Read our latest publication, which is a collection of papers drawn from 'The Capetown language and development conference'. The writers look at African languages, varieties of English and other languages from policy level to practical application in the classroom, in the home and in the wider community.

You will also find our full range of books in this section. They are free to download in pdf format.


Language Rich Africa policy dialogue - The Cape Town language and development conference: Looking beyond 2015

Edited by Hamish McIlwraith

In October 2013, the British Council hosted the tenth International Language and Development Conference, which coincided with reviews of progress worldwide towards the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This collection is drawn from papers and presentations delivered at the three day event. The writers look at African languages, varieties of English and other languages from policy level to practical application in the classroom, and in the home and wider community.


Factors influencing success in teaching English in state primary schools

David Hayes

This accessible and informative report considers current best practice for teaching English as a Foreign Language in the primary sector. Based on three case studies of high performing education systems, the report’s recommendations will be of interest to anyone concerned with English at primary level.


Directory of UK ELT Research 2011–12

Compiled by Richard Smith of Warwick University, with Seongsook Choi, Imogen Liggins and Gosia Sky, the Directory of UK ELT Research 2011-12 contains a total of 721 entries from 60 different institutions.

Innovations in the continuing professional development of English language teachers

Edited by David Hayes

With thirteen stimulating papers covering a wide range of geographical areas and educational contexts, this publication will interest anyone involved in the continuing professional development of English language teachers wishing to reflect on and refresh their practice.


Language issues in migration and integration: perspectives from teachers and learners

Edited by David Mallows

This new book from ESOL Nexus is about the role of language in the integration of migrants. The writers of the chapters are all engaged in the education of migrants as teachers, researchers or policymakers in a wide variety of contexts and they provide us with a rich and thought-provoking array of perspectives from teachers and learners on language issues in migration and integration.


Tell it Again! The Storytelling Handbook for Primary English Language Teachers

By Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster

This new revised edition of 'Tell it Again!' shows how a story-based methodology brings together the best of primary English language teaching and the rich and motivating resource of children’s literature.

The Language Rich Europe logo

Language Rich Europe Conclusions and Future Perspectives

This closing report was commissioned by the British Council to provide an overview of the European and local recommendations that came out of the Language Rich Europe project and in the likelihood that new opportunities can be found for the further development of what has already been achieved.
The Language Rich Europe logo

The Language Rich Europe Recommendations

The Language Rich Europe (LRE) consortium, co-funded by the European Commission and the British Council, calls on European institutions and member state governments to initiate new policies to support immigrant language teaching, revise trilingual learning, and use the particular position of English to promote and support multi/plurilingualism.

Trends in policies and practices for multilingualism in Europe

Edited by Guus Extra and Kutlay Yağmur

This report contains 25 detailed country and regional profiles, which focus on language policies and practices in the education sector, as well as in the media, public services and spaces, and business.


The English Language in Francophone West Africa

Hywel Coleman

This publication examines the language situations in eight West African nations – Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo. It describes the roles that English plays, ways in which English is taught, who teaches it, and how learners and their teachers perceive the language.


Research in the Language Classroom

This book, from 1990, looked at the practical benefits for teachers of classroom research.

Language Teacher Education: an Integrated Programme for ELT Teacher Training

Originally published in 1987, this book aimed to address teachers’ needs according to context.

ESP for the University

This book, from 1986, provides a snapshot of developments in ESP teaching at university level during the 1970s and early 1980s.

English as a Second Language in the United Kingdom

This is, of course, as much a key topic in the UK as it was in 1985 when this book was originally published.

Language Issues and Education Policies - Exploring Canada’s Multilingual Resources

Very different to the other ELT documents, this volume focuses on the work of a single institution: the Modern Language Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).


Language Teaching Projects for the Third World

This document, from 1983, offers a selection of project case studies and commentaries from various African contexts.


Humanistic Approaches: an empirical view

This is a delightful read, which attempts to provide an introduction to latest thinking in 1982 on a wide range of humanistic topics.


Developments in the Training of Teachers of English

This volume dates from 1979 and is a gem for anyone interested in the early days of university level ELT qualifications, especially in the UK.


English as an International Language

This concise volume from 1978 is pre-‘World Englishes’ and before the acceptance of Kachru’s model of the inner, outer and expanding circles of English language use.


Language Improvement for English Teachers

This book was produced following the Hornby workshop on language improvement for teachers in Senegal in 2009.



Parents and young learners in English language teaching: global practices and issues in school–home contacts

Caroline Linse, Stephen van Vlack and Oscar Bladas

This paper highlights a little-discussed global issue: the importance of school-home communications in supporting effective language learning by young learners. It draws on eight contrasting contexts: France, Mexico, Spain, Korea, Namibia, Japan, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

The evaluation of non-native speaking English language trainee teachers' practice: unfolding university supervisors' and host teachers' perspectives on judging performance

Barbara Skinner and Helen Hou

How do university supervisors and host teachers evaluate the teaching practice performance of non-native English language teacher trainees? This paper explores this question in relation to four overseas TESOL trainees who study on a vocational Masters in TESOL at a UK university and carry out their teaching practice in Hungarian schools.

Motivations and expectations of English language learning among primary school children and parents in China

Lixian Jin, Changsheng Jiang, Jie Zhang, Yuan Yuan, Xiaohua and Qun Xie

This paper investigates attitudes, perceptions and motivations of Chinese primary school pupils and their parents towards the learning of English through both quantitative and qualitative methods, particularly using elicited metaphor analysis. The findings offer insights into these English learners and their parents, with wider implications for English teaching practice for young learners.


The impact of teacher education on pre-service primary English language teachers

Simon Borg, Marilisa Birello, Isabel Civera and Theresa Zanatta

What impact does pre-service English language teacher education have on trainees’ beliefs? This paper explores this question through an innovative visual methods study at the University of Barcelona and will interest anyone involved in pre-service teacher education.


The impact of English on learners’ wider lives

Naeema Hann, Ivor Timmis, Ali Ata Alkhaldi, Beverley Davies, Carlos Rico Troncoso, Yong Yi

What benefits can English language skills bring to a person’s life, both professional and personal? This paper addresses this question in relation to data collected from four contrasting contexts.


Inspiring English teachers: a comparative study of learner perceptions of inspirational teaching

Martin Lamb and Martin Wedell

What makes teachers motivating? This paper reviews the literature on motivational teaching and presents findings on the nature of inspiring teaching in two countries, looking at how learners perceive the qualities of teachers who inspire them.


Portraits of inspiring English teachers in China and Indonesia

Martin Wedell and Martin Lamb
This paper investigates the nature of inspiring English language teaching, reporting on observations of English language classes in China and Indonesia.


Key factors and challenges in transition from primary to secondary schooling in ELT: an international perspective

Anne Burns, Muna Morris-Adams, Sue Garton and Fiona Copland, Aston University, Birmingham
This paper addresses important issues relating to the transition from primary to secondary school: how learners and teachers of English experience that change and how schools can help.


Readers’ cognitive processes during IELTS reading tests: evidence from eye tracking

Stephen Bax, University of Bedfordshire

This paper investigates readers’ mental processes when taking reading tests. It will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners who are interested in the testing of reading skills.


English reconceived: Raising teachers’ awareness of English as a ‘plurilithic’ resource through an online course

Christopher J Hall, Rachel Wicaksono, Shu Liu, Yuan Qian and Xu Xiaoqing

This report describes an online course, Changing Englishes, designed to raise awareness of the ‘plurilithic’ nature of English, enable teachers to value the diversity of individually and locally appropriate learning objectives and outcomes, and promote the development and sharing of pedagogical strategies which respond to the global realities of the language.


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Research papers

A global study of primary English teachers’ qualifications, training and career development

Attitudes to English as a language for international development in rural Bangladesh

Computers and learner autonomy: trends and issues

Confucius, constructivism and the impact of continuing professional development on teachers of English in China

Early EFL learning in context – Evidence from a country case study

English reconceived: Raising teachers’ awareness of English as a ‘plurilithic’ resource through an online course

Global Practices in Teaching English to Young Learners

How to make yourself understood by international students: The role of metaphor in academic tutorials

Identity in foreign language learning and teaching: why listening to our students’ and teachers’ voices really matters

Key factors and challenges in transition from primary to secondary schooling in ELT: an international perspective

Learner autonomy: English language teachers’ beliefs and practices

Motivations and expectations of English language learning among primary school children and parents in China

Own-language use in ELT: exploring global practices and attitudes

Parents and young learners in English language teaching: global practices and issues in school–home contacts

Perceptions and Strategies of Learning in English by Singapore Primary School Children with Dyslexia

Pulling the threads together: current theories and current practice affecting UK primary school children who have English as an Additional Language