English Language Teachers' Summer Seminar


The Summer Seminar is designed for teachers of English as a Second Language who either teach secondary school pupils, college or university students, or adult learners and have more than 4 years' teaching experience. The programme, held at Brasenose College, is delivered by a team of highly experienced international trainers as a series of practical workshops, lectures and seminars. 

Each day you'll collaborate with teachers from many different countries, and in this way, the programme also functions as an exercise in community building and international understanding.

Who is the programme for?

The Summer Seminar is for English language teachers who would like to:

  • produce more effective classroom materials
  • explore new teaching techniques
  • reflect on and develop their practice
  • share teaching experiences with international colleagues
  • keep abreast of current trends in ELT

For a flavour of what to expect please take a look at our video (also available on YouTube):


Monday - Friday

09:15 - 10:45  Workshop
10:45 - 11:15  Tea/coffee break
11:15  - 12:45  Workshop
13:00 - 13:45  Lunch
14:00 - 15:30  Lecture/Seminar

The programme provides over 40 hours of tuition, comprising:

  • 8 x 90-minute lectures/seminars
  • 30 hours of workshop meetings (7.5 hours per course)

Please note that as the workshop sessions incorporate a large amount of interaction with colleagues, all teachers are invited to contribute proactively to group discussions.

After class you can relax in one of Brasenose College's beautiful quads, enjoy an optional afternoon activity, or explore one of Britain’s most beautiful cities. 

Social programme

We have carefully tailored your social programme to allow you plenty of free time to explore and enjoy Oxford. We have arranged a number of optional activities (all at no extra cost) during your course which may include the following:

  • Guided walking tour of Oxford
  • Cultural exchange evening
  • Punting on the River Cherwell
  • Oxford scavenger hunt
  • River and Canal walk
  • Quiz Night
  • Pub visit with tutors

Participants who do not wish to join in an evening activity can relax in the College Common Room or bar. 

As well as being on hand to help with any course and college-related questions, your programme assistants will be happy to provide you with information about Oxford and places to visit.

Meals and refreshments

We invite all participants to join us for a welcome drinks reception and dinner on Sunday 21 July and for our formal farewell drinks reception and gala dinner on Friday 2 August.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided in the college's dining hall on weekdays. Only breakfast will be served on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July.

ELT publishers' book display

During the Seminar, representatives from leading ELT publishers will be present to showcase current and forthcoming ELT publications.

Programme details

The Seminar provides 40 hours of tuition over two weeks.

You'll choose two morning workshops per week.

Workshops week 1:

Workshops week 2:

Participants will be placed on a waitlist for their preferred workshops if they are full.

ELT plenary lectures

After lunch we invite you to join us for a stimulating and informative plenary lecture or seminar:

  • Dyslexia and Learning English: Literacy and Wider Issues - Jon Hird
  • Stories of our professional learning: sowing the seeds of our international learning community - Adrian Underhill
  • From Chaos Comes Order - Shaun Wilden
  • Feedback: The Learner's View - Elaine Boyd
  • Visual Literacy in the ELT Class - Hanna Kryszewska
  • Rethinking learner identity: Developing our students' voice in English - Chia Suan Chong

  • Ako - same old or something new - Robert McLarty

  • Taking the ELTSS Experience Back Home - Adrian Underhill

Please click here for a synopsis of each lecture.


Course Director - Dr Charles Boyle

Principal tutor - Adrian Underhill

Pronunciation, Performance and Poetry and Well-being in the Classroom

Adrian Underhill is series editor of the Macmillan Books for Teachers and author of Sound Foundations: Learning and Teaching Pronunciation, and its associated phonemic chart. He was trainer and director of the International Teacher Training Institute at International House in Hastings until 1999, since when he has worked internationally as an independent ELT consultant with a focus on teacher training, professional and organisational development, and school leadership. He is a past president of IATEFL and is principal tutor on the Oxford University ELT Summer Seminar.

Jon Hird

Exploring Grammar: Words, Clauses, Sentences and Beyond and Teaching a Changing Language: Aspects of Contemporary English 

Jon Hird is a teacher, teacher trainer and ELT materials writer based in Oxford. He teaches at the University of Oxford and frequently gives teacher-training talks and workshops in the UK and overseas. He has written and contributed to many ELT publications for a number of publishers. His most recent publications include Oxford Learner’s Pocket Verbs and Tenses (OUP) and components of the Language HubRoadmapNavigateKeynoteOxford EAP and Life course book series. He has also written and adapted a range of materials for learners with dyslexia. 

Robert McLarty

Creating Classroom Materials – Taking your Resource-making Skills to the Next Level and Writing for publication

Robert is an experienced teacher and trainer who has worked in the UK, France and New Zealand. Editor of Modern English Teacher, he is interested in materials writing and developing speaking skills. In his spare time he plays golf, paints and walks. 

Hanna Kryszewska

Linguistic Mediation in the Secondary School Classroom: Skills, Strategies and Activities (B1 and above) and Towards Mastery: Ideas for Inspiring Advanced Learners (C1 and above) of English

Hanna Kryszewska is a teacher, teacher trainer, trainer of trainers and mentors, author of resource books and course books and former senior lecturer at the University of Gdańsk, Poland. She has co-authored: Options for English (PWSiP, 1991), Learner-based Teaching (OUP, 1992), Reading on Your Own (PWN, 1995), Towards Teaching, (Heinemann, 1995), Stand-by Book, S. Lindstromberg, Ed. (CUP, 1996), Observing English Lessons - A Video Teacher Training Course, and The Company Words Keep (DELTA, 2012).Since February 2006, she has been the editor of website magazine Humanising Language Teaching.

Shaun Wilden

Tomorrow's teaching today and Escape the classroom! Using puzzles, games and gamification in education

Shaun is an education technologist who teaches and trains both face-to-face and online courses. In the Department for Continuing Education he teaches digital literacy, as well as short courses in mobile learning and teaching online. His latest book, Mobile Learning, was published by Oxford University Press.

He is the academic director for online courses for the International House World Organisation overseeing their suite of asynchronous teacher development courses and is a consultant to a number of educational organisations to assist them in their synchronous and asynchronous course provision. His current area of interest and research is learner expectations in peer to peer social presence within asynchronous courses.

Chia Suan Chong 

Effective international communication: helping students communicate successfully across cultures

Chia Suan Chong is a writer, communication skills trainer and teacher trainer.  She delivers both online and face-to-face training to teachers and learners around the globe. 

Chia was English Teaching Professional’s award-winning resident blogger between 2012 and 2019. She is a regular speaker at ELT conferences and has contributed extensively to the British Council Learn English website. She holds a DELTA and a Masters in Applied Linguistics and ELT. More recently, Chia developed and co-wrote the Pearson CertELTD; a Level-6 online teacher training course. She is the author of Successful International Communication (Pavilion Publishing), and co-author of Voices; a seven-level General English course series published by National Geographic Learning.

Elaine Boyd 

Improve your assessment literacy

Dr Elaine Boyd is a teacher trainer, writer and researcher who specialises in English language assessment. She has worked in the field for over 30 years for a range of international exam organisations, including Cambridge, Pearson, the British Council, Trinity College London and Oxford University Press. She has also worked with teacher educators in developing and delivering courses in assessment literacy in Europe, India and SE Asia and has published a number of articles in this field. Elaine has also authored several exam coursebooks for a range of age groups, including the Gold Experience series for Pearson. She is an Associate Lecturer on the M.A. Linguistics/TESOL at the Institute of Education, University College London.

Brasenose College


On successful completion of the Summer Seminar, all participants will receive a University of Oxford Certificate of Attendance.

The attendance certificate will state the course title and location, the course dates, and hours of tuition involved. It will be signed by the programme director and the principal tutor.

Please note that this course does not offer any form of official credit to participants.


Description Costs
Residential Fee: En suite £3400.00
Residential Fee: Standard £3270.00


The Department is, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships or reduction in fees for the English Language Teachers' Summer Seminar at present.



The following options are available:

  • En suite bedroom (private shower and toilet) - £3,400 (no places remaining*)
  • Standard bedroom (shared shower and toilet) - £3,270

Both fees above include the following:

  • Tuition
  • Social Programme
  • Weekday tea & coffee
  • Accommodation on the nights of Sunday 21 July to Friday 2 August 2024 inclusive;
  • All meals from dinner on Sunday 21 July to breakfast on Saturday 3 August 2024 (with the exception of lunch and dinner on Saturday 27 July and Sunday 28 July).

Please note the above means you would leave Brasenose College the morning of Saturday 3 August. 

*Please note that we have a limited number of en suite bedrooms, and they are currently fully booked. If you indicate you would like an en suite room on the application form, we will add you to the waiting list and contact you if another participant withdraws from the course and the en suite room becomes available.


Please note that refunds are only offered in exceptional circumstances. If a participant had their visa application rejected, the department is unable to offer a refund. Please consult our terms and conditions for more details.

Applicants are strongly recommended to take out vacation cancellation insurance, and should consult their travel agent and/or insurer for information and advice. Please note that the Department does not offer any insurance cover.

Alteration or cancellation of a course by the Department

The Department reserves the right to alter details of any course should illness or any other emergency prevent a tutor from teaching, and to cancel a course or seminar if exceptionally low enrolment would make it educationally unviable.

The status of the course will be reviewed on 13 May 2024. If it is likely that the course may be cancelled, all participants enrolled on the course will be notified in writing within seven days, and possible options clearly explained.

If participants have not heard from the Department by 20 May 2024, they should assume that the course will be running; there is no need to contact us to confirm. Participants may wish to delay finalising their travel arrangements until after this date.

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.

Oxford skyline from South Park


Please download the application form (Word format).

  • All sections should be completed fully, clearly, and in BLOCK CAPITALS.
  • Applications should be emailed to the Programme Administrator at the following address: ipteachers@conted.ox.ac.uk
  • Applications must be accompanied by a digital photo of yourself

You can either send the digital version of your completed application or email us a scan of your completed form. If you are having issues using Microsoft Word, you can find a .PDF version of the application form here that you can complete and scan.

Application deadline

The application deadline was noon on 3 June 2024, however we are still able to accept late applications. Any late applicants should be aware of the limited time remaining if they need to apply for a visa to enter the UK for the course, and should note the availability of workshops above.

Notification of the admission panel's decision

Applicants will normally be notified of the panel's decision by email within 14 days of their application being received.

Applicants who are offered a place on the summer school must respond within 14 days to accept or decline the offer. In accepting our offer of a place applicants are committing to paying their programme fees in full by the due date.

Enrolling, invoicing, and further course information

Successful applicants will be formally enrolled on the summer school once they have accepted our offer of a place. The enrolment process includes the issuing of invoices, which will be emailed to applicants together with full instructions for payment. 

Applicants will be required to pay the full fee within 28 days of their invoice date. Late applicants may be required to pay the full fee within 7 days of their invoice date. Places will not be held for students whose fees are not paid in full by the due date. Under no circumstance will applicants be admitted to the summer school unless all fees have been paid in full.

Once fees have been paid in full, applicants will be sent a formal letter confirming their place on the course and receipt of their payment.

Detailed course information notes will be emailed to participants prior to arrival and will contain practical information on pre-course travel arrangements, and living arrangements in college.

Any Queries?

Please contact the Programme Administrator by email at ipteachers@conted.ox.ac.uk

Important information regarding visa requirements

You can check if you need a visa for this course using this link on the GOV.UK website. If you require a visa to study abroad, then we strongly recommend that you apply for this course as early as possible in order to allow yourself sufficient time to make a successful visa application.

This may include a letter from the course administrator confirming your place on the course; this confirmation letter will not be issued until all course fees have been paid in full. In the case of a visa application being unsuccessful the Department will not offer a refund.

Please note that, for legal reasons, the Programme Administrator is not permitted to provide any visa advice to applicants. All such enquiries should be submitted to Oxford University’s student visa and immigration advisers via email at student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk

Selection criteria

We welcome applications from international applicants, and the majority of participants on the course each year are from countries other than the UK. There are two requirements that must be met to apply:

Professional Experience

Applicants must have a minimum of four years' experience of teaching English as a foreign or second language to secondary school pupils, college or university students or adult learners.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants should have a minimum level of proficiency in English equivalent to CEFR C1 across all skills.

Please note that the workshops require active participation at the individual, paired and group level.


Resident in College

For that real University of Oxford experience, you’ll have the opportunity to live in student accommodation in an Oxford College. You'll be provided with a single study bedroom with private (or shared) bathroom and toilet depending on your choice of accommodation at the time of enrolment.

We regret that participants cannot be accommodated at college either prior to or beyond their programme dates. Family members and/or friends who are not enrolled on this programme cannot be accommodated in college.

Participants with a disability or mobility impairment

The aim of the Department is to treat all participants equally and welcomes applications from people with disabilities. Individuals` needs are taken into account as far as possible, providing reasonable adaptations and assistance within the resources available. We ask that people let us know of any disability or special need (confidentially if required) so that we can help them participate as fully as possible.

When applying for the Department's college-based summer programmes, prospective participants with mobility difficulties or visual or hearing impairments may want to make preliminary enquiries to the Programme Administrator, as the age and layout of these colleges often makes them user-unfriendly (although adaptations are often possible). Oxford, as an ancient city, tends to be difficult to navigate for people with disabilities. The number of very old buildings, designed in an age less sensitive to issues of disability, makes access to much of the city centre difficult. However, the Department will do as much as it can to make study with us possible.

Participants should contact us if they will have problems gaining access to a bedroom located on upper or basement floors.