Louis George Alexander

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Louis George Alexander (15 February 1932 – 17 June 2002) was a British teacher and writer, the author of New Concept English and the Direct English Syllabus and Course Structure, an author of EFL course books. In 1977, he sold 4.7m books, which was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the greatest number of copies sold by an individual author in one year.[1]


Louis Alexander was born in London and educated at Godalming Grammar School and the University of London. During the time of World War II he was with his mother in Australia, later they returned to Britain.From 1954 - 1956 he was on national service in the British Army Germany (1954–56), where he had his first experience as an educator, teaching A-level English as an Educational Corps instructor. He taught English in Germany (1954–56) and Greece (1956–65) where he was head of English at the Protypon Lykeion, Athens (what is now the Scholi Moraïti).[2]

In the 1960s he started being published with Longmans. In 1962 his first book, Sixty Steps to Précis, was published and his second book, A First Book in Comprehension, was published in 1964. New Concept English, his first major book series, was published in 1967. With Longman he also published such series as: Look Listen and Learn (1968-71), Target (1972-74), Mainline (1973-81).

Louis was a member of the Council of Europe Committee on Modern Language Teaching (1973–78), and one of the authors of The Threshold Level (1975) and Waystage (1977), works developed for the Council of Europe that have been the bases of many communicative language courses and forms the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. He served on the Committee of Management of the Society of Authors (1980–83).[3]

In the 1980s Alexander wrote reference books such as Longman English Grammar (1988; practice book 1990) and Longman Advanced Grammar (1993).

In the late 1980s he worked for UNESCO on Junior English for China course.He created the blueprint for the Survive self-study series (1980–83, reissued 1989) for modern languages and published courses in the field of computer-assisted language learning.[4]

In 1986-88 he was adviser to the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate for the Cambridge Certificate in English for International Communication.

He was a writer of EFL course materials from the 1960s onwards. Alexander consistently supported the cause of the relatively untrained non-native speaking teacher of English.

Louis Alexander died at the age of 70 of leukemia.[5]

Personal life[edit]

His first wife, Athina, died in 1979. He had a daughter Marianna and a son George.[6]


His publications include:

  • A First Book in Comprehension (1964)
  • New Concept English (1967)
  • Look, Listen and Learn! (1968–71)
  • Target (1972–74)[7]
  • Mainline (1973–81)
  • Follow Me (1979–80)
  • Excel (for Egyptian Secondary Schools, 1985)
  • Plain English (1987–88)
  • Longman English Grammar (1988)
  • Longman English Grammar Practice (1990)
  • Step by Step 1-3 (1991)
  • Longman Advanced Grammar (1993)
  • Right Word, Wrong Word (1994).
  • K's first case
  • Operation Mastermind (1971)
  • Good morning Mexico
  • For and Against (1968)
  • Sixty Steps to Precis (1975)
  • Dangerous Game (2000)

Poetry and Prose Appreciation Essay and Leiter Writing A First Book in Comprehension Precis and Composition ... and many more that are listed in the For and Against Book[8]