About us

#ELTtoo: working to build safer work environments for everyone.
#ELTtoo is a movement of educators who want the voices of people that have been harassed, bullied and intimidated to be heard, no matter who they are or where they are.
Our mission is to work with people to raise awareness of these issues and provide support, guidance and appropriate training so that all our work environments are harassment- and bullying-free.

#ELTtoo is a call for real change in ELT for all genders worldwide.

What are we doing?

  • Raising awareness of the serious issue of abuse, harassment and bullying
  • Sharing personal stories
  • Sharing information about sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying: what it is, and actions you can take if you are a victim of abuse
  • Actively supporting the idea of a safe, fair and comfortable workplace for all
  • Working together with professional bodies and organisations to share and provide clear guidelines and support for ELT professionals

What are we being careful to NOT do?

  • If any individuals feel bad about any of their past actions and as a result of this campaign decide to re-evaluate their own code of ethics and change their future actions, that is great news. HOWEVER, we are not here to name and shame.  We want to look forward not back, to help build a better future for educators.

No more silence. No more ignoring. No more tolerance of harassment, abuse or discrimination.

An open letter to all ELT professionals

Dear fellow ELTers

We are writing on the behalf of teachers, academic managers, teacher trainers, materials writers, researchers and other professionals who work in ELT. The recent #metoo campaign brought to light just how prevalent sexual harassment and bullying is in our profession. Many people came forward to tell what had happened and is still happening to them on a daily basis in their places of work and at public events. Your stories have been heard and we thank you for sharing them so openly and bravely. 

The serious problem with harassment and bullying in our profession needs to be addressed openly and honestly. 

People need to feel confident that if they are subjected to any kind of abuse, they will be listened to and appropriate action will be taken by employers, fellow professionals and teaching associations. 

There must be clear policies and procedures in place that allow them to report incidents so they can be followed up and dealt with. 

We want people to be held accountable for their behaviours and by doing so, make our profession a safe and equitable place for everyone.

Unfortunately, we have allowed harassment to go on too long, making excuses for the perpetrators or thinking that if we ignore it, it may just improve or go away. Harassment happens because perpetrators never face consequences, often because we think that, because nothing has ever happened in the past, nothing will happen if we say something when things have been reported. We may feel too afraid and intimidated by a perpetrator with a status in the industry able to influence our employment prospects. 

We want this to change. We want to tell your stories through our voice so that we can make ELT a safer place for all.

Yours Sincerely,

Varinder Unlu, and the ever increasing supporters of this movement from all genders.

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When I was younger, I met a guy that I guess you could say is famous in ELT. He is very well known. Anyway, as a non-native speaker in my first teaching job I was thrilled to meet him and even more thrilled that he took an interest in me. He told me all the things I wanted to hear and I had consensual sex with him. Afterwards I discovered I was just one of hundreds of women who had fallen under the same spell and that he has at least one wife or girlfriend (?) that he lives with and numerous rumoured girlfriends. Although I went into bed with him willingly (as I said, I was thrilled at the time – flattered), I can’t help but feel dirty and used about the whole thing.

Although I went into bed with him willingly, I can’t help but feel dirty and used about the whole thing.

Every time I see him fawning women at conferences I feel like saying to them “before you say yes, are you aware you are just one of hundreds and that you fit his ‘type’? And that his ‘type’ is generally an Eastern European non-native speaking teacher passionate about her job and therefore easily fooled by your nonsense? If yes, go on ahead”

I slept with the conference circuit cad

When we think of being groomed, we general think of older men doing it to young people.   This story is how I was groomed.  I met this famous ELT person at a conference.  He immediately started showing an interest in me.  As far as I knew, he was a married man and definitely not someone I would be interested in.  At the time I was going through a very difficult time in my life and was feeing very vulnerable.  He somehow found this out and decided to use it to his advantage.  He would email me several times a day and visit me several times a month.  He would tell me all sorts of things about his life and how unhappy he was. He would tell me how special I was to him and that he’d never met anyone like me.  This went on for about eight months and I was starting to fall under his charms until someone told me that he did this to a lot of women, that as well as being married, he had a girlfriend too.  But that wasn’t enough for him, that he was always after women at public events.   I felt like I had had a lucky escape but I can’t help thinking about all the women that he did manipulate this way.

A lucky escape from a serial predator at conferences