School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Language Teaching: Learning from the Past

These materials use the History of Language Learning and Teaching (HoLLT) to help language teachers reflect on language teaching practice and policy today. Five units each take a key theme, with a short introductory video (8-12 minutes), a handbook of activities, and a facilitator’s handbook with further information and guidance. Each handbook also includes a short historical overview and some reading suggestions. Below, you’ll find all you need to explore our five themes:

  1. Differentiation and diversity
  2. What does it mean to teach culture?
  3. Grammar: “The art of speaking well”?
  4. Target language and (m)other tongue use
  5. Making the case for languages – Policy and advocacy

We hope you find these materials useful.

Professor Nicola McLelland (University of Nottingham), Dr Simon Coffey (King's College London)


Grateful acknowledgement is made for permissions to reproduce copyright materials. Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders and obtain permission to reproduce material. If any have been inadvertently overlooked, we will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements at the first opportunity. Contact Professor Nicola McLelland with any queries.

This project is an AHRC-funded collaboration between the University of Nottingham and King’s College London. Many thanks to our Postdoctoral Fellow on the project, Dr Lina Fisher.

Arts and Humanities Research Council logo

We are grateful to the following organisations for their support: 

Logo for SCILT - Scotland's National Centre for Languages
Logo for Independent Schools' Modern Languages Association
Logo for Association for Language Learning
Logo for Routes into Languages
Logo for Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language teaching and Research


School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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