WordPowered is the collective
name of a series of projects
which aim to provide teachers of
English - whether teaching
English as a second or first
language - with tools to use
literature and poetry effectively for
language teaching, and also to
develop the communicative and
critical thinking processes of
The materials available for
download on this website can be
copied and used without
copyright restrictions as long as
the purpose is demonstrably for
language teaching and learning
WordPowered is a not-for-profit
organisation which relies
extensively on unpaid work from
volunteers and on gifts and
donations from writers and
teachers. Your contribution to the
development of the project will be
We can often be found at
teachers' conferences and
seminars, particularly - though
not exclusively - in Europe, where
we are based.
Contact us at
The people behind the project include many teachers, writers, academics and well wishers. The following
work to keep the enthusiasm and readjust the focus of the project:
Ron Butlin is one of Scotland's leading writers. Poet, author and opera librettist, he is
currently the Edinburgh Poet Laureate (Makar).
He has been an enthusiastic supporter of dynamic ways to bring literature in the form
of short stories, novels and poetry into language learning classrooms around the world.
He has been involved in pioneering efforts to increase young people’s engagement with literature and
books in general, and was one of the original contributors to ‘WordPowered’.
* * *
Award winning writer Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in
London. He has published four novels, numerous short stories and poems.
He was one of the first writers to become involved in the British Council’s BritLit
project, which blazed a trail in the field of literature as a language tool in the EFL
classroom. His involvement with the WordPowered project is due to his determination to see this
important work continue, and his desire to remain in contact with English language teachers worldwide.
* * *
Joseph Guerra is an American teacher of English who has lived in Europe for over
One of his major contributions to the project has been the development of an
underlying pedagogical theory (based on Clausewitzian strategic theory and
Weberian social action theory) which unites classroom social dynamics with an
understanding of the role of the non-linear aspects associated with introducing
literature into language learning.
* * *
Maria Donária Lemos is from Portugal, and came into the world of literature in
language learning as a student of English, and has maintained her enthusiasm for
the concept ever since.
Her vision of what is possible and what is practical keeps the rest of the team on
course and on their toes. She regularly attends international ELT conferences and
maintains the links between writers and the project.
* * *
Fitch O'Connell has been a teacher for longer than he cares to remember. He works as a
materials writer and teacher trainer. In 2003 he set up the acclaimed BritLit project for
the British Council in Portugal, and has worked since then to help establish a new place
for literature in English language teaching. He continues to work for the British Council
and is responsible for developing the literature elements of the Teaching English website.