The History


Continuing in the tradition of David English House


David English House was founded by David Paul in an apartment in Hiroshima in 1982 and became widely respected throughout East Asia for its high educational standards and for the extensive support it provided for the professional  development of English language teachers. Within 15 years, there were 50 full-time teachers and staff in Hiroshima and about the same again in franchises in Thailand and Korea.


David English House closed in 2010 for financial reasons, and  Language Teaching Professionals was founded by David Paul to continue the professional development activities of David English House.


Language Teaching Professionals is quite different from David English House in that it has no schools. Also, rather than having a lot of its own staff, it brings together a number of companies and individuals who are dedicated to supporting English education.



 1982: Starting Out

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David English House was founded by David Paul in a private apartment in Hiroshima. Students ranged from elementary school children to advanced adults. There was a very friendly atmosphere in the school even though it grew so quickly. Many students also went camping together, played tennis or soccer together, had parties and bonded into a community. There were 100 students in the first year, 200 in the second year, 400 in the 3rd year, 800 in the fourth year … The school had to move to larger premises four times in the first seven years, and there were eventually about 35 branches in Hiroshima and franchises in other countries.


From the beginning, the key aim was to help professionalize English language teaching. At first the focus was just on the Hiroshima area. This was later extended to Japan, and then to a number of Asian countries.




 From 1983: Entering the Education System

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David English House began supplying teachers to elementary schools, junior/senior high schools and universities in the Hiroshima area. We supplied both full-time and part-time teachers to many schools in Hiroshima prefecture. In some areas we worked closely with local boards of education which sometimes meant that our teachers lived in very rural areas. We also supplied teachers to most of the leading private junior/senior high schools in Hiroshima city.


It was a great privilege to be so accepted within the Japanese educational system. It also meant we could help motivate students who might not normally be interested in English. The students in our own schools tended to already be interested in learning English, but students at regular elementary schools, high schools and universities had more varied levels of motivation. This posed a stimulating challenge to us as educators.





 1983-1997: Rapid Growth

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Our schools in Hiroshima developed and grew. We took enormous risks without any capital or outside investment, until, by the early 1990s, about 10,000 students were learning English from us at any one time in Hiroshima prefecture.


At this point, we made a policy decision not to have schools in other parts of Japan. One reason for this was to ensure that all our staff could have some human contact with each other. Another was that we felt it was more valuable to try and become more deeply involved in the Hiroshima community, rather than less deeply involved in more communities. A third reason was that one of our new aims was to help professionalize ELT throughout Japan. This would involve training teachers, publishing magazines, and developing materials to be used by other schools. This wouldn’t work if we were also in competition with schools in other parts of Japan. 


 From 1987: Part of the Hiroshima Community

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David English House secured the contract to provide English language support for the Hiroshima Asian Games; David Paul founded and became President of The City League, a soccer league in Hiroshima which had about 100 university, company and area teams, and was run by the David English House office; David also became the British representative on the Hiroshima Japan-British Society committee, the principle international association for leading academics and businessmen in Hiroshima… and there was much more like this.


At the same time that these kinds of things were happening, we were sending more and more teachers to work at schools and universities, and our teachers were getting involved in many different aspects of Hiroshima life. All this led to David English House becoming a deeply respected part of the Hiroshima community. 




 From 1991: Noticing the Wider World


When Finding Out, David Paul’s course for elementary school children, was published and quickly became an international bestseller, we began to realize that a lot of the teaching ideas we had been developing in Hiroshima were quite different from prevailing methodologies, and we found we had a lot of things to say that teachers wanted to listen to.


David started doing workshops on student-initiated learning all over Japan; we published three free magazines for teachers and sent them out to any teachers in Japan who requested them; Communicate was published and also became a bestseller… and we began to realize there was a lot we could do to support teachers initially in Japan, and then in other East Asian countries.




 From 1995: Center for the Professional Development of Teachers


Many things began to happen at the same time. We became the Japan representative for the University of Birmingham Distance MA in TEFL/TESL, and the course immediately became the most popular course of its kind in Japan. On the strength of this, we began looking for a Distance MA in Japanese. Everybody we asked suggested Sheffield, so we approached the School of East Asian Studies at Sheffield and we began representing two Sheffield Distance MAs in Japanese and a Japanese language course for beginners.


While all this was going on, we began to develop our own training courses in teaching children, and started running all over the place training teachers.

We also became the Japan office for the leading ELT Journals and magazines (English Teaching professional, ELT Journal, Applied Linguistics, and Modern English Teacher), and for various publishers.




 From 1995: Teacher Training throughout East Asia


Somewhere among all of this, Finding Out and Communicate became popular in a number of other countries, and David got invited to start training teachers overseas, especially in Thailand and Korea.


We started franchise training centers in both these countries, and began to train large numbers of elementary school teachers who were having to teach English for the first time. We also became consultants for various chain schools, teacher training courses, and for the Thai Ministry of Education. 







 From 1999: Establishing and Supporting ETJ


David Paul founded ETJ (English Teachers in Japan), a volunteer group for supporting the professional development of teachers. The aim was to build a community of teachers who would work together to professionalize ELT in Japan. It went slowly at first, but after about a year things began to take off, and ETJ now has about 10,000 members and is playing a key role in ELT throughout Japan. There is still a lot to do, and ETJ still has enormous potential as a concept, but there is little doubt about the impact that it has already had.


ETJ has active e-mail discussion groups, regional groups for teachers of children all over Japan, major ELT Expos and, most important of all, a positive, supportive community.




 From 2010: Language Teaching Professionals


When David English House closed in 2010, David Paul founded Language Teaching Professionals to continue many of the David English House professional development projects and to support ETJ.


Language Teaching Professionals is a group of educators who put priority on supporting the professional development of language teachers. We run teacher training courses, develop materials, support teachers who have developed their own materials, have a book store, provide forums for teachers to share and discuss their ideas . . . and much more. 




 From 2011: Supporting Teachers through Social Media


Language Teaching Professionals has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in. The Facebook page has over 400,000 fans.


The aim of the social media pages and groups is to support the professional development of teachers by providing information on research, articles and developments in language education and educational psychology.