As part of the British Council’s 75th anniversary celebrations, a number of publications are being re-launched online, previously only available in print.

The British Council was established in 1934, and one of our main aims has always been to promote the wider knowledge of the English language. Over the last 75 years, we have issued many important publications that have set the agenda for ELT professionals, often in partnership with other organisations and institutions. As part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, we are re-launching a selection of those publications online. Many of the messages and ideas are just as relevant today as they were when first published. We believe they are also useful historical sources through which colleagues can see how our profession has developed over the years.

We would like thank CILT (Centre for Information on Language Teaching) and University of Warwick ELT Archive for their generous assistance and advice in putting together this collection.

Message from Dr Richard Smith, University of Warwick:
This British Council initiative to reissue a series of ‘legacy publications’ online is one I have been very happy to support. The older items come from the Warwick ELT Archive, which is a unique collection of published and unpublished materials related to the history of ELT and going as far back as 1880. I founded this collection to help ensure that past records would be preserved – as a basis for present-day professionalism, for research purposes, and to keep alive the practical wisdom many such records contain. It is therefore heartening to see the growing interest in the UK and further afield in mapping the history of ELT, in preserving documents, and in making them freely available online. On the Warwick ELT Archive website you can find some notes I have written on the history of the British Council’s long involvement with ELT which further contextualize the items uploaded and briefly described below.

Dr Richard Smith, Associate Professor (ELT/Applied Linguistics), University of Warwick