English language teaching and applied linguistics
After studying Modern Languages at Oxford University, I worked in English language teaching for around twenty years. I co-founded and directed the Swan School of English in Oxford, and later worked in adult education in Paris. During that period I began writing and publishing English language teaching and reference materials, and this became my main occupation. For some years, I was also the Series Editor for Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers.
My more academic interests include descriptive and theoretical grammar, mother-tongue influence in second-language acquisition, and the relationship between applied linguistic theory and language-teaching practice. I have published a number of articles on these topics, and have given lectures and workshops in many countries.
Despite all this, I feel bound to confess that, as I drifted into English language teaching and applied linguistics with no professional training in these areas, I have no qualifications whatever for the work that I do. If I applied to myself for a job as a research assistant, I would have to turn myself down.
I write and publish poetry, perhaps as a desperate attempt to prove that even grammarians have souls.
to go outside
and walk round yourself
looking in the windows.
There are lights blazing
in rooms you have never seen;
things going on
you can scarcely credit.
don’t stay out too long.
They might change the locks.