My name’s John Hughes and I’m an ELT course book author and teacher trainer. With over 30 titles, my main course books are Life (National Geographic Learning) and Business Result (Oxford University Press). I’ve also written methodology titles including A Practical Introduction to Teacher Training in ELT (Pavilion). In 2015, I wrote the first ETpedia and since then have developed the resource series as the series editor. For detailed information on all my books titles, click here. Books I’ve worked on have twice been ELTon award finalists and in 2016 I received the David Riley Award for Innovation in Business English and ESP for the book ETpedia Business English. I regularly write for journals such as English Teaching Professional and Modern English Teacher, and I used to write a regular column for the Guardian Weekly’s ELT supplement.

As a teacher trainer, I’ve run courses leading to the Trinity Cert TESOL, the Diploma TESOL, and the LCCIEB First Certificate in Teaching Business English. I also run specialist courses and training (face-to-face and online) in many areas of ELT with a specialism in materials writing. I also believe that it’s crucial for any ELT trainer or writer to continue teaching whenever possible so I’m a volunteer teaching with an organisation in Oxford which provides free lessons for overseas workers.

This blog began life as a place for teacher training resources. Many of these resources eventually appeared in my book on teacher training. Nowadays, I update it with any topics related to my areas of interest, including the subjects of my conference talks and presentations. So if you have attended any of my sessions at conferences you’ll also find talk summaries and related information. I also guest blog at sites for National Geographic Learning, Oxford University Press and ETpedia.

Feel free to contact me with enquiries about availability for training or any other questions about my writing.

36 replies

  1. I am a teacher of English language .I have dreams to see better teaching especially in my area Saudi Arabia .Because of that I made a blog .I would like you to read my posts and share me by posting comments .
    This is my last post link



  2. Hello Mr Saeed
    Thanks for visiting this blog. I’ll repay the visit!

  3. Hi John! I’ve just seen you in FAAPI in Argentina. I’m training to be a teacher and I’m jut getting my feet wet with teaching and you’ve provided some very nice insights. Thanks a lot!


    • Hi Gabi
      So glad you found something useful from my session at FAAPI. It was such a great conference and so many people made me feel welcome. Hope you find something interesting to read on the blog. I’ve been so busy with travel this month that I’ve rather neglected it. Hope to get blogging again in October.

  4. Dear John, Lovely blog! Just slighly confused: I tried to link specifically to one of your posts. Though this is a WorPress blog, I wasn’t able to. What technology is keeping me “out”? Thanks!

  5. Hi John

    I’ve just found your blog through your comment on Scott Thornsbury’s blog. The current MA module I’m doing is about the education of language teachers so I might come back and read more.

    Btw, I have the same problem as Anne. No matter on which blog post or page I am, the link in the address bar stays the same (www.trainingeltteachers.net). I think you need to change something in your WP settings.


  6. Hi John,

    Some really great suggestions for interview questions, as well as the other blog posts. Thanks for sharing with us all.


  7. Hi John,

    This is a great blog, especially for the ones involved in teacher training! Lots of great insights, loved reading them all!
    Thanks for the sharing,

  8. Hi John,

    I came across your website through a link on FB!…. I must say that it is impressive plus a valuable tool for Teacher Training and development. It has become a favourite!

    Do pop by when you are on the island!


  9. Hi John, I attended your webinar on “Introduction to business English” and I have this doubt in mind: The majority of general English courses are course-book based as students fit into the school schedules. However, business English, in my opinion is different, in the sense that the teacher hast to fit himself into the students ‘need. For this reason mainly, should I consider teaching Business English, focusing in the content they have to learn, regarding a prior needs analyses, and keep up with the course as long as they have achieved a proposed level of English to communicate efficiently, or approach likely customers/students in a more length course centered way, in which, I would then sell them yearly courses.

    Hope you can help me.

    Yours faithfully,

    Teacher Alex Lorejan.

    • Hi Alex
      Let me check I understand your question. Are you asking if a course book is appropriate for a business English course given that the needs analysis is important? If you are, then yes it’s true that not everything in the book will be relevant to the needs of the learner. However, there are different ways to approach this. Once you’ve done the needs analysis you can select the relevant parts of the book and supplement with other materials (both published and authentic). However, on year-long courses it’s especially helpful to have the book because a student’s needs change. Also in group courses where you have to balance everyone’s needs, then following a book with something generic on, for example, ‘giving a presentation’ will be a good way to address everyone’s requirements. Does that answer your question?

  10. Hello John, thank you for taking the time to answer my question, that was pretty helpful. Just to clarify the whole story, I´d like you to answer another question, which is related to the same topic.

    Thinking of organizing a one year course to business people, how would you recommend me to address the prior- to- the- couse- start discussion regarding the course lenght, starting from the principle that, I want to include more specific materials than only the course book, which we are already acknowledged with.

    Having it all said, my question is, how will I tell my students that we´ll not use only the course book, instead making use of other different materials when they had to pay for the course book.

    Hope you can help.


    Teacher Alex Lorejan

    • Hi Alex
      Course length will be decided by how much they want to speand presumably. Then I think most courses include specific materials alongside a course book. The main thing is to make use of it in most lessons and supplement with extra specific materials. Also, if you explain to students your rationale for bring in other materials, then I think they will be ok. I agree it’s important to use the coursebook if they’ve paid for it, but a good balance of both types of materials is normally acceptable for students.
      Good luck!

  11. Dear John
    My name is Stephen Shine and I attended a recent presentation you gave in Dublin. It was really informative and I’ve used many of your techniques in the classroom to great success. I’m just wondering if I could ask you for 2 video links. One is the Butler Training School link and the other is Modern Times link with Charlie Chaplin. It would be a great help.
    Our school, the Galway Cultural Institute received your book in the post today and I have passed it onto management. It got a great reaction from the staff.

  12. Hi, John!
    My name is Gagik Darbinyan. I am both a teacher and an author. Besides teaching I writes poems and short stories. My nickname is Harry Smith. It’s the direct translation of my full name from Armenian into English. I have been teaching English for more than 30 years. A couple of days ago I attented your seminar ” A day in the LIFE of a coursebook.” at Gymnasium #5 in Volgograd. I really liked the ways of teaching you delivered an interesting lecture on. Thanks very much. I hope the textbooks, you presented at the seminar, will become very popular in the near future.

  13. Hi John,
    Great presentation at the ETAS this weekend, with wonderful ideas on activities. Could I have your presentation please?

    Thanks again,

    David Mills

  14. Hi John, thank you very much for a very useful webinar on Successful Presentations recently. It was extremely helpful for me to know what things I should focus on when teaching presentation skills.
    I did have one question after the webinar and I hope you can give me your suggestion. It’s regarding peer feedback from the participants. When asking students to give focused feedback, especially in a larger group setting (~8 to 10 people), would it be a good idea to have each student have a different focus task for one speaker? (ex. one person focuses on visuals while another listens for good use of signposts, and so on).

    Thanks again and looking forward to purchasing your book.

    • Hi Jason. Thanks for your interest. Yes, you can set it up so that everyone focuses on a different area but my feeling would be that it’s something you do later in the course rather than earlier. In other words, perhaps they’ve all focussed on visual aids, signposting, handling questions and body language in previous presentations, and now you want to revise those areas and bring them all together so you assign a different area to everyone so that after the presentation there is a broad collection of viewpoints. If your students are used to the format of peer feedback and they are becoming experienced at giving presentations and receiving feedback it’d be a good idea. Hope that helps. John.

  15. Hi John,

    I missed your last workshop at the ETAS AGM in Sierrre but was delighted to note that you will be at our forthcoming Professional Day in Baden on 21 September.

    But I’m really writing for another reason – I am a first visitor of your impressive website and I say, what an amazing collection you’re keeping here! A real gold mine of ELT resources. What’s more, you’re sharing them generously with ELT teachers and readers.

    I’m currently putting together the Winter 2013 edition of ETAS Journal and I would be delighted if you would consider submitting one of your 2-part posts on Critical Thinking or on Critical Mindset to our Winter issue, whose deadline is 15th September.

    Many thanks in advance, John — I look forward to hearing positively from you and to meeting you at the PD Day in Baden.

    All the best,



    Ceres Pioquinto, PhD
    Editor, ETAS Journal
    Chair of Publications
    English Teachers Association Switzerland

    • Hi Ceres
      Thanks for your comments. I’m afraid that I’ve already reused these two posts in another article that will appear next year so I can’t give permission. However, I’d be happy to write something for you in the future. Let’s talk at the ETSA event on the 21st about what you might be interested in.

      • That’s sad, John…as these are really fantastic posts! But I perfectly understand and will look you up in Baden in two weeks. We’d be delighted if you’ll grace the pages of ETAS Journal in the future. Cheers & see you soon.

  16. Hello John. I asked the Cengage consultants in Brazil something they were not able to answer: I told them I´d like to adopt your Life material in my English course but I was surprised by the bad quality of videos (at least the ones in the IWB software) Then, I´d like to know if I have missed something or whether I would have better quality of images on the DVD..

    • Hi Jose
      Sorry it’s taken me some time to reply. I’ve been on holiday so haven’t been looking at my blog. Really this is a question for the Cengage people as it sounds like there’s a technical problem. Some of the videos vary in quality of filming depending on who filmed them and when they were made but there shouldn’t be a particular issue. I’ve referred this back to Cengage and they will contact you to clarify the problem.

  17. Hi John, I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and it looks right up my street!
    I’ve been TEFLing for nearly 5 years now and got my DELTA in 2013. I’m currently on maternity leave but once I get back into work, I really want to start working on becoming a teacher trainer. Please could you let me know how you got into teacher training and where might be a good place to start?
    Many thanks in advance. Jen Lea

    • Hi Jennifer
      Sorry for the slow response. I’ve been travelling for work.
      There isn’t an easy answer to this question as it’s rare to see job adverts saying ‘Teacher Trainer wanted’. Like many other trainers, I worked as a teacher in a school, then moved into a senior position and eventually was asked to work on a Trinity Cert TESOL course. I also put myself forward to run training workshops at the school and started giving talks at conferences which raised my profile as a trainer. From what I understand, you are currently employed at a school(?) and so the question is whether it offers any opportunities to move into training. Is that a possibility?

      • Hi John,
        Thanks for getting back to me.
        I’m between jobs at the moment, but once my maternity leave is over, I’m planning to find a new teaching position at a school in Nottingham. They do run the CELTA there, so if I manage to land a job, I’ll try to get involved in the CPD side of things and keep my fingers crossed that they’ll let me help out on the CELTA at some point.
        I might also have a look into giving talks at conferences – I hadn’t thought of that before.
        Thanks again.


  1. ETpedia | Englishing around

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: