To all practitioners

Simon Marshall



Who is he?

Simon Marshall is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer. He has delivered CELTA and Delta courses in various institutions such as International House, British Council, Pilgrims, and York St. John’s University, where he currently designs and delivers CELTA courses. He also has considerable experience in designing and teaching  methodology and language improvement courses for teachers of English. He has a strong record in academic management.

Professional life

Simon has been working as a language teacher and teacher trainer for more than 30 years. He has taught and trained in more than thirty countries, published numerous articles on teaching methodology, and has extensive experience of presenting at international conferences.


He is particularly interested in the principled application of humanistic approaches in language teaching. In fact, he has actively worked to make CELTA more humanistic by focusing on the inclusion of language learners in the appraisal of pre-service trainee teachers. Furthermore, he has conducted research on the descriptors used on the course and has made the case that these need to be updated in such a way that they are more understandable to trainees.

Simon Marshall

Recommended books

On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

Carl Rogers

1961. London: Constable. (source)

This book helped me begin to understand what is meant by “person centredness.”

The Common Sense of Teaching Foreign Languages

Caleb Gattegno

1976. Toronto: Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. (source)

The Silent Way was very much central to the work of Adrian Underhill, Director of Education at International House Hastings, where I started my ELT career in earnest in 1979. This book elaborates Gattegno’s intention “to subordinate teaching to learning.”

Teaching Languages: A Way and Ways

Earl W. Stevick

1980. Rowley MA: Newbury House Publishers. (source)

One of the seminal books on Humanistic Teaching that I encountered early in my teaching career.

Once Upon a Time: Using Stories in the Language Classroom

Mario RinvolucrI, John Morgan

1983. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. (source)

A stunning collection in every way. It helped bring my teaching to life.


Françoise Grellet, Alan Maley, Wim Welsing

1983. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (source)

The first coursebook I used that showed me there was life after both structural and functional syllabuses.

Place in HLT

Simon Marshall is a fervent supporter of Humanistic Language Teaching and he tries to spread his passion through his work as a teacher trainer. He believes in fostering a spirit of community by forming vocational teams. This is reflected in the central role he gives to direct human encounters inside the classroom, believing that they will never be replicated by technology.

As for the role of teachers, Simon underlines the importance of building bridges inside classrooms. In times of confusion, he stresses how crucial it is to come together as a community, forge bonds, and foster understanding and empathy. Furthermore, he believes in empowering students so that they can be their true selves inside the classroom.

When considering the characteristics of a Humanist classroom, Simon makes a point of the word BRIDGE, since this is, for him, the acronym that stands for the key elements needed inside every classroom: Bonding, Reciprocity, Inquiry, Distinctiveness, Genuineness, and Empathy.

The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.