John Haycraft

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International House, London

John Stacpoole Haycraft CBE (11 December 1926 – 23 May 1996) was the son of a British officer in the colonial Indian army. Born in India with his brother Colin, their father died when they were still young, killed by one of his soldiers. Then they came back to Britain, where they both studied at Oxford University – John matriculated from Jesus College in 1948 and obtained a second-class degree in modern history in 1951.[1] Colin Haycraft became a famous editor and married Anna Haycraft, also known as Alice Thomas Ellis.

The main creation of John Haycraft is International House World Organisation. It was started by John and his wife Brita Haycraft in 1953. A fervent internationalist, John strove to promote international understanding through language learning and teacher training. In 1974 they set up a non-profit-making educational trust committed to raising the standards of English language teaching and training worldwide.[2] International House Trust trades today as International House London.[3]

When he died on 23 May 1996, he left behind a network of 100 schools that grew from the first school in Córdoba in Spain to cover 40 countries.

He was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982.[1]


  • Babel in Spain, 1958.[4] Republished in Spanish, 2007
  • Babel in London, 1965.[4]
  • Autobiography of a Language Traveller, 1998.[4]
  • Getting On In English
  • George and Elvira
  • Choosing Your English
  • Action
  • Introduction To English Language Teaching
  • Think, Then Speak
  • Italian Labyrinth
  • In Search Of The French Revolution
  • Where Was I?


  1. ^ a b Brumfit, Christopher (2004). "Haycraft, John Stacpoole (1926–1996)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online edition, subscription access). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  2. ^ "IH World History". Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "About the IH Trust". Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Available as PDF download from