Michael Swan‏‎

Teaching Materials

Michael Swan

Michael Swan

Michael Swan – who describes himself as a “freelance writer” – is most well known as an established TEFL writer specializing in reference and teaching materials.

His Practical English Usage is regarded as something of a grammar bible and many ESL teachers swear by it.

His interests include pedagogic grammar, mother-tongue influence in second language acquisition, and the relationship between applied linguistic theory and classroom language-teaching practice, on which topics he has published a number of articles.

Michael has had extensive experience with adult learners and has worked with teachers in many countries. He is a Visiting Professor at St Mary’s College, University of Surrey this despite not actually being formally qualified as a TEFL teacher!


Swan first began teaching after he graduated from Oxford. He taught part time at a local school whilst he took a research degree (18th Century German poets) and enjoyed the work so much he decided to take it on full time.

With his first wife he set up a language school – the Swan School – which they ran together until they split up after which he moved to Paris in the 1970s where he taught English and also began writing for CUP.

Aside from writing TEFL books, Swan is also a published and award winning poet and translator. In 2005 he also won a Stephen Spender award for his translation from German of Rilke’s Orpheus, Eurydike, Hermes and in 2009 came runner up for his transltion of Rilke’s Du Nachbar Gott.

Useful Links

Practical English Usage (book)‏‎ – grammar by Michael Swan

www.mikeswan.co.uk – Michael Swan’s personal website

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