Have you ever wondered how language teaching was done in the pre-digital era – when learners as humans were in the centre of the classroom? We at HLT.digital have and this is what we have done so far:
Who are we?
We are a group of passionate language educators and researchers from different countries and institutions, who share a common interest in humanizing language teaching (HLT). HLT is an approach that emphasizes the personal and emotional aspects of learning, as well as the social and cultural contexts of communication. HLT aims to foster learners’ autonomy, creativity, critical thinking, and intercultural awareness.
Our project partners are
- The Bridge – Barbora Gecseová (project coordinator), Klaudia Bednárová
The Bridge is a language centre located in Bratislava, Slovakia that was established in 2009. They specialize in providing professional and high-quality English language courses for students with various goals and focuses.
In 2020 they were the first language centre in Slovakia to become accredited by EAQUALS – international recognition for excellence in language education. Currently, they are the only school in Slovakia that is accredited for EAQUALS.
- EOI La Orotava – Laura Galindo
EOI La Orotava was founded in 1995 as an Official School of Languages located in Tenerife. They are a state-maintained school, which offers higher education to adults, teaching English, French and German. The school continues to evolve, reflecting an ever-changing world.
- The London School – Julie Wallis
One of the most highly-accredited schools in Italy, the London School has been running CELTA courses since 2012. All trainers have extensive experience in international schools and take part in international conferences to ensure that they are up-to-date with all the latest developments in ELT and teacher training.
- International College – Malgorzata Szwaj
International College has specialized in teaching English at all levels for over 20 years. They also offer individual language classes in German, English, Spanish and Polish (for foreigners).
- Swan Communication – Susan Holden
Swan Communication is a small publishing and materials development company based in Scotland, run by Susan Holden, a former drama teacher and experienced language teacher, trainer, writer and editor, who was also a contributor and supporter of Humanising Language Teaching, a free online magazine for teachers of English.
and joining us – TransformELT – Alan Pulverness
TransformELT is an English Language Teaching consultancy that enables education organizations, institutions and professionals to define, design and deliver development plans, working with an international team of consultants and offering online courses.
Klaudia Bednárová and Mario Rinvolucri, meeting to draft the HLT.digital project
We are supported by the National Agency SAAIC and the European Union.
The idea of this project was inspired by Mario Rinvolucri, a pioneer and a legend of HLT, who generously donated his life teaching work archive to us. We also acknowledge the contributions of many other HLT practitioners who have shared their insights and experiences with us.
Our target audience are teacher trainers, teachers of foreign languages (mainly English) from all around Europe (and the world), and students who can benefit from more quality education in the long run.
HLT.digital partners meeting in Tenerife, February 2023
Why are we doing this?
Our main goal is to provide a simple map of the HLT area (ideas, people) that can inspire, challenge, and support teachers who want to humanize their language learning. We believe that HLT can help teachers to:
- Provide concise, tangible, and accessible information about humanistic ideas in education
- Empower teachers to form their own opinions and beliefs about teaching and learning
- Improve the learning process and outcomes for their students
- Pay tribute to influential and inspirational educators who have shaped the field of HLT
We hope that our project will serve as a valuable resource for further study, research, and teaching development for anyone interested in HLT. We also hope that our project will create a space for networking and collaboration among teachers from different backgrounds and contexts.
Where are we?
We are based in Slovakia, Italy, Poland, UK, and Spain, but our project has a global reach. We use online platforms and tools to collaborate, communicate, and disseminate our work. Our main website is HLT.digital, where you can find all the information and resources related to our project.
What are we doing?
Our project has three main outcomes:
- Database: This is a map of HLT practitioners and their activities, materials, articles, books, and other resources that you can browse and search, for inspirations in your own teaching. The database is constantly updated with new content from our project partners and other contributors. Some of the HLT practitioners whose profiles and videos are available in our database are Rod Bolitho, Chia Suan Chong, Claudia Ferradas, Susan Holden, Nicky Hockly, Jeremy Harmer, Thom Kiddle, Alan Maley, Alan Pulverness, Mario Rinvolucri, Adrien Underhill, Jane Willis.
- Videos: This is a series of interviews with HLT practitioners who share their stories, perspectives, tips, and examples of how they apply HLT principles in their teaching. The videos are also available on our [YouTube channel https://firstname.lastname@example.org ] with subtitles in different languages.
- Research: We invite researchers and academics to collaborate and use the materials from renowned HLT practitioners in the resource bank we digitize and contribute to our research agenda, which is to bring more understanding of the concepts, historical and present, in humanizing language teaching.
Rod Bolitho recording his videos for our HLT.digital project
Our project is not only about creating content, but also about learning in the process. We have organized webinars with Rod Bolitho, Alan Maley and Simon Marshall, where they discussed topics such as teacher development, creativity, and testing in language teaching. We have also conducted focus groups with teachers and learners to get their feedback on our videos and how they can be used in teacher training courses and individual programmes. We have also mentored each other on different aspects of HLT and developed our professional skills.
Mario Rinvolucri recording the first HLT.digital videos for our project website
Simon Marshall recording the first HLT.digital videos for our project website
Alan Maley recording the first HLT.digital videos for our project website
Would you like to join us now? We are planning to organize more webinars with other HLT practitioners in the near future. We are also working on creating teacher training courses using HLT. Moreover, we are preparing for an HLT conference that will take place 23rd – 24th February 2024 in Slovakia, where we hope to meet many of you in person. Would you like to keep updated? You can also follow us on Facebook hlt.digital.