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MBEs for authors whose work taught English to millions

MBEs for authors whose work taught English to millions

01 January 2011

Two Oxford University Press authors were awarded awarded MBEs in the Queen’s New Year Honours list today in recognition of the world-famous English language course which they created.

Liz and John Soars are authors of Headway, a course first published 25 years ago that is estimated to have been used by more than 100 million students in secondary schools, tertiary, and teacher training institutions across 127 different countries.

The award recognizes the enormous contribution they have made to the teaching of English, and came as a surprise to the husband-and-wife writing team, who said: “We are delighted and thrilled that Headway has been recognized in this way. We know how much teachers and students enjoy using our materials, but to have our work endorsed with a national award is an unexpected and very special honour.”

Headway was first published in 1986 and was an immediate success.  Its integrated syllabus, explicit grammar rules, and user-friendliness made it innovative yet practical, working equally well in the hands of both experienced and novice teachers.

Now in its fourth edition, Headway’s global popularity is such that it has maintained high levels of sales for two and a half decades, with 70 million copies sold. It has grown to provide a wide range of resources — audio, video, and more recently, digital materials. 

Peter Marshall, Managing Director of the English Language Teaching Division at Oxford University Press, sums up Liz and John Soars’ work:  “Headway is of enormous importance to Oxford University Press and to the English language teaching community. We are indebted to Liz and John for the enthusiasm, passion, and hard work they bring to their writing, and I am delighted that their achievements have been recognized in this way.”

For more information about Headway visit www.oup.com/elt