The Henry Brothers’ blogroll. Who are these people?

Like many bloggers we’ve included a “blogroll”, a list of links to other blogs and websites we think you may enjoy. But we wanted to give you a little more information about them than can be found in the basic list. So here goes…

Andrew Wright’s articles and stories
The first ELT workshop that John attended was on storytelling, at the old British Council teacher’s centre on Istiklal Caddesi, and Andrew Wright was the presenter. It was inspiring and motivating. Andrew wore his big blue storyteller’s coat with the lining embroidered with images to support the tales he tells and a big watch face sewn on the sleeve, which he uses to draw the event to a close. “Look it’s time to go now”…. Andrew’s also a trained artist. His publications, and his blog, deal with all his areas of interest. Please have a look.

Crick Crack Club
One of the artists promoted by the Crick Crack Club is Jan Blake, who we saw at the ISTEK conference in Istanbul in 2011, and the previous year had given the closing plenary at IATEFL in Harrogate. Jan started telling tales in 1986 and her performances are famed for her wit, theatricality and strong singing voice. She has the audience hanging on her every word and she does this without a stitch of technology. Here’s Paul’s report of the ISTEK conference, which he attended in his pyjamas!! And here’s a link to Jan’s new website

David Crystal’s Blog
David Crystal is one of the most respected writers on language and language learning, and we often hear him on the BBC whenever there’s a language education or English language issue in the news. We’re particular fans of his promotion of Shakespeare to language learners and have covered it in detail in this post.

Doruk Ülgen – magician
The title of the 2011 Istanbul Çevre Schools ELT Conference was ‘The Magic of Getting the Best Out of Students”, so the Henry Brothers decided to explore what the two trades of magician and teacher have in common. And we did that with a professional magician, Doruk Ülgen, who turned out to be fluent in English as well as extremely talented at his craft. This year Doruk won the Merlin Award from the International Magicians Society, previously won by the likes of David Copperfield and Penn and Teller. His blog’s in Turkish but the magic speaks for itself, as you can see in this YouTube clip of him (speaking English) at the Cevre conference.
Herbert was one of the first Cambridge University Press authors we met. At that time he was doing workshops on multiple intelligence theory, much of which underpinned his hugely successful primary coursebook Playway to English. Herbert has a background in psychology and has since brought that understanding to his writing for older learners too. English in Mind, written with Jeff Stranks, was for teenagers and was the first really successful Cambridge coursebook in Turkey. Over the years we’ve enjoyed being on the road with Herbert and Jeff promoting these courses. And dressing up as Max, the lead character in Playway.

Jan Dean’s Poetry Zoo
Jan Dean is a published poet and creative writing specialist working in schools around Britain for 25 years. Have a look at her website, and the Children’s Poems section especially.

Johanna Stirling’s Spelling Blog
An ELT consultant based in Norwich, near Cambridge Jo Stirling does a lot of work for the Press and we met her when she came out to Turkey to train teachers in using our coursebook for adult learners, face2face. We saw her most recently at IATEFL in Brighton giving a lively workshop of kinaesthetic ways to help learners improve their spelling, which is the topic of her blog.

Ken Wilson’s Blog
Ken is one of the most popular speakers on the ELT conference circuit, and we’ve crossed paths with him a number of times. Ken has a drama background, was the founder of the English Teaching Theatre, and author of English Sketches, still the best collection of short drama activities for English learners. The blog covers a much wider area than that, with many, many guest posts from English teachers from all around the world.

Nick Bilbrough’s Horizon Language Training
Nick Bilbrough is author of Cambridge University Press handbooks for language teachers, Dialogue Activities, and Memory Activities. He’s a working teacher trainer, based in Devon in southern England, so his stuff is practical and the courses he offers sound just up our street: Motivating Activities for Language Learning; Speaking Activities That Work; Drama Activities for the Language Classroom; Storytelling in Language Teaching; and Teaching Unplugged.

On the road with Gary Anderson
Teacher trainer Gary Anderson is a friend and colleague at Cambridge. He’s been to Turkey many times giving workshops and conference presentations and it’s always good to have him around. The blog is an account of his work and travels for the Press.

Pie Corbett on Igniting Writing
This is one blog that you must visit. Igniting Writing is writing teacher Pie Corbett’s collection of resources for sparking people’s imagination and then leading them through the process of writing based on that first “spark”. Pie is a published poet too and one of our favourite poems is his A Chance in France.

Scott Thornbury’s homepage
As representatives of a coursebook publisher we’ve been sparring with Scott for years over his dogme approach to teaching, which shuns published materials and technology. But we are of course aware that the resources which teachers themselves create and bring to the classroom are the most powerful. Scott as editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series, and as a writer and teacher trainer himself has had a long career in encouraging us all to make the best resources we can. His website covers all of that and his A-Z of ELT blog in particular is a powerful resource in itself.

Taffy Thomas- Storyteller Laureate
Britain’s storyteller laureate, Taffy is sponsored to travel the country telling stories and hoping to inspire others to take up the art of writing, telling and retelling tales themselves. As Taffy says… “if speaking were more important than listening, we’d have two tongues and one ear.”

Tara McGowan – Storyteller, Visual Artist, Teacher, Writer
In 2011 we began telling Kamishibai Man a story by Allen Say which brings to life the Japanese tradition of storytelling in public spaces using picture cards to help set the scene (kamishibai means “paper theatre” in Japanese). Through that we became aware of Tara McGowan, an artist, storyteller, and creative writing teacher who has lived in Japan for many years.

Taylor Mali – slam poet
The Henry Brothers Poetry Slam is a workshop in which we demonstrate poetry writing activities that you can do in the classroom. You also get to write and perform some poetry of your own, there and then, with our help. The original poetry slams were competitive poetry readings that take place in clubs and cafes in America and now throughout the world. One of the champions of that scene, Taylor Mali is a teacher himself. We’ve used his “What Does a Teacher Make?” poem in our own presentations. You can find that and much more on YouTube and through his website. And click here for another Taylor Mali poem “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog”.

Teacher Talking Time by Tom Godfrey
John Henry really learnt to teach thanks to Tom Godfrey’s RSA Diploma course (now the Delta). Tom’s the owner and founder of ITI (International Training Institute) which has been training teachers in the city for 20 years, and is now the biggest Delta centre in the world. Thank you Tom!!

Teacher Training Videos by Russell Stannard
This is one of the most popular websites for language teachers out there, because it’s so practical and useful. Russell is a specialist in multimedia and IT tools for language learning and teaching. His website covers this area widely using video recordings of Russell introducing many multimedia tools and showing how to use them.


About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to or
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