting this.
  • The site has to be user friendly and meet teachers’ needs. We would welcome your suggestions for improvement.
  • We would like to explore the possibility of doing webinars so we can reach teachers unable to attend actual presentations. We would be pleased to listen to your advice and suggestions on this idea.

However, the most important reason for sending this mail is to thank you for your continued support.

We could not have done it without you. Some of you have contributed by doing photocopies; others by presenting our work at major ELT events, and in between there are a thousand other ways in which people have helped to get the Disabled Access Friendly campaign where it is today and contributed to our amazing success. The whole point of this campaign has been to enable EFL teachers to provide information and insight into mobility disability, thus building pathways to caring and action. No one has made any money and no one is promoting their own career. Thank you so much for being a part of this great voluntary team effort.

We hope that we can count on your continued involvement.
Best wishes

The Disabled Access Friendly team

-- Disabled Access Friendly
Like Our Facebook Page:
Follow us on Twitter:

Dear colleague!

  • Do you like the idea of winning 200 Euros? 100 Euros? A set of books?
  • Could you write an ELT worksheet on the theme of mobility disability?

If you answered yes to both those questions, why not enter our competition? You don’t have to be a materials writer, worksheets can be just a simple idea built around teaching activities you already use.

Give it a go! Even if your entry doesn't win a prize, it may still get published on our site. Good for your CV too! This is a great way to use your ELT experience for a good cause.

-- Disabled Access Friendly
Like Our Facebook Page:
Follow us on Twitter:

Letter 11

Love English Awards 2012 – call for nominations

27th November 2012

The annual Love English Awards, hosted by Macmillan Dictionary Online, are now open for entry. The awards are run entirely online and support individual blogs and websites devoted to all aspects of language.

The Love English Awards enable members of the public to nominate and vote for their favourite English Language online community; a blog or website that is non-commercial, encourages learning and promotes online discussion about language development.

According to Katalin Süle, Macmillan’s Dictionaries Publishing Manager, the initiative to run an award for best language blog and website recognises that individual sites play an important part in promoting language learning by providing information, inspiration, and guidance in an informal setting.

“The Love English Awards signify a trend in the importance of online learning and sharing ideas. Everyone has their favourite websites and blogs which they visit on a regular basis and by running the Love English Awards we celebrate the diversity of content there is available, created by and for online communities.”

Last year, over 70 websites and blogs were nominated for the Love English Awards, garnering over 37,000 votes between them. The winner of the Best Blog 2011 was Luke's English Podcast, with runners-up Film English and ESL Pod. In the category Best Website 2011, Wordsmith was the overall winner with English Club and World Wide Words in second and third place respectively.

The Love English Awards are open for nominations from Tuesday 27 November. The winning blog and website will be announced by Macmillan Dictionary Online on Tuesday 22 January 2013. Winners will receive a Love English Awards 2012 winner’s badge and £100 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Notes to Editors
The Love English Awards are organised by Macmillan Dictionaries, a division of Macmillan Education:

The Love English Awards are hosted on the Macmillan Dictionary Blog, a multi-authored blog discussing the English language of today. You can visit the awards page here:

For more information, please contact
Saskia Iseard | PR, Graded Readers and Dictionaries | Macmillan Education
Tel: +44 (0)1865 405 903 | |


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