She in ELT: help me make a definitive guide

updated 12 August 2008

This is a call-out for help on a series of pieces I would like to do about women in the field of English Language Teaching, Applied Linguistics or anything that is related to TESOL, TEFL, TESL...

the valkyries
Could you please tell me who influenced your teaching and/or who inspired you to become a better English language teacher?

HOWEVER, there is a small catch - I don't want just names and sorry, no boys, straight or bent. ;-)

And... I want details!

i.e. not = Penny Ur

e.g. Vicki Hollett
Author of Business Objectives and Business Opportunities, Tech Talk and The Jericho Conspiracy. Her blog, on learning to speak American is at Here's a youtube video of her in the recent Virtual Round Table.

And then your thoughts if you'd like to add them.

You can write an article about how this person affected your career, conduct an interview either a written piece or on video.

You could discuss one of their books or methodologies.

Tell me about the online community leaders, bloggers, conference speakers, professors or publishers - any female that is up and coming or already leading the way.

You do not need to write about someone "famous."

In fact I would like to have a global perspective to the series, not focusing on only European biggies so if there's a very special teacher-trainer, an author from your own country all the better - if you had a great female DOS, the head of teaching association who did great work, a publisher you worked with or a book you loved from cover-to-cover, do please feel free to contribute.

You can email me directly with this information or simply add your comments below.

  • Name of female in ELT who inspired or influenced your teaching
  • List of publications where applicable
  • Website address where applicable
  • How influenced you
  • State if you'd like to have your own name/website address listed at the bottom of the posting in the thanks section.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Useful links related to this posting:
Sexy ELT by Gavin Dudeney
The Six Things Poll by Lindsay Clandfield


6 Responses to “She in ELT: help me make a definitive guide”

  • Unknown says:
    June 20, 2009

    Great idea for a list, Karenne! Wonder where that came from? :-) Just kidding, I think this is a fine idea and you will run into less trouble than I did I am sure!

    Here's who I nominate, from outside the European biggies crowd. Dr Fauzia Shamim gave a plenary at IATEFL last year and I thought she was very inspiring, and a great speaker/trainer.

    Dr Shamim a Professor in the Department of English, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.
    Dr Shamim completed her doctoral research on “Teacher-learner behavior and classroom processes in large ESL classes in Pakistan” in 1993 from the University of Leeds, UK. Her recent book ‘Maximizing learning in large classes’ (2007), co-authored with the course tutors and participants of the Hornby school, was published by the British Council, Ethiopia. Currently, she is the joint coordinator (with Dr Richard Smith) of the ‘Teaching English in Large Classes’ project.
    Dr Shamim is a founder member of two professional organizations in Pakistan, i.e. SPELT, Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers, and PARE, Pakistan Association for Research in Education.
    You can see a video of her give that talk on large classes here:

    Is that enough info? :-)

    June 20, 2009

    Hee-hee, you know you and Gavin inspired this posting, Lindsay, that's why you're linked in the posting LOL.

    But no, seriously, when was tweeting you back my responses I had a really hard time coming up with names of the great women in ELT - although there are so many.

    Thanks for your absolute fab response - this is exactly what looking for!


  • Andy says:
    June 22, 2009

    So many to choose from, but here are a few I've met and feel privileged to have learned from:

    Tessa Woodward, editor Teacher Trainer Journal and many other publications. Was my CELTA trainer (though this was so long ago that it predates CELTA by a long time - RSA Cert trainer actually) and since then a great friend and inspiration, recently of course president of IATEFL.

    Diane Larsen-Freeman, too many books and publications to list, but includes Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching, and Teaching Language: From Grammar to Grammaring. I worked with her for a while at SIT in the States, and she always has time for everyone - whether visiting a country for the first time, answering questions about grammar/ teaching /whatever, and is a trainer who garners incredible respect and admiration from everyone who has ever encountered her

    Zakia Sarwar, inspiration and powerhouse who has driven SPELT (Pakistan EL teachers association), and been involved from the outset, which is one the most successful, most incredible TAs out there, all done in some of the most challenging conditions. Wise counsellor, incredible professional, amazing leader, and great inspiration, all in one.

    June 22, 2009

    Thanks so much Andy - fantastic list of great ladies in ELT. Very much appreciated.


  • Ken Wilson says:
    June 22, 2009

    I have been influenced by lots of ELT women, starting with the talented gang who populated International House London in the 70s - Lizzie Soars, Judy Garton-Sprenger, Gillie Cunningham, Ruth Gairns, Mary Tomalin, Hazel Imbert and my wife Dede Wilson, plus a whole host of other women who were great teachers but who chose not to write or muscle their way onto the international stage in other ways.

    Subsequently, I worked with and was greatly influenced by Printha Ellis, a successful writer of primary materials and an energetic and talented presenter, who sadly died in a car accident three years ago. Another brilliant presenter is Catherine Walter, but everyone knows about her. Suffice it to say, she is one of the most intelligent classroom-aware presenters and thinkers I have met.

    But the woman who offers most to a workforce of teachers who are mainly women is Jane Revell.

    Supremely talented trainer, whose ideas are always classroom oriented first.

    Jane is a brilliant model for teachers, men or women, to base their humanistic style on.

  • MikeyC says:
    June 30, 2009

    For me Ceri Jones. She was my DOS back at IH Serrano, Madrid. She's now working for MCeri was a colloborating author of Inside Out Advanced: Student's Book and more. She has the ability to make complicated ideas seem easy to put across in class.


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