about janet olearski


Janet Olearski was born in West London to an Anglo-Polish family, and grew up in Holland Park and Notting Hill Gate. 

She has worked extensively in journalism and educational publishing, and was the Editor of several ELT magazines including Practical English Teaching, New English Digest, The Longman Language Review, Club Magazine and TESOL Arabia Perspectives. For several years she was also Reviews Editor for BBC English Magazine and an advisor to English Teaching Professional. She is currently a member of the Advisory Panel of TESOL Arabia Perspectives, is on the Editorial Board of the Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal (SiSAL), and is a reviewer for Learning & Teaching in Higher Education Gulf Perspectives and Perspectives.

In addition to articles and short stories, she has published over thirty English language textbooks, courses and readers, amongst them That's English (BBC English/Spanish Ministry of Education), Linguaphone Children's English (Winner of the Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union Prize), Formula (Macmillan), Lifestyle (Zanichelli), and At Home With Italian (Reader's Digest Association).

From 1972 to 1986, Janet lived in Sicily, where she taught English Language and Literature at the University of Palermo. Her draft novel, Foreigner, shortlisted for the 2014 Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Prize, is based on her experiences there.

Over the years she has conducted Teacher Development workshops and worked on ELT projects and Ministry of Education consultancies in a variety of countries including Portugal, Spain, Malta, Germany, Russia, Finland, Croatia, Bosnia, the Philippines, Argentina, Cyprus, Indonesia, and Kenya. In 1996 and 1997, she ran a series of writers' workshops in Bali, Indonesia, and in Nyeri, Kenya.

In 1998 Janet moved to Poland to join the British Council as their Young Learner Educational Consultant in Wroclaw, and to work as part of a British Council team responsible for developing a nationwide Teacher Training and Trainer Training program, providing support and guidance for a chain of regional BC libraries and Learning Resource Centres.

From Poland, Janet transferred to the Arabian Gulf to work as a textbook author within the English Language Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education of the Sultanate of Oman. In 2002 she joined the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she now works as a Senior Lecturer in English.

Janet studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths' College and Graphic Design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design. She has an MA Honours degree in Italian and Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, where she also studied Russian and Classical Arabic. She holds a PGCE (ESOL) and an MA (TESOL) from the University of London Institute of Education. In 2012 she was awarded an MA Creative Writing with Distinction by The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

She is a member of the Society of Authors, the National Association of Writers in Education, IATEFL, TESOL Arabia, Asia Pacific Writers & Translators, and the Institute of Linguists. She has been a certified NLP Practitioner since 1994 and she qualified as a writing and life coach in 2012. In June 2015, Janet founded The Abu Dhabi Writers' Workshop. Membership of the Workshop now stands at over 740.