My last three books are about telling and making stories in the language classroom

Storytelling with Children. Oxford University Press. Second Edition 2008

Creating Stories with Children. Oxford University Press. 1997

Writing Stories (co-author David A.Hill). Helbling Languages. 2008

Here are a few notes about my work as: a teacher, author, illustrator, storyteller and teacher trainer and liver of life…just in case you are interested

I have worked in the world of language teaching for many years as a teacher, as an author, as a storyteller and storymaker and as a teacher trainer. My books are published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Pearson Longman and Helbling Languages. These publishers have then licenced the publication of the books to many publishers in the world and so they can be found under different imprints and often translated into other languages……….

All my work has been of a practical nature. I first worked on the topic approach, the ancestor of CLIL, in the late 1960s and early 1970s and then I focussed on the use of pictures and then on the use of games in the 1970s and 1980s. About 1990 I decided to focus on stories in language teaching. This topic is enough for me to be getting on with!

I don’t really distinguish between my work and my life. Language teaching can be about life! Amazingly! I love both!

From Art School to writing and illustrating  for television

I began my life as an artist and I studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. I studied painting because it was the only subject at school which invited me to be creative. But my head has always been full of ideas expressed in words and I soon found myself writing as well as painting and this lead me to writing and illustrating stories for television (West Deutscher Rundfunk, BBC, ITV)  in the 1960s and 1970s. I wrote story boards and did all the graphics.

Working as a writer and illustrator of publications for language teachers

I joined the Nuffield/Schools Council Project for producing an audio visual course for teaching French in primary schools in the 1960s. I joined as an artist who knew France and could speak in French. I was lucky enough to do that job for nearly ten years. It was, at the time, the leading edge institution for language teaching methodology. Then I got a really wonderful job, at the University of York. I was asked to write a course for teaching English to children aged 8 to 12. The audio visual course we had published was based on trivial stories and a few games. During the 1960s I felt more and more the need to make language teaching about something more than just langauge. How can we separate language from life. Is a dead butterfly a butterfly?

Together with David Betteridge and Nicolas Hawkes I wrote the first topic based course (essentially CLIL) for teaching English as a foreign language and we published it with Macmillan. Looking back I think this was a point when I can fairly claim to have done something which was significantly ahead of its times.

Working as teacher in higher education

After that, in the mid 1970s I got a really wonderful job as Principal Lecturer at Manchester Polytechnic (they call it a university now). I was director of a course for media people who wanted to work in education. That was such a refreshing change and yet still related to my work in language teaching.

During this time at the Polytechnic (fifteen years) I continued to work in language teaching, publishing books for: Longman, Collins, Cambridge University Press and later Oxford University Press. I also began to get more and more invitations to work with teachers in other countries. What a priviledge! I learned so much! I earned less than I learned! Ho! Ho!

Moving to Hungary…working as a storyteller

In the early 1990s I came to live in Hungary to marry Julia.   Professionally I carried on writing and illustrating my books and articles and travelling as a teacher trainer and a storyteller.

And here I am still working away and now hugely lucky to have some health and to have the internet as well. And the internet allows me to continue to work with teachers without always having to travel.

I began my work as a professional storyteller in the late 1980s but most of my big tours were between 1993 and 2007…since 2007 I have not done extended tours but still love doing the storytelling I am asked to do…as I write…my next tour is in Turkey working in schools in Istandbul for Oxford University Press.

In March 2011 I did my first Webinar for BESIG of IATEFL on Stories in Business.  64 people came from over 20 countries!  I feel so priviledged to be invited to do such a thing.

Here are the books of mine still in print, just in case someone is interested.

Five Minute Activites (with Penny Ur)  1992. Cambridge University Press

This is probably the most successful book interms of the number sold.  The title and the brief activity descriptions probably seem to belong to our ‘microwave’ and ‘sound byte’  age.  Teachers tell us that it is very useful to have a small book with so many useful games and game like acttivities in it.

Pictures for Language Learning 1989.  Cambridge University Press

This book is still selling after all these years.  It has 315 activities in it for using pictures and given that pictures are available in their millions for free on the internet or on calenders, postcards and in magazines it is a bit of a must for those teachers who like making their own materials.

Games for Language Learning (with David Betteridge and Michael Buckby)   Third Edition 2006   Cambridge University Press

We have done a third edition of this book and I think it is more easily usable by the classroom teacher.  It remains the most comprehensive collection of games for helping language learning.

Storytelling with Children 2008.   Oxford University Press

Please make sure you get the second edition of this book!  The new edition contains more games but, more importantly, contains serious guidelines on extending the use of stories far beyond the usual ideas.
Creating Stories with Children 1997.  Oxford University Press

The above Storytelling with Children is about using stories and this book, Creating Stories with Children is exactly that.  The children make the stories.  I try to show how this can be done with very few words.  It is SO satisfying and encouraging for children to be able to make a story even when they have only completed a few months of English!
Arts and Crafts with Children 2001.  (Oxford University Press)

I have put together a collection of practical art and craft activities which involve language use and thus provide a real and enjoyable experience of English and not just an opportunity to study English.

1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy 1996  (Longman Pearson)

This book is still selling all over the world in spite of the free pictures available on the Internet.  I think it is because the drawings are SO simple that even unsure teachers can try to do them and then they are rewarded by the delighted response of the children.  There are more than 1000 pictures in the book…500 nouns…500 verbs…hundreds of adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and so on.

Writing Stories 2008.  (with David A. Hill)   Helbling Languages

I am proud of this book!  I really think it is supportive of the learning of the craft of writing stories.  Storywriting is extended writing!  And very useful, indeed. Particularly when the student actually cares about what he or she is writing!


24 Responses to “Author”

  1. 1 Angeli December 3, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Dear Andrew,

    Wow! What a wonderful website. It is reflective of my first impression of you: intellectual, delightful and humorous. ;p

    I was wondering if you received my email from 2 months ago? I believe the subject was something like “Bonjour from Tokyo”.

    I hope to hear from you soon!


    • 2 Andrew Wright March 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      I dont seem to have responded to your delightful comments! How could I not do so when they are so complimentary and so warmly offered!
      The site is extremely important for me and I feel so lucky to have lived into an age when one can open a library and a gallery so that anybody can come in and browse. I wish I could offer everybody a cup of tea when they come in. I wish I could be there physically to welcome them.
      So please visit me again!

  2. 3 Álvaro Ricárdez Scherenberg February 14, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Your website is really awesome. Thanks for sharing it. I am just exploring it but I already feel that I’ve found one of those fantastic caves full of magnificent treasures, so often depicted in One Thousand and One Nights Stories! You belong to that great tradition of big hearted storytellers that I thought was extincted nowadays. Take care and go on with that marvelous work which offers us so unforgettable and delectable fruits.

  3. 5 Karenne Sylvester October 31, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Hey Andrew,

    I’ve really, really enjoyed reading some of your stories – I have some suggestions for developing your blog/layout and things like that – marketing it – and providing downloads for your readers so you can maintain copyright but make it easier for them to print stuff out that they’d like to use.

    Do get in touch if you’d like some help with this – kalinagoenglishblog (@) googlemail (dot) com.

    Take care,

    • 6 Andrew Wright November 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      Karenne! It is taking me ages to work through my backlog of emails…I have just found your very kind offer to improve my website. Yes please! Tell me more! Best wishes Andrew

  4. 7 B Kumar KC November 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Dear Andrew,
    I was amazed to read about your childhood that you have shared in your recent visit to Nepal in November 2010 to one of the nationaly daily newspaper ;The Kantipur’ in its Kopila section.This section is dedicated to children’s literature.
    It was amazing how much struggle you have gone through to be Andre at present.I am really inspired and touched by your sharing. Thank you so much !
    I am also a teacher and teacher trainer in Nepal. I would love to be in your touch especially for your guidance to teach English.
    may God bless you !
    With lots of Love and respects

    • 8 Andrew Wright November 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Dear BKC I am moved by your words. Thank you. Do your friends call you BKC? What do they call you? My visit to Kathmandou was the richest visit to another country in my whole life. Best wishes Andrew

  5. 9 Albena December 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Dear Andrew,

    I was very excited to read your article about six things. In fact, I was thinking a lot of you in the last few months. In October, I visited Oxford and spent a month in UK. Probabply, you don’t remember me – I wrote to you about ten months ago to ask how to purchase “Creating stories with children”. I used to work as tv director. Now I am looking for opportunites of my first feature film producing.

    Do you still live in Budapest?

    I will be very happy to share some thoughts with you,

    With warm feelings,

    Albena Puneva,

  6. 12 Yelena March 15, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Dear Andrew,

    Just a quick greeting from Moscow from an ELT teacher who is hoping to make the most of story-telling, if time permits…
    Thank you for sharing your expertise and good luck with all of your work and life.


    • 13 Andrew Wright March 15, 2011 at 7:41 am

      Elena, thank you so much for your good wishes! I know the feeling, ‘if time permits…’ a lot of adult students WANT to focus on particular language points and this does take time. Is that what you meant? I try telling myself and my students that there is a natural relationship for footballers between the need to play real football matches and the need t analyse games, to do fitness exercises, ball control and so on. In the same way an English programme can be lead by the experience of really using language in stories and then spending some time focussing on language areas which could benefit from attention in between. Anyway…perhaps that is not what you meant at all! Thank you again for writing. Andrew

  7. 14 Magdalena April 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Dear Andrew,
    I can´t express how much I fell in love with your pure spirit two days ago in ISTEK conference. I was just like in a dream when you were telling about life and stories and children and your daughter… There is something very strong in you as well as fragile…
    A great pleasure to meet you.
    Best wishes.

    • 15 Andrew Wright April 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

      Magdalena, I am so moved by your response to my talk at ISTEK. I am so grateful that my deep and solemn joy in stories should be shared by you and that you have gone to the trouble to tell me.
      I wish you a very happily storied life. Please write to me whenever you wish about stories in your life.

    • 16 Andrew Wright May 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      Magdalena, all of us feel rewarded when the people we are with say that they have benefited in some way from our work. I could never have hoped for such a warm and generous response! Thank you so much! I have just returned from a really wonderful experience…I have just completed two project weeks with children in the Alps. I was with each group of 25 children for 5 days. I hope to be writing about it in my blog as soon as I have recovered and done the 1001 things that things at home that need doing. I hope you will like it. Thank you again! Andrew

  8. 17 Stefania Bacigalupi April 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    It looks like this blog is getting some visitors. That’s a great thing but you might be missing the boat if you’re not using the script that allows you to pull products and prices directly from Commission Junction, Amazon, Linkshare and other networks. The script can be installed very easily on your website, just like any other plugin, and you could have product price comparison tables in just a few minutes. Actually, you could easily install and activate this cool plugin in under a minute. Once you set it up, you can make as many product price comparison tables as you want. You will have complete control over your price comparison product display modules. If you need to change the width of the display, colors or even the buttons, you have full control. Display merchant logos and product thumbnail images. Automatically refresh product prices on a daily basis. You get to decide if you want to include merchant logos, product pictures, and other options. Choose Amazon or Linkshare categories, limit products by price and much more. You can have hundreds of products on your page or just a few. You choose exactly which products, from which affiliate networks, show up on your page. Save your settings and your newly created price comparison until will automatically appear on the page or post you assigned it to. Even though this software is very easy to use, it still comes with complete instructions. You can use this plugin on an UNLIMITED number of websites. Check it Out ->

    • 18 Andrew Wright May 23, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Do you mean I can earn some money from my site and not from my visitors but from commercial enterprises? Sort of how much money…I have two teenagers daughhters and 3 dogs to feed.
      And what are these products? Can you send me examples of sites to go to in order to check them out?
      Thank you.

  9. 19 Paul McNichol April 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Andrew, trying to get in touch; I’m Paul McNichol your old mate.
    Living near Ludlow, please try and make contact. Your stuff looks amazing.
    (44)07837 335 796

  10. 20 Elena May 18, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Hello Andrew,

    I would like to send you a questionnaire about storytelling – techniques and benefits for my final project of my university degree (10 questions). How can I do it? Thank you for your time.


  11. 21 frankdeville February 11, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Hi Andrew, I have been writing my own stuff for years as no one rights books to remedy the crippling lack of foundation skills which afflicts 95% of Thais. However, I shall endeavor to source a copy of ‘Games for Language learning’ from a local retailer. My biggest problem though is that I haven’t been able to find readers which start at the ‘Dick and Dora’ level,and I don’t have enough time to develop them as well as pursue the ongoing development of relevant classroom material for my current students. Any suggestions? BTW you can find me on facebook: Aussie Joe

  12. 22 Hilary Spicer May 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Andrew! I remember you and Michael Buckby coming to British Columbia in the ’70s to inspire us in our language learning/teaching journeys. I have since been carrying the passion and energy you had/have to Cuba where i have been teaching and learning for the past 15 years on a parttime basis. I am still involved in teacher training and often reflect on how ahead of your time you were/are! I would love to re-connect if that is possible to explore possibilities of taking ideas to Cuba.

  13. 23 Brian Sutcliffe August 6, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Dear Andrew, Visited Whitby agian and just missed you again. Warmest regards.


  14. 24 Rachael Harris November 23, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Hi Andrew!
    I love your site and still use 1000 pictures regularly!
    With Geneva ETAS (English teachers association) I’m looking to get in touch to talk about an article for our special supplement on Creativity, so please contact me!

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