Professor Jack C Richards

Honorary Professor


Phone: +61 2 9380 4541

Fax: +61 2 9351 5027

Building.Room: A35.

Research interests

Research on teaching and learning

  • Teacher education and professional learning

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

  • Languages and cultures education
  • English for academic purposes


Language Teacher Education, Methodology in Language Teaching, Curriculum Design and Materials Development

Professional biography

Born in New Zealand, I obtained a Master of Arts degree with first class honours in English from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1966. I obtained my Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Laval University (a French-Language University) in Quebec City, Canada in 1972.

I have worked in many parts of the world, including New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. After completing my PhD, I taught in Indonesia and was then appointed a specialist in applied linguistics at the Regional Language Centre Singapore, under the auspices of the New Zealand Government. Later I was Senior Lecturer in English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, before being appointed Full professor in the Department of English as a Second Language at the University of Hawaii in 1981. In 1989 I returned to Hong Kong to set up a new department of English at the City University of Hong Kong, where I was head of the department of English and also chair professor. In 1996 I returned to my home country for two years to set up an MA program at the University of Auckland. In 1999 I retired from full-time university teaching and administration and since then have taught for part of each year at the Regional Language Centre (RELC), in Singapore, while making his primary residence in Sydney Australia. At RELC, I teach on the MA in Applied Linguistics, as well as the RELC Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics. In 2011, I was made an honorary professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Australia, where I give public lectures in TESOL, run a teaching methodology workshop and provide consultancy to academic staff and research students.

I am a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops for language teachers, and visits some 12 countries every year. I have written over 60 articles and 20 books. Many of my books and articles are classics in the field of second language teaching and have been translated into many different languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Arabic. Among my well known professional books are Error Analysis, (1974), Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms (1996, with Charles Lockhart), Beyond Training (1998), The Language Teaching Matrix (1990), Curriculum Development in Language Teaching (2001), Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (second edition 2001, with Ted Rodgers), Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (4th edition 2010, with Richard Schmidt) and Professional Development for Language Teachers (with Tom Farrell), Cambridge University Press 2005.

My classroom textbooks are also widely used and have helped millions of students around the world learn English. These include Springboard, Person to Person, Tactics for Listening, Passages, and the best-selling series Interchange.

I have for many years made myself available as a speaker at many professional conferences without a fee, and supported scholarship programs in different parts of the world. In recognition of this the Presidents of De La Salle University, Manila and of Philippine Normal University, Manila, presented me with a citation in 2001 which states:

"Generous in sharing his expertise with junior members of the profession, unstinting in his efforts to promote excellent language teaching in all parts of the world, indefatigable in showing the applications of theory to teaching practice in the classroom, Dr. Richards is a fine example of what English language education and applied linguistics can accomplish."

In 2010 I was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Victoria University, Wellington, in recognition of my contributions to English language teaching and the arts.

Further information about me can be found at:

Please visit Youtube to watch my introductory video:


  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature by Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

Selected publications


Book chapters

  • Richards, J. C. (2017). Teacher identity in second language teacher education. In Gary Barkhuizen (Ed.), Reflections on Language Teacher Identity Research (pp. 139–144), New York: Routledge.
  • Richards, J. C. (2017). Curriculum approaches in language teaching. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (Vol. 3, pp. 117–131), New York: Routledge.
  • Richards, J. C., & Reppen, R. (2016). 12 principles of grammar instruction . In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Teaching English grammar to speakers of other languages (pp. 143–160), New York: Routledge.
  • Richards, J. C., & Cotterall, S. (2016). Exploring creativity in language teaching. In R. H. Jones & J. C. Richards (Ed.), Creativity in language teaching: Perspectives from research and practice (pp. 97–113), New York: Routledge.
  • Richards, J. C. (2015). Materials design in language teacher education: An example from Southeast Asia. In Thomas S. C. Farrell (Ed.), International perspectives on English language teacher education: Innovations from the field (pp. 90–106), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Richards, J. C. (2015). Creativity in language teaching. In A. Chik, T. Costley & M. C. Pennington (Ed.), Creativity and discovery in the university writing class: A teacher's guide (pp. 15–44), Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.
  • Richards, J. C. (2014). Forward. In Martínez Agudo, Juan de Dios (Ed.), English as a foreign language teacher education: Current perspectives and challenges (pp. 1–3), Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.
  • Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (2014). Learners, approaches, and methods. In Jack C. Richards (Ed.), Approaches and methods in language teaching (3rd ed., pp. 331–345), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (2014). Approaches, methods, and the curriculum. In Jack C. Richards (Ed.), Approaches and methods in language teaching (3rd ed., pp. 363–381), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (2014). Teachers, approaches, and methods. In Jack C. Richards (Ed.), Approaches and methods in language teaching (3rd ed., pp. 346–362), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Richards, J.C. (2007). Materials development and research: towards a form-focussed perspective. In S. Fotos & H. Nassaji (Ed.), Form Focussed Instruction and Teacher Education: Studies in Honor of Rod Ellis (pp. 147–160), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal articles

  • Richards, J. C. (2017). Transmissive and transformative approaches to language teacher education. Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching (IJELT), 12(1), 15–38.
  • Richards, J. C. (2017). Teaching English through English: Proficiency, pedagogy and performance. RELC Journal, 48(1), 7–30. DOI:10.1177/0033688217690059
  • Pennington, M. C., & Richards, J. C. (2016). Teacher identity in language teaching: Integrating personal, contextual, and professional factors. RELC Journal, 47(1), 5–23. DOI:10.1177/0033688216631219
  • Sadeghi, K., & Richards, J. C. (2016). The idea of English in Iran: An example from Urmia . Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 37(4), 419–434. DOI:10.1080/01434632.2015.1080714
  • Richards, J. C. (2015). The changing face of language learning: Learning beyond the classroom. RELC Journal, 46(1), 5–22. DOI:10.1177/0033688214561621
  • Sadeghi, K., & Richards, J. C. (2015). Teaching spoken English in Iran's private language schools: Issues and options. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 14(2), 210–234. DOI:10.1108/ETPC-03-2015-0019
  • Richards, J. C. (2014). Towards a pedagogy of grammar instruction. RELC Journal, 45(1), 5–25. DOI:10.1177/0033688214522622
  • Richards, J. C. (2013). Curriculum approaches in language teaching: Forward, central and backward design. RELC Journal, 44(1), 5–33. DOI:10.1177/0033688212473293
  • Richards, J.C. (2010). Competence and performance in language teaching. RELC, 41(2), 101–122.
  • Richards, J.C. (2008). Second language teacher education today. RELC, 39(2), 158–176.
  • Richards, J.C. (2008). Growing up with TESOL. English Teaching Forum, 46(1), 2–11.