W is for Women in ELT

30 07 2017

I’ve just written a book on language teaching methods, in which I revisit 30 different methods and their founding fathers. I use the term ‘fathers’ deliberately, since not a single method was designed by a woman – although it’s a safe bet that a good few women were involved in the actual teaching of these methods. Think about it: Thomas Prendergast, Wilhelm Viëtor, François Gouin, Lambert Sauveur, Otto Jespersen, Maximilian Berlitz, Henry Sweet, Harold Palmer, Michael West, Robert Lado, Charles Fries, and so on, and on. The one woman I wanted to include, Sylvia Ashton-Warner (see S is for Sylvia) was ruled out eventually, on the grounds that she was a teacher of first language literacy and never directly involved in second language teaching.

mens group

Where’s Wilga?

In anticipation of my critics, all I can say is that the androcentricity of ELT seems to be deeply inscribed in its history. For example, in a chronology of ‘recent and current trends between 1880 and 1980’ in Stern’s Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching (1983), the first woman to be mentioned by name is Wilga Rivers, whose book The Psychologist and the Foreign Language Teacher was published in 1964. Until then the field was completely male-dominated – white, middle-class male dominated, to be exact. This diagram, from Howatt’s History (2004) gives a flavor:

Howatt Phase 1

As far as I can tell, the only other woman apart from Rivers who gets a mention in Stern’s chronology, is Sandra Savignon, whose ‘seminal [sic] experiment on a communicative approach’ was published in 1972.  One hundred years of language teaching: just two women.

Of course, women are under-represented in the history of education generally. In a book called Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present, (Palmer 2001) only seven women are included (although, unaccountably, neither Maria Montessori nor Sylvia Ashton-Warner gets a look in).

But language teaching – and English language teaching – seems to have been exceptionally male-dominated. Why might this be the case?

german-school-for-native-children

A male domain

One reason may have been the long association between English and empire, and the way that English language teaching was, as Pennycook (1998, p. 9) puts it, ‘a crucial part of the colonial enterprise’. Teaching English was an extension of colonial rule, and, like all the machinery of empire, an exclusively male domain. Even as the empire was being dismantled, ELT tended to attract young adventurers, often just down from Oxford or Cambridge. As Howatt (2004, p. 241) describes it, ‘long-distance travel was still by sea for most people, so taking up an overseas post was a serious commitment and short-term visits back to Britain were unrealistic for anyone employed outside Europe.’ Many of the outstanding innovators in the British ELT tradition were ‘formed’ in such contexts: Palmer in Japan, West in India,  Halliday in China, and Widdowson and Brumfit in East Africa. The women who may have accompanied them and who no doubt helped sustain their professional activities go largely unremembered and uncelebrated, the one exception being Dorothée, Harold Palmer’s daughter, who collaborated with her father on a book on teaching English through actions. (According to Richard Smith [1999], she also published an annotated phonetic version of a play in three acts called The Mollusc, ‘complete with tone marks’).

Meanwhile, back in Britain, English language teaching was largely centered in London, the leading ELT institutions being the University of London, the BBC, and the British Council, none of which at the time were known for their gender inclusivity. You can’t help suspecting that an old-school-tie network effectively excluded women from anything but the most menial positions. A case in point was the novelist Olivia Manning, whose husband taught literature for the British Council in the 1940s, and whom she dutifully accompanied to Rumania, Greece, Egypt and Palestine, picking up whatever work she could.

peace corps teacher.png

Peace Corps teacher, 1960s

It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that organizations such as the Peace Corps in the US and The British Council in the UK made it easier for women to launch their careers in ELT. As an example, in a recent autobiographical piece, Diane Larsen-Freeman (2017) describes how she taught with the Peace Corps for two years in North Borneo before returning to the US to study for a master’s degree in linguistics. She was among the many (notably North American) women, such as Evelyn Hatch, Elaine Tarone, Patsy Lightbown and Nina Spada, who helped establish applied linguistics as a discipline in its own right.

Even so, when, in a recent survey (de Bot 2015), over a hundred leading applied linguists were asked to identify the leaders in their field, the majority of those named were men. ‘In addition, men tend[ed] to list more men than women as leaders, and women [did] the same’ (p. 40).

Hence, the greater visibility of women in recent years cannot disguise or excuse the fact that the discourses of ELT are still largely male dominated – for evidence of which one need not look much further than the comments on these posts!

(I am extremely grateful to Nicola Prentis, and the long conversation with her that inspired this line of inquiry).

References

de Bot, K. (2015) A history of applied linguistics: from 1980 to the present. London: Routledge.

Howatt, A.P.R. (with H.G. Widdowson) (2004) A history of English language teaching (2nd edn.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2017) Just learning. Language Teaching, 50/3.

Palmer, Joy. A. (ed.) (2001) Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present. Oxford: Routledge.

Pennycook, A. (1998) English and the discourses of colonialism. London: Routledge.

Smith, R. (1999) The Writings of Harold E. Palmer: An Overview. Tokyo: Hon-no-Tomosha.

Stern, H.H. (1983) Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 


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40 responses

30 07 2017
roberttaylorefl

When I started studying for my Delta LSA 1, it quickly struck me how many women were responsible for much of the (published) research in ELT. This phenomenon hasbeen evident throughout my MA studies, yet if you look at the industry top-down, it is very much dominated by blokes, such as yourself. Women seem to be, then, the grammar of ELT: less visible from a certain perspective. That’s not to say they’re unimportant. Rather, the industry, like the language, needs to be looked at from every perspective, so we can see how it works and how best to work with it. In the case of women, this means recognising the value of their contributions as well as the resistance they face in establishing themselves amongst the “ELT giants” et al.

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Robert – yes, the profile of gender distribution in ELT varies considerably, depending on how you slice the cake, and whether the cake includes – not only practising teachers – but writers, publishers, trainers, administrators, academics etc. It was not really my purpose to describe the current state of ELT with regard to gender (there are others who have done this with greater insight and authority than I can lay claim to) but simply to take a historical perspective, which I feel has been lacking in the current debate.

30 07 2017
Dominique

No mention of Penny Ur.

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

No, indeed.

30 07 2017
osnacantab

Fascinating, and look forward to the reading the published book immensely. I’ve just been discussing with Bill Templer, though, the surprising omission of a reference to the fact that, world-wide so very many teachers of EFL are and have been women.

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

Yes, indeed, Dennis: so many teachers of anything (not just EFL) have been women, particularly at primary level, but are under-represented when the histories are written. Language teaching – at least until the mid-twentieth century – seems to have been unexceptional in this regard.

30 07 2017
Emilia Siravo

Why aren’t there more women in dominant leadership roles in ELT or elsewhere? There are many reasons.
As women, we often do more and get paid less. In Switzerland for example, women are paid on average ~ 12-20%* less for the same job as men – this applies to ELT too. The truth is, we (women) are often afraid to ask for more.** When we have kids, most of the household chores and childcare rests on us giving us less time to focus on our careers. When we try to ‘rebel’ from the standards placed on us, we get labeled. What’s the male equivalent of a ‘bitch’? Why do we differentiate mums as either ‘working mums’ vs. ‘stay at home’ yet dads are just dads? In Switzerland (and Germany), if you are a mother who works full time you might be labeled as a ‘Rabenmutter’ (Raven mother).*** There is of course no equivalent for a father who works full time, because that is standard practice.
My advice to other women (and men who are interested in supporting women):
– Don’t be afraid to ask for more. We are paid less because we often don’t ask for more.
– Expect more from the men around you.
– Support the other women in your life.

*https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/work-income/wages-income-employment-labour-costs/wage-levels-switzerland/wage-gap.assetdetail.1685305.html
**http://www.womendontask.com/
***http://www.bbc.com/news/business-12703897

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Emilia. With regard to your last point (‘Support the other women in yor life’) there are more ways and means of doing this now, it seems. The ‘Women in ELT’ Facebook group, for example, offers a forum for just such a purpose, while The fair list (http://thefairlist.org/) has successfully militated for a more equitable gender balance among speakers at conferences in the UK.

1 08 2017
Jeff

Here’s what economist Dr. Thomas Sowell and feminist Christina Hoff Sommers have to say about the “Gender Wage Gap”:

Thomas Sowell – Gender Bias and Income Disparity: A Myth?

The gender wage gap uses bogus statistics | FACTUAL FEMINIST

30 07 2017
Tyson Seburn

Good post. I’m sure it’ll garner an enormous discussion here in the comments. My little contribution: I think it’s worth looking around at our current workplaces, too. How many women make up the teaching staff? How many women hold leadership positions? Start here.

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Tyson. When I started teaching, quite a few private language schools were family-run affairs (‘mom-and-pop language schools’?) with a husband-wife team running the show, although not always with a equitable share of power – the husband was more likely to be the director while the wife would handle the educational side of things. Indeed, John and Brita Haycraft (the founders of the International House chain) would be a shining example of this phenomenon. I wonder if it is still the case?

31 07 2017
Anna Bartosik

I’d have to say my workplace represents the community in which I live, with a healthy female teaching staff, and female leadership is prevalent. However, I don’t have to travel more than 20 km outside my bubble to see what you’re implying, Tyson. Still work to be done.

31 07 2017
Kate Leigh

I’d like to see the percentage of female assessors of Delta and Celta too. I’ve always felt that Cambridge has a definite male preference .

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

Indeed, Kate. A lot of energy has been (justifiably) channelled at exposing the male-female gender imbalance among plenary speakers at conferences, but there are a lot of other – less conspicuous – ways in which power is unevenly distributed, it would seem.

31 07 2017
Patrick

Any historical review that goes back hundreds of years, or even thousands in the case of Margaret Thomas’s “Fifty Key Thinkers on Language and Linguistics”, is bound to show this kind of gender disparity for macro-socio-economic reasons that are completely beyond the influence of any particular discipline.

But if you take the period since the liberation movements of the 60’s and early 70s, let’s say from 1970, a very different picture will emerge, with women playing a prominent role in linguistics as well as every other field of endeavour (despite Thatcher’s attempts to drive women back into the kitchen).

A few anecdotes:

– Any survey of UK Uni TESOL/Linguistics faculties will reveal the abundant presence of women at all levels including leadership. My albeit more limited knowledge of North America and ANZ suggests that the same is true there.

– The literature on young learner education, which I’ve been researching fairly intensively in the last few months, is clearly led by women.

– As it happens the course books and activity books that we tend to favour are mostly written or co-written by women, but that’s not why we buy them!

On a slight tangent…one of the great things about this line of work is that it provides an opportunity to travel and open your mind to other cultures, so I was astonished when my recent survey of UK Uni TESOL faculties showed no (zero) lecturers with expanding circle TEFL YL experience, male or female! On the contrary, as Penny Ur has stated, it revealed a preponderance of people who have hardly ever left Europe and often only taught university entrance classes.

31 07 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Patrick. I’d also add that women are better represented in academic journals than they were a century or even half a century ago. Graham Hall (the current editor of ELT Journal ) tweeted to this effect yesterday:

ELT Journal: Advisory Board 5 women,2 men; Editorial Panel 13 women,5 men; ELTJ debates@ IATEFL conference (2013-17) 5 women,5 men … free-to-view Editor’s Choice articles, authorship 50/50 women/men at: https://t.co/EiZwH9zrnB … and female Reviews editor. Current editor male right enough, but he’ll soon be gone 😀…Dr Who-like regeneration?

31 07 2017
Graham Hall

Hi Scott, Thanks for the re-post. Yes, my point with the tweets was really to exemplify what Robert and yourself note at the top of these responses about who does what and how it is recognised. The debate is clearly about equitable opportunities and access for all; but it is also about the way we recognise and value different contributions to ELT – higher and lower profile (for want of better terms); immediate impact and/or longer term impact on what people do and the way we think in the profession and so on. (It’s a bit of a stretch (and arguably dated etc etc), but I wonder if there might be some kind of analogy to be made with Fishman’s idea ‘conversational shitwork’ – women doing the unglamorous work of keeping things going in a way men avoid). Anyway, great post…

31 07 2017
Justin Willoughby

I learned on my DELTA course last year that ‘Dictogloss’, which is a more communicative type of grammar dictation where students have to reconstruct a short text together after hearing it a couple of times, was mainly thanks to Dr Ruth Wajnrub. What stood out for me was the fact that she was Australian. Her book, “Grammar Dictation” 1990, has a lot of practical classroom activities.

2 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Yes, Justin, Ruth Wajnryb helped popularize the technique in her book, although it had actually been around for some time, better known as ‘dicto-comp’. And, yes, she was Australian – although I’m not qutie sure why that should ‘stand out’! A number of eminent scholars in the field hail from there, including some women! 😉

2 08 2017
Justin Willoughby

I guess it stood out for me because I am Australian and I have had to do a lot of reading on ELT and it was the first and only Australian I came across. Most eminent scholars I think are either American or British.

2 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Fair point, Justin. In fact Wilga Rivers (who I mentioned in my post) was Australian. Others you may have come across include David Nunan, Anne Burns and Alistair Pennycook.

1 08 2017
Svetlana

Hello Scott,

Thank you for the post and the issues you have raised here, too many not to reply anything to it and to keep silent. I am a female teacher of English and I have been in this position for 30 years. I’m not writing to join the feminist solidarity-building strategy of complaining “how difficult it is to be a woman nowadays”. God spare me from this “minimal pair” opposition debate when in order to be heard you need to be unvoiced. The truth is that I have never-ever thought of ELT as a man-dominated field. Just on the contrary, I bet I have enough fingers on my two hands to count my male colleagues during my 30-year career. Just look at my three current jobs – a primary school – no male teachers, a teacher-training university – 3 out of 22, and an international language school which is the only place where I can enjoy the company of “white male adventurers” represented in a fair proportion to the female teachers. It has been like this all my teaching life. On second thoughts I will have but agree with you that “forefathers” of language instruction are male in this part of the world, too, though there are some prominent “grandmothers”. But actual teaching is still done by women. In fact I was recruited into the job by observing engaging, involving, interactive lessons with “reactive exposure” taught by women back in the late 80s. So, with men being so scarce, every time I happen to have a male trainee I cheer him as the bravest of men who have enough courage to agree to do one of the hardest jobs.

I have always wondered why this job is done mostly by women. With so much fuss nowadays around the similarities between first and second (next) language acquisition it might be worth noting that there are gender-based differences between motherese and fatherese (if there is such a word): when talking to babies, women tend to adapt their speech more, they are more responsive, entrain more with the child, whereas men do not change their output thus preparing the child for the ‘merciless outer’ world. If so, women by instinct create better conditions for language acquisition and are more able to convert “grammar mcnaggets” (which were definitely discovered by ancient Greek and Roman males) into comprehensible input. Won’t you agree with that?

And I wouldn’t agree with you that ELT is something very different from language instruction in general. The job of a language teacher dates centuries back. The only great difference I can think of is that with so much methodology support provided by ELT publishing houses language teaching has never been so enjoyable before. E. g.,“This dog bites”, an illustration in “Uncovering Grammar” explaining the concept of the passive, is the cutest dog of all. Can you imagine what teaching the passive was like in a medieval lesson of Latin?

Hope you have smiled a couple of times while reading this.

2 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Svetlana – and it certainly has been my experience that in your region (or in the countries that adjoin your region, such as Serbia, Armenia, Croacia etc) the vast majority of attendees at conferences have been women. To such a extent, even, that the occasional man seems like an interloper! (‘Excuse me, I think you’re at the wrong conference!’)

I wouldn’t dare go so far as to suggest that women are psychologically better suited to teach languages, and I suspect that feminist linguists, such as Deborah Cameron, would argue – vociferously – that the fact that they do so, in such a greater numbers than men, is more to do with the way power is unequally distributed in societies. Nevertheless, I shall now look at the literature on care-giver talk (aka motherese) to see if your hunches have any validity.

Ah! I’ve found this (in Foster, S.H,.1990. The communicative competence of young children (London: Longman):

Speech by fathers generally seems to share the same characteristics of mothers’ speech (Golinkoff and Ames 1979), although research suggests that fathers use more requests for clarification and a wider range of vocabulary than mothers (Rondal 1980). They also use more repetition and generally adapt their utterances less to the child’s level of language ability (McLaughlin et al. 1983).

(But there has probably been a lot more research since then).

3 08 2017
nicolaprentis2012

Hi Scott, I am a bit late to comment, though have been keeping up with the comments above. This is just as fascinating as it was when I was scribbling notes as we spoke and I see you’ve added some thoughts and insights since then. (Diane Larsen-Freeman/Peace Corps effect). I think people are reading and taking away very far-ranging things from the post, but, for me, it’s about showing how the historical growth of the methodology was male dominated because women just didn’t have equality for anything at all. They were “the wives of” and that was all society allowed them until the 60s/70s shifted women’s permitted roles. In my continuing research into this topic I have been flabbergasted to see how late certain things happened socially. First female Mayor of London (83), first female Law Lord (87), first female Speaker in the House of Commons (2000 !!!), first female bishop only 3 (!!!!!) years ago. ELT exists within that same framework and it takes decades to unravel and reweave a hierarchy. Women started working as professionals and voting in the earlier part of the century and were even legally acknowledged as persons in their own right (what the hell were we before then?!?) so many many went into teaching and we shouldn’t be surprised to see them in large numbers as there has been more time to let that change take root (not to mention its largely a low paid job that fits better round childcare than some other jobs so explains why so many women). But, we’re still very much living the days of change in women having positions of authority so that catch up is ongoing. Anyway, thanks for the credit and the very valuable resource this post is for when I eventually get my talk together!

3 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Nicola, and thanks once again, for the conversation that triggered this post. You are right, of course, that the invisibility of women in ELT reflects a wider social and economic marginalization that is only starting to be redressed. What interested me is the extent to which language teaching – and applied linguistics in general – has been an extreme instance of this androcentric culture, and that it was not until the 1960s that women’s names started to appear in the literature at all. There were, after all, some notable women figures in other social sciences: Margaret Mead in anthropology, Rosa Luxemburg in politics/economics, Martha Gellhorn in journalism, Susan Sontag in cultural studies etc etc. The invisibility in ELT history is all the more weird when you consider how many teachers (in mainstream education, at least) have been, and are, women.

3 08 2017
nicolaprentis2012

Could it be because of the associations with the Empire? English as a by product of that men’s realm. But you’re right, I can’t see why one field of education like language would be that different from those other subjects. Or, maybe a a reflection of the method of instruction from more prescribed to more communicative since women are often said to be better at communication/talking/listening etc but maybe less associated with the authority inherent in the more grammar-based instruction?

6 08 2017
Patrick

Re De Bot’s cited research.

(1) He states in the book that “Applied Linguistics is largely a white enterprise”, I certainly agree with him on that. Yet we all know (presumably) that ELT is largely a ‘non-white’ enterprise. The TEFL industry has always smacked to me of neo-imperialism, which is one of the several reasons I never took it up as a career. De Bot’s quote is refreshingly candid.

(2) Of his research informants, he says “the overwhelming majority is from the United States”, hardly representative even of the whites then is it?

6 08 2017
robertjdickey

TESOL Charter Members
TESOL acknowledges the educators who founded the association in 1966.

https://www.tesol.org/about-tesol/association-governance/tesol's-history/tesol-charter-members

— 103 founding members, 1966 —

1 Gender Unclear to me..
49 Females
49/102 = .480 Female (48%)

6 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Interestingly, the recently published History of IATEFL (Rixon and Smith, 2017) includes a list of the 51 original sponsors of IATEFL (the ATEFL) when it was formed in 1967. At least two of the 51 are identifiably women, but since mostly initials are used throughout, it is difficult to tell if there are any others lurking in the list. I recognise 21 names, all men (including M. West, P. Strevens, L. Billows, S.Pit Corder, J. Haycraft…) and I suspect the vast majority of the others are also men. It would seem that TESOL had a more inclusive policy right from the get go.

6 08 2017
robertjdickey

Hi Scott,
as I’m doing a bit of work in a related field — leaders of ELT teachers associations — I ‘d be delighted to know:

1. how to cite your comments in this blog (published elsewhere?); and

2. more thoughts/references on this comment —
“It was not really my purpose to describe the current state of ELT with regard to gender (there are others who have done this with greater insight and authority than I can lay claim to)

Thanks!

6 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Hi Robert,
Re citations, I’m not sure what the convention is – I guess the url address and the date you accessed it.
For other sources on gender (in)equality in ELT (and related fields) the resources list on The Fair List website might be a useful starting point:
http://thefairlist.org/resources/books-and-articles/

6 08 2017
robertjdickey

In those US states where I have received data, 75~90% of those holding ESL-type qualifications for state schools are female.

7 08 2017
Patrick

Scott, it seems that the first woman to be appointed to a university chair in Britain was Edith Morley, appointed Professor of English at Reading Uni in 1908.

She was born in 1875, 4 years after Rosa Luxemburg, and 58 years before Susan Sontag.

She also received an OBE or MBE (I’ve never been really sure of the difference) in 1950, so I guess she must have been well known at that time.

Isn’t Reading where you did your MA? If so, do you mind if I tease you a bit and suggest that perhaps she’s been hiding in plain sight?

7 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

Hi Patrick. Thanks for that. Of course, Professor of English is not quite the same as Professor of EFL or TESOL, or even of Applied Linguistics: it wasn’t perhaps until Gillian Brown’s appointment in Oxford (in the 80s?) until that particular bridge was crossed.

7 08 2017
Patrick

Well Ruqaiya Hasan held a variety of lectureship positions from 1954, and an associate professorship in Anthropology and Linguistics in 1972-1973.

I’m sure you know that her spouse is Michael Halliday.

7 08 2017
Scott Thornbury

True. And yes, I did know that. I even met her once, so.ewhat disoriented, in the old town in Barcelona, and guided her to a restaurant. She was with Diana Slade, another prominent Hallidayan, who I ended up writing a book with.

7 08 2017
shahram

An interesting topic

While doing BA at the university about 20 years ago , I wrote a paper titled “Language is male dominated”. The review of literature indicated that the language of poetry, stories, news features, academia… was (perhaps still is) dominated by males rather than females. As such women had to write poems and articles in male terms so that they might be accepted by the public that was mostly influenced by male views. This dominance can be traced to the social roles which were mostly played by men rather than women throughout history.

11 08 2017
abdullahmousablog

the under representation of female scholars in ELT methods and history of education in general is a reality, which is persistent despite the legal frameworks to ensure equality. Historically, and maybe till now to some extent, culture played a big role in creating behavior which looks to women as inferior, which obviously is wrong.
Now days, Textbooks, I believe, replaced culture in this respect. In other words Textbooks have the power to shape mines therefore should be assessed regularly to guarantee their impartiality in regard to gender equality, this is an issue that is not just affecting UK but it is a worldwide issue that need to be addressed through more powerful organisations i.e. the UN.
Empires are part of the past so why should it be a reason to undermine gender equality in ELT and second language acquisition fields. factors holding women back i.e. funding, publication issues and so on should be addressed and solved

4 09 2017
Richard Smith

It’s correct to say that ELT has historically been male-dominated if you focus (as Scott does) on apparent inventors of methods, purveyors of theory, or contributors to public discourse regarding ELT (and gender balance in those areas hasn’t much changed, so either the ‘Empire’ continues or there are other explanations!). I tend to agree with Pennycook (1989) that the concept of Method itself has something patriarchal about it. If we look at language teaching practice, and in particular not just the small band of ‘pioneers’ / ‘method-makers’ in the canonical HIStory of (‘centre’) ELT, there’ve been plenty of women involved. Time to celebrate their contributions, if we can rediscover them. E.g. Sabine Doff (University of Bremen) has written about the ‘governess’ tradition and how in Germany being a language teacher was the way women began to find a role in the developing education system as teachers in the 19th century – and how out of this the relatively ‘conversational’ methods in girls’ schools eventually came to wider prominence in the Reform Movement (whose theorists, of course, were all men!), thus influencing all our orally based, direct method-like teaching methods today! So, women may not have become famous but they were certainly there (including as missionaries in Empire) and making manifold contributions. Doesn’t the ‘problem’ lie in giving more value to those who (supposedly) invented Methods / led ‘theory’ than those who engage in everyday practice? I’m off to make a new Warwick ELT Archive ‘Hall of Fame’ web-page now to apply the same critique to self and say the same there!

4 09 2017
Scott Thornbury

Thanks, Richard – that is a fascinating insight into ‘the secret life of methods’. I wonder how those governesses taught – apart from engaging their charges in chat? Did they also grind through the exercises in Ollendorf? Did they receive any training at all? I suspect not. Looking forward to seeing the new ‘Hall of fame’.

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