March 06, 2010

livening up the history of ELT

Reading two things today has made me think of trying to liven up the style of presenting information on the Warwick ELT Archive website and in this associated blog.

* The story of A.S. Hornby as presented by OUP in marketing the Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary:

http://www.oup.com/elt/local/global/promotion/hornby?oup_jspFileName=document_full.jsp&cc=hu

This is a rather embellished account, presenting A.S. Hornby as a romantic individualist and de-emphasizing the way his work grew out of a collaborative research programme with Harold Palmer in Japan. The Warwick ELT Archive page on Hornby's life  is more accurate, but pretty dull in comparison (I thought on re-reading it)  (see http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/research/collect/elt_archive/halloffame/hornby/life). It'd be good to - and I should - add some pictures, for example!

* An interesting blog post by Mark Andrews on James Joyce as a (subversive!) Berlitz teacher, at around the time (1904) Harold Palmer was teaching with the Berlitz Method - and subverting it in his own way - in Belgium:

http://markandrews.edublogs.org/2010/02/19/did-joyce-teach-unplugged-as-an-efl-teacher-in-trieste-or-yssel-entertaining-and-talking-at-his-students-the-limatt-to-what-he-did/

I enjoyed the imagining here of how Joyce might have used to teach. My overriding impression is that both the OUP page and Mark's blog entry are very attractively presented and entertaining 'reads', making me want to 'lively up' the presentation of history of ELT on the Warwick ELT Archive site and in this blog. 

Richard Smith


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