I’ve been working in ELT since 1996. In the beginning, I was a teacher working in Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. I then worked as an editor for Oxford University Press from 2003 to 2006, before starting my freelance career. Since 2006, I have been based in Barcelona, where I now work developing materials for a range of different publishers. Like many people, I started teaching English abroad because I wanted to travel and to live in different countries, with all the challenges and excitement that that brings. Since then, I have really enjoyed meeting people from all around the world, and learning about their life experience. One of the joys of ELT for me is that as teachers, we’re always learning, and that means that every lesson is a new experience.
At the moment, I’m working as an author on adult courses for Richmond. I was the co-author with Paul Seligson on Essential English 5 (2010) and I worked on Richmond’s new adult course, The Big Picture. As I’m based in Spain, I’ve been involved in several Spanish schoolbook courses over the last few years. Amongst other projects, I was the author of the tests for levels 3 and 4 of Richmond’s ESO course English In Motion (2009).
Having taught many First Certificate courses, I wrote the Spotlight on FCE Exam Booster for Cengage (2009).In business English, I was the co-author of the Student’s Book for International Express elementary (second edition, 2006), as well as the author of the interactive material for Business Result elementary and upper-intermediate (all for Oxford University Press).
In addition to these books, I have written lots of exercises for CD-ROMs and websites over the years. So, when your students are doing a quick online exercise, it’s possible that the anonymous author of it was me! I’m a big fan of the early ELT course books like Access to English and the Peter Viney courses Streamline and Grapevine. I would love to work on a colourful, heavily illustrated course like that. I’ve also always wanted to visit Japan, and I’d love to teach there some day, but I’m very happy with my life in Barcelona for the time being!
Read Alastair’s top tips for using the Richmond Mazes