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Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching

Letter 1

Dear Hania

(…) I guess you were quite busy with the latest issue. (…) I have found interesting material and valuable articles that I have shared with my collegues and students at the teachers' training college I work for. Thanks a million. It is excellent! I have really enjoyed reading it. Happy New Year!

Malvina Massaro

Letter 2

On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM, Peter Preston wrote:

Dear Hania,

I have just finished reading the article Making the Leap from Grammar to Lexis by Hugh Dellar and must comment even before reading any more articles that it is just so timely for me as a natural 'anti-grammarian' for so long. I know about the Lexical Approach, having attended a lecture by Michael Lewis a long time ago, but the teaching environment (in Poland) is still so far from this approach that one can feel a bit at sea when one recognises the implications of teacher talk around oneself, believing in the geo-satellite system of navigation of meaning rather than getting to know where one is going from experience. (I don't know if this metaphor works, but it sounds good to me at the time of writing!). It is quite obvious that elementary and intermediate students do not understand grammar (not even in their own language!), any more than children understand the context and complications of reproduction, and the only reason they (language students) ask about grammar is because someone has told them about it and impressed upon them the importance of it if they want to use the language and - as with sex - it is of little use trying to explain it in all its contexts and with all its implications until they have some need and are capable of doing it. Hence I feel the secrets of grammar should be kept till learners are capable of discussing it in their target language (and more in the context of writing than speaking).

I look forward to more articles centred on this approach in the future :-)

Once again, thank you for this excellent edition.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Preston

Letter 3a

Dear editor,

thank you again for the December issue. As soon as I have opened the link to view the contents of this month I have seen something special for the first time in the many issues of HLT: an available version in Spanish. As a Spanish teacher of English my first thought was that why not to read it in my mother tongue. However, after reading some paragraphs of one of the articles I am afraid but the version is not that of the best Spanish and it is a pity that such a prestigious magazine has its new version translated in such a" strange" way. There are some lines or words in which the sense in the original text and the Spanish version have little in common.

Sorry if I have been honest but as a follower of the magazine and attendant to Pilgrims courses I feel compelled to make this comment.

Merry Xmas and all the best for 2014 and HTL from a Humanistic

Antonio Marcelino Campo

Letter 3b

Dear Antonio

Thanks for your email, unfortunately, we have never planned or have no intention to translate HLT into Spanish, I think you'll find this is your browser that has translated it for you!

This would also explain the poor translation!

HLT is a magazine for teachers of English so the language it is published in will always be English. I would check your browser settings and choose for it not to translate!

Best wishes and merry Christmas to you!

Jim Wright,

Letter 4

Dear Well Wishers

In commemoration of UNOs - UNIVERSAL CHILDRENS DAY - on November, 20, I forward herewith a befitting poem for the occasion (…)

Please feel free to promote this genuine cause of the UNO through your mailing lists, for the welfare of one and all.

With best wishes

Poetically Yours

Dr. T. Ashok Chakravarthy, D.Lit.,
International Poet – Review Writer
Universal Peace Ambassador,
Vice-Chair, Global Harmony Association,

Letter 5

Letter 6


Recently I have been reading the excellent book ‘This Will Make You Smarter’. Literary agent John Brockman got in touch with a number of leading scientists / writers / journalists and asked them the following question: ‘What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody’s Cognitive Toolkit?’ (The Edge Question 2011) Responses poured in (each one ranging from a couple of paragraphs to three pages in length) and the result was this volume; it features contributions from such intellectual giants as R. Dawkins, D. Kahneman, J. Tooby, S. Pinker etc., as well as many rapidly rising stars from various fields...

So here are a couple of ideas:

a) Why not ask some of the best-known and most highly respected colleagues in our field to answer the following Q: ‘If you could share one idea with colleagues in order to make them better teachers, which would it be?’ b) (... better still…) Why not ask some experts from other fields to answer this Q: ‘Which one idea / discovery from your field do you think would help teachers most?’ Psychologists, Managers, Advertisers, Economists, Anthropologists – they could all offer us unique insights…

Now I think about it, perhaps we could do both…

Btw – as I know you love reading, I think you will simply adore this book. In fact, there are at least 10 similar collections. Here are the links to the Amazon book profiles of the ones I have so that you can have a look at the table of contents – the list of contributors is mind-blowing!!

“What is your dangerous idea?”
“The mind”
“What have you changed your mind about?”
“This explains everything!”
“This will change everything!”
“This will make you smarter”
“What we believe but cannot prove”

I think all of these questions could be transferred to the ELT field!
Please let me know what you think…

Best regards,
Nick Michelioudakis,

Letter 7

Macmillan Education Wins Prestigious ESU President’s Award

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

Each year, the coveted President’s Award, supported by HRH The Princess Royal, recognises and encourages the widespread use of technology to enhance English teaching worldwide. Lord Boateng will host the award at a ceremony in London’s iconic House of Lords on 25 Februaryaccompanied by a special guest to be announced.

The ESU decided the IELTS Skills app was a clear winner thanks to a mix of great content, design and utility.

The judges said the app was “very high quality […] It suits its target audience perfectly and the fact that it can be used on a smartphone is highly advantageous. It is very professional in its image and the content is innovative, varied and well thought through.”

This is not the first time the publisher has won the prize. Chris Willis, Teacher Resources Publisher at Macmillan Education said: “we’re over the moon with the news we’ve won such a highly regarded award again. 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 and the latest technology to create a comprehensive app to help students develop the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills they need to pass the IELTS exam anytime, anywhere. The exam is taken by over 2 million students each year.

Available in one complete app or separate for each skill for iOS and Android

Letter 8

Share your love of English with the Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards 2013

London, 28 November 2013

Everyone’s got a favourite website. Teachers – and indeed people outside of the ELT world – rely on the net to find English language inspiration, news and amusement. Today there are more places to find material than ever – some better than others.

That’s why the Macmillan Dictionary Online is hosting the popular annualLove English Awards for a third year running. The awards celebrate the best blogs and websites dedicated to the English language. The aim is to give these often unsung heroes the recognition they deserve in promoting the virtues of the English language on the web.

The Love English Awards give the public the chance to nominate and vote for their favourite English language online community. The organisers are hoping to find great bloggers and even entire websites that encourage learning and stimulate online discussion about language development and put them in the spotlight.

Katalin Süle, Reference Publisher, is excited to see who will be nominated this year:

“The Love English Awards are a great way for us to give recognition to the hundreds of people who are taking learning online and an opportunity for them to showcase their talents. We’re celebrating the diversity of content out there and showing that promoting the English language in 2013 doesn’t just lie in the domain of publishers and academic institutions.”

Last year saw huge interest from language enthusiasts across the world with almost 20,000 votes cast. There are separate awards for blogs and for websites and 2012’s runaway winner, a Hungarian online magazine dedicated to English, showed that the awards really are open to everyone, provided they are about the English language.

The stakes have been raised this year. Not only will the winner receive a coveted Love English Awards online badge of recognition and £100 of Amazon vouchers, but a prize draw will be held for voters with a brand-new Google Nexus 7 tablet to be won.

The Macmillan Dictionary Love English Awards are open for nominations until 12 January 2014. Voting for the shortlisted entries will open shortly after and close on Valentine’s Day, with the winners announced the following week.


The Love English Awards are organised by Macmillan Dictionaries (, a division of Macmillan Education (, one of the world’s largest educational publishers. They support the work of non-commercial bloggers and website creators promoting the English language. Terms and conditions can be found here

For more information, please contact Peter Newman
Macmillan Education

Letter 9

Have you ever thought of writing a worksheet? Would you ever consider writing one about mobility disability? No? We thought not.

You can find some ideas below which will help you enter Disabled Access Friendly’s competition inviting you to write an ELT worksheet on this very issue. We have teamed up with ELT Teacher 2 Writer and Burlington Books to bring you this opportunity, and there are great cash prizes and methodology books to be won. We would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part and all suitable entries will be published on our site. You can find full details here:

We know it can be daunting to write a lesson plan on a subject you know little about. Where do you get information? Where do you get inspiration? So here’s a helping hand.

We suggest you take a look at the existing lesson plans and graded reading texts on Disabled Access Friendly’s site. These will help you get a broad picture of the kind of issues your worksheet could cover.

You might like to consider the following topics:

Physical barriers for people with mobility disability
Think about public transport, getting into and around shops and businesses, places of entertainment, educational institutions, sports, managing in one’s own home.

Behaviour and attitudes towards people with mobility disability
Think about whether we see the person or the disability first. Do we subconsciously behave differently or speak differently to someone with a disability? Have we ever put ourselves in the shoes of someone with a mobility disability to try and understand how they feel?

Stereotyping of people with mobility disability
Think about how the media portrays people with disability, frequently as helpless victims, heroic individuals overcoming tragedy, and charity cases. Notice how many articles focus on heart warming features and inspirational stories that reinforce stereotypes.

Think about how often you come across someone with a mobility disability in films, books or on TV in an ordinary role where their disability is irrelevant to the story line.

Social criteria
Think about relationships, parenting, friends.

Language used to talk about mobility disability
Think about how the words we choose to talk about people with disabilities may reflect our attitude to disability. Do we label people with disabilities or define them by their disability or medical diagnosis?

Think about how technology and access to technology, can help people with mobility disability in terms of inclusion, safety, work opportunities etc.

The workplace
Think about opportunities for people with mobility disability in the workforce, and whether there are physical or other barriers to their inclusion.

We also suggest you look on the internet at articles written on disability issues, and at relevant sites and blogs such as New Mobility and the BBC’s Ouch

Don’t miss the deadline for entries of 16th December 2013. Good luck! The Disabled Access Friendly team

-- Disabled Access Friendly
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Letter 10


Organizer: Bery Group Bulgaria
Dates: 28th – 30th March 2014, 17th – 19th October 2014
Place: National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria

Dear Sir or Madam,

We would like to invite your institution to the biggest educational event in Bulgaria - “Education Beyond Borders”. The exhibition will take place in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

You can find additional information on the following links:
Media Partners:

I would like kindly to invite your organization in Sofia to our next educational event named “Education Beyond Borders” on the following dates:
- 28th – 30th March 2014
- 17th – 19th October 2014

We would like to inform you that your organization can receive great discount if you make a registration before 31/01/2014.

We can offer you good conditions, both financial and organisational, together with a proper discount. That is why I would like to invite your institution earlier and to inform you in advance about our event. We would like to organize next activities in advance and we would be happy to answer to all your questions.

“Education Beyond Borders” welcomes many participants from all around the world. The exhibition will be useful for universities, colleges, schools and all kind of educational levels. There will be many educational organizations from all around the world – Europe, USA and Canada, Australia and so on.

Your participation would be very useful if your institution offers great Masterand MBA programs. We will create special part of “Education Beyond Borders” which will be only for career development. The exhibition in March will be special forum about future opportunities in both sectors – CAREER AND EDUCATION. There will be many employers and educational organizations from all around the world.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at +3592 9888 604 or We will be happy to present your programs and to discuss all opportunities and ideas!

Thank you for your attention!


Mrs. Zornitsa Andreeva
Director Marketing

Bery Group Bulgaria
74, Gen. Gurko Str., fl. 1,
1000, Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: 00359 2 9888 604
Fax: 00359 2 950 25 11


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