Category Archives: Hornby Trust

Hornby Scholars at IATEFL

‘The name of A.S. Hornby is highly regarded in the ELT world, not only through his publications and ideas on teaching methods but also through the work of the A.S. Hornby Educational Trust, set up in 1961. This was a farsighted and generous initiative whereby a large proportion of Hornby’s income was set aside to improve the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language, chiefly by providing grants to enable English teachers from overseas to come to Britain for professional training.’

The Hornby scholars this year presented How assessment influences the classroom teaching and learning of English. Research over several decades into the test washback and impact agrees that the content and format of English language assessment may influence classroom English teaching and learning in complex ways. In their talk the current scholars discussed how English language learning is assessed in schools in countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. they looked at the influence of assessment on classroom teaching and learning, examined common factors and differences between the countries, and proposed how assessment practices might be best used to promote learning in these contexts.

The Hornby scholars this year are: Simon Ruiz Hernandez (Venezuela), Saraswati Doradi (Nepal), Tomas Andujar (Cuba), Zainab Cengiz Umaru (Nigeria), Santi Budi Lestari (Indonesia), Deepa Ellepola (Sri Lanka), Dame Diop (Senegal), Abayneh Haile Mengesha (Ethiopia), Patrick Musafiri (Rwanda). Facilitated by Martin Wedell (University of Leeds).

Here are two interviews given by some of the scholars for the British Council IATEFL Online. In this first video Hornby Scholars are talking about their experiences and the processes they had to go through to become scholars. They also have some helpful tips for anyone thinking of applying for a scholarship.

Dame from Senegal, Yasir from Sudan and Simon from Venezuela give an overview of some of the issues affecting English teachers in their countries, and what is being done to support those teachers.

Dame from Senegal, Yasir from Sudan and Simon from Venezuela give an overview of some of the issues affecting English teachers in their countries, and what is being done to support those teachers. – See more at:
Dame from Senegal, Yasir from Sudan and Simon from Venezuela give an overview of some of the issues affecting English teachers in their countries, and what is being done to support those teachers. – See more at:

Three Hornby Alumni will also be presenting. The alumni are: Kuheli Mukherjee (India) presenting on Hornby Scholarship Impact on Teacher Education in West Benegal and May May Win & Tara Siddhartha (Burma) presenting on Leading Teacher Development Programmes in Burma.

Hornby Alumni have been quite active during the conference indeed. As the culmination of a discussion process started 2 years ago at IATEFL Glasgow between former scholars  Laxman Gnawali and myself and the Trustees. A working committee has now been established to carry out establishment of the Hornby Alumni Association.  The official announcement of creation of the Association was made  during the Hornby dinner on 3rd April at the Jinnah Restaurant in Harrogate.

The working party consists of Harry Kuchah (photo), Laxman Gnawali, Natalya Eydelman, Kuheli Mukherjee, Kalyan Chattopadhyay, and myself. More news on this soon.

Friends of the Trust

Roger Bowers, Chairman of the Hornby Trust, and his colleagues were busy during the conference encouraging supporters and beneficiaries to become ‘Friends of the Trust’. The Trust’s history and activities are worth knowing about.

In 1961 A S Hornby (‘ASH’) founded the A S Hornby Educational Trust. Its founding Trustees included Randolph (now Lord) Quirk. Key partners in various ways have included the British Council, Oxford University Press, Voluntary Service Overseas (‘VSO’), Comic Relief, Euralex – the European Association for Lexicography, and IATEFL.

ASH wanted significant royalty earnings from his major work – the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, now in its 8th Edition – to be fed back into the development and encouragement of ELT practitioners around the world, particularly those working in demanding circumstances. He saw in the British Council an organisation which shared the Trust’s aims and could work closely with the Trust to direct assistance to places of need and opportunity, while keeping administrative costs to a minimum.

The Trust’s income helps to fund one-year MA scholarships at UK universities – currently 12 a year – for teachers, trainers, materials developers and testers. It contributes to the funding of key projects by VSO and Comic Relief in areas of need – currently in Northern Ghana and in Tanzania, recently in Eritrea and China. The Trust collaborates with the Council in teacher development events and followup across a range of countries and regions; it supports a UK speaker at the biennial Euralex conference, and it has a positive relationship with IATEFL – not least through the annual Scholars’ presentation..

As a registered UK charity the Trust reports annually to the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and details are available free at The trustees are drawn from the ELT field but also from supporting disciplines including financial management. You can go to to learn more.

You might consider supporting the Hornby Trust through donation. If you are a UK resident (or not!) your easy route is via the Charities Aid Foundation at On their front page you will find a ‘Donate’ button which accepts donations from as little as £5 to as high as you like! Payment can be by Paypal or by credit/debit card, or from a CAF bank account if you have one. The Trust’s registered number is 313394. When you make a donation, however modest,you can become a Friend of the Trust and receive its bulletins twice a year.

Or if you would like to know more about Hornby and his Trust you can email Dr Roger Bowers, the current Chairman, at But please note that the Trust does not respond to individual requests for financial support.

Hornby presentation 2013

Each year the Hornby Trust gives a number of scholarships to teachers from developing countries to come to the UK to do their MAs and each year the group of scholars presents about relevant issues to their teaching contexts at the IATEFL conference.

This year they looked at  ‘the impact of both formal and informal aspects of teacher education’  and discussed ‘how factors such as individual effort, collaboration with others, exposure to exceptional teaching, and supportive leadership and mentoring contribute to successful teacher learning.’

The scholars are: Thi Quynh Le Tran (Vietnam), Dini Handayani (Indonesia), Claudia Alejandra Spataro (Argentina), Suman Laudari (Nepal), Hasantha Himali Kuruppu Munasinghe (Sri Lanka), Shivaji Kushwaha (India), Samira Hazari (Iran), Bernardo Cruz-Belo (Mexico), Fatima Zohra (Pakistan), Hintsa Haddush (Ethiopia), Ali Jabbar Zwayyer (Iraq),  and Maria do Carmo Bazante (Brazil). Facilitated by Martin Wedell (Leeds University).

Here are two videos where one of the scholars interviews her colleagues.

New Hornby Trust website

The Hornby Trust has now its own website and I do hope this will let more people know about the fantastic work the Trust has been doing for more than five decades. Visiting the website you can read more about the Trust, its origins, mission and the programmes it runs all over the world.

Here are some extracts of a short biography of the Trust founder published in the BC website

Albert Sydney Hornby (known affectionately to his friends as ‘Ash’) was born in Chester in the north of England in 1898. He was educated at University College London, where he took a degree in English Language and Literature in 1922. The following year, Hornby was recruited to teach English in a small provincial college in Japan. He was originally employed to teach English Literature, but was quickly drawn into the teaching of language, an interest which brought him into contact with the Tokyo Institute for Research into English Teaching (IRET), then directed by Harold E. Palmer. In 1931, Hornby was invited by Palmer to join him in his programme of vocabulary research at IRET.

Hornby’s first task was the compilation of a list of collocations, later the subject of a major report, but he also collaborated with Palmer on research into verb syntax and vocabulary selection and grading. All this work was eventually to bear fruit in the achievement for which Hornby is chiefly remembered, the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English.

Hornby returned to England in 1942 and joined the British Council. He was posted to Iran, where he worked as a lecturer and teacher trainer until 1945. Later, he became Linguistic Adviser to the British Council in London. It was here in 1946 that he founded English Language Teaching, a journal which was to become highly influential both as a channel for his own ideas on language-teaching methodology and as a forum for those wishing to forge closer links between language teaching and developments in linguistic theory.

A. S. Hornby has had a profound and enduring influence on English Language Teaching, not only through his publications and ideas on teaching method but also through the A. S. Hornby Educational Trust, set up in 1961. This was a far-sighted and generous initiative whereby a large proportion of Hornby’s income was set aside to improve the teaching and learning of English as a Foreign Language, chiefly by the provision of grants to enable teachers of English from overseas to come to Britain for professional training. Hornby’s aim was that the Trust’s money should be used for education and ‘go back to the countries from which it comes’. Thanks to the Trust, hundreds of teachers have been able to develop their expertise through British Council ‘Schools’ – or workshops – and postgraduate courses in linguistics and ELT at British universities. Hornby’s generosity was part of a wider humanity. He was never a remote, dry-as-dust academic, but a man of broad sympathies and practical instincts who believed that the knowledge of the expert should be put to the service of the ordinary learner and teacher.

I am highly indebted to the Hornby Trust for giving a real push in my career and I am pretty sure other Alumni can also say the same.  Once again, ‘Thanks Ash.’

To visit the Hornby Trust website, click here