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.

For more information

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To share your personal story

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To write to us

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I have a public profile on facebook and accept friend requests from fellow ELT professionals I haven’t met if we have mutual friends.

Numerous times this results in exchanges like this one that happened today:

New “friend”: Hi pretty XXXXX ,thanks for accepting my friend request dear
Me (XXXXX): Thank you for the compliment, but I’d rather a stranger didn’t send me a message calling me pretty. Thank you for understanding.
New “friend”: Yeah am sorry my friend but your picture shows your beauty. Am like how has been your day
Now you may be thinking, come on, all he did was call you pretty.  But this is only one example. And this happened immediately after I shared the ELTtoo website!
Maybe this is just a nice guy giving me a genuine compliment and had no intention of offending me. I hope so. And if he is now upset by my reply, that’s too bad – but something I have to do now as experience tells me that if I don’t nip it in the bud, these kinds of messages end up with the new “friend” sending me countless messages and not leaving me alone. For some people ignoring doesn’t work. Asking politely doesn’t work.

Unsolicited compliments on facebook

I’d worked in a private language school of almost 12 years and most of that time was spent as a DOS.  A new school principal was hired.  I made every effort to welcome her to the school.  After about a week, it became apparent that things were not going to be easy with her but I tried to understand her.  She started by telling me to send her an email of every conversation we had, every single conversation! That was fine.  I started doing that. If I’m working on something that requires my full attention, I often put my earphones in to not get distracted by what’s going on around me.  She told me I wasn’t allowed to do that. I stopped doing it.  Then she decided that I had to get her permission to take a lunch break.  I found that a little weird but agreed.  Over the coming weeks and months she enforced so many unnecessary rules on my work activities and I agreed to every single one. She still wasn’t happy and decided that she wanted to have control of everything, including academic decisions.  Things changed from being a relaxed, nice place to work to a dictatorship.  No one was allowed any autonomy and no one was allowed to disagree with her.  It was her way or no way.  Eventually, I challenged her about it but failed to make her see how miserable everyone was.  She was not going to change.  After eight months of constantly being bullied by this woman, the stress was having an impact on my health and I started not being able to sleep.  

After eight months of constantly being bullied by this woman, the stress was having an impact on my health and I started not being able to sleep.

I felt tearful most of the time I was in the school. So I left a job I loved.  At the time I didn’t have another job to go to but it was better than having to put up with her behaviour every day. I learned afterwards that quite a few others were bullied out by her and the senior managers did absolutely nothing to support them.

A dictatorship in the workplace