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Obituary: John Holmes

Colleagues will be very sorry to hear of the death of Dr John Holmes, Lecturer in TESOL within the School of Education, on Friday 16 May.

John joined the University in 1998 after a career devoted to English teaching, and the training of teachers of English, in a wide variety of overseas settings (including Sweden, Yugoslavia, Brazil, Angola and Eritrea). He continued to travel widely during his time at Leeds, most recently being closely involved in the successful Oman BA (TESOL) project. In addition to his teaching research commitments at Leeds, he returned to Africa with a number of like-minded colleagues in order to pursue a number of projects in Eritrea, visiting remote rural schools in order to observe the challenges faced by newly qualified teachers; exploring the relationship between mother tongue and English through teacher workshops and childrens drama activities; and personally supporting a school in Bogu by helping to install solar power for lighting, TV, video and computing facilities (as well as painting the school building) paid for by money which he and his colleagues had raised.

John was truly a lifelong learner, and his enthusiasm for the structure, flow, acquisition, teaching and simple exposition of language, was both infectious and inspirational. He will be missed by students and academic colleagues for his energetic commitment and insight, but also by his many friends for his exceptionally kind and caring nature, and for the support and personal loyalty he gave so unstintingly.

A private funeral for family and close friends will take place on Friday 23 May, and as a mark of the regard in which he will continue to be held, the flag on the Parkinson building will be flown at half mast on that date.

A full obituary will appear on Campusweb in due course.

Published: 22 May 2008