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The Warwick ELT Archive

The Warwick ELT Archive is a stand-alone, browsable historical collection of published and unpublished materials relating to the teaching of English as a foreign language and the development of applied linguistics, c.1880–c.1980. The ELT Archive now constitutes a unique resource for students, teachers, researchers and others interested in the history of ELT, and the history of language teaching and applied linguistics more broadly. We welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students (see below for some areas of possible supervision) and other researchers interested in using the Archive.

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Now housed on mobile shelving in the Centre's new Learning Resources Room, this unique collection has been built up gradually by Dr Richard Smith since 2002, initially on the basis of donations of materials from members and former members of staff in the (then) Centre for English Language Teacher Education (now, Centre for Applied Linguistics), University of Warwick, and latterly on the basis of acquisitions from a wider variety of interested individuals and institutions/organizations (see below for a full list of donors). In March 2005 a substantial existing collection was incorporated, the Edinburgh Dakin Collection, and in December 2010 a significant donation of materials from Dr Charles Forbes (which we have termed the 'Forbes Collection') enhanced our holdings in the areas of U.S. and Middle Eastern publications.

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The 'Publications' and 'Research' tabs above provide details of recent activities. These include Richard Smith's journal articles 'Building applied linguistic historiography' (Applied Linguistics, 2015) and (with A.P.R. Howatt) 'The history of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, from a British and European perspective’ (Language and History, 2014). Also, we are building links with researchers at the University of Hyderabad, India, where an international conference will be held in Feburary 2016 on the Historiography of English Education in India. The ELT Archive itself has a bias towards British and (to a lesser extent) Amerian texts and documents and there have been recent projects funded by the British Council (see below). Nevertheless, a particular research interest we have is in the way history can provide counter-narratives to hegemonic western ELT/TESOL traditions, both via provincialization of these traditions and exploration of 'periphery' histories (for example, in work relating to Japanese, and more recently Indian ELT history).

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In the past the Archive has benefited from a grant by the A.S. Hornby Educational Trust. During 2009-2011, we also received financial support from The British Council, in connection with two specific research projects – one (completed in 2009) to establish both a physical archive and a database of UK-funded ELT projects worldwide, the other (2010-11) a research project on the history of the overall relationship between ELT and The British Council. In the course of both projects we developed and are continuing to build significant special collections of evaluation reports related to ELT projects and past British Council publications. Both projects also enabled us to catalogue and shelve a large number of previously uncatalogued items (see latest catalogue here). The 2010-11 project additionally enabled us to digitalize some important resources, some of which - when permissions allow - we are gradually uploading to this website. We also supported the British Council's 75th anniversary Milestones in ELT initiative (launched in November 2009) to place a number of its past publications online.

The Warwick ELT Archive consists primarily of:

  • course books and associated printed materials
  • graded readers
  • audio- and audio-visual materials
  • teacher resource books
  • books on teaching methodology
  • pedagogical grammars
  • learner dictionaries
  • journals
  • newsletters
  • official reports

There is also provision for storage and consultation of primary sources, including:

  • correspondence
  • photographs
  • mimeographed reports
  • recorded interviews

We continue to welcome all offers of donations to the collection in the above or other categories, within the broad field of ‘Development of ELT and Applied Linguistics, c.1900–c.1980’. Any donation which is accepted will be fully acknowledged on the material itself and in our catalogue.

To date we have received significant donations of materials from the following institutions/organizations and individuals, to whom we are very grateful:

  • Berlitz UK
  • The British Council
  • The Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Edinburgh
  • The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL)
  • Pearson Longman
  • The School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, University of Reading
  • Brian Abbs
  • Palmer Acheson
  • Julia Alexander
  • Dick and Joan Allwright
  • Victoria Angela
  • Amna Bedri
  • Mohamed Benrabah
  • Almut Billows
  • Rod Bolitho
  • Roger Bowers
  • Christopher Brumfit
  • Paul Carley
  • Gerald Clibbon
  • Hywel Coleman
  • Peter Collier
  • Vivian Cook
  • Janelle Cooper
  • A.P. Cowie
  • John Eckersley
  • William Egerton
  • Janet Enever
  • Sultan Erdoğan Smith
  • Carol Everhard
  • Charles Forbes
  • Ingrid Freebairn
  • Peter Fries
  • Adam Gadsby
  • Andy Gillett
  • Mary Godward
  • Jan van Griethuysen
  • Yasir Hassan Hussein
  • Susan Holden
  • A.P.R. Howatt
  • Rosalyn Hurst
  • Jim Hutton
  • Bob and Jane Jordan
  • Heather Kempson
  • Mustafa Kileci
  • Masataka Kizuka
  • Jonathan Marks
  • Keith Mitchell
  • Rosamond Mitchell
  • André Moulin
  • Dennis Newson
  • Joyce Norledge
  • John Norrish
  • Gareth Owen
  • Robert Phillipson
  • Jenny Pugsley
  • Randolph Quirk
  • Hilary Rees-Parnall
  • Richard Rossner
  • Rafael Salguero
  • Jess Shapero
  • Harvey Smith
  • Paul Snowden
  • John Spencer
  • Frances Stacey
  • Hugh Trappes-Lomax
  • Mary Trimble
  • Carolyn Walker
  • Alan Waters
  • Adam West
  • Jan Whetstone
  • Dave and Jane Willis
  • Phyllis Willis
  • Dede and Ken Wilson
  • Edward Woods
  • Andrew Wright
  • Tony Wright
  • Present and former members of staff including Meriel Bloor, Richard Forsyth, Sheena Gardner, Tricia Hedge, Thelma Henderson, Tim Kelly, Judith Kennedy, Julia Khan, Hilary Nesi, Nigel Prentice, Keith Richards, Shelagh Rixon, Rod Revell, Liza Sandell, Richard Smith

If you are interested in consulting items in the Archive, in donating material or in conducting doctoral or post-doctoral research please write to:

The ELT Archive, Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

or contact Dr Richard Smith, the founder and curator of the collection, at: R.C.Smith@warwick.ac.uk

 

 

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Talk on 'Towards histories of language teaching in Europe, 1970-2015' (April 2016)

Webinar on researching ELThistory (January 2016)

Blog post on history of ELT Journal (December 2015)

Blog post on first ever IATEFL conference (December 2015)

TEFLology interview with Richard Smith on History of ELT (June 2015)

Panel discussion on the History of EAP and of BALEAP, BALEAP 2013 Conference, April 2013.

Interview with John Trim about the History of Modern Language Teaching and Learning, 19 September 2013

A Short History of ELT: Talk by Richard Smith in the British Council Seminar Series, 26 June 2012.

Video interview with Richard Smith about the Archive and associated research (interviewer: Russell Stannard, May 2011)

News (blog)