Saturday, May 25, 2024

Obituary

A fond farewell to the man who called for change

Mark Krzanowski crash-landed into the Gazette in the early noughties. “A bloke at Westminster Uni has invited us to a conference with a bunch of ministers from Africa,” said our news editor. “Should I go?”

From then on, Mark became a fixture in the Gazette firmament, an intermittent correspondent bringing the latest news from the furthest corners of the ELT world; an instant source of information on all things EAP (English for academic purposes); a jolly, noisy, enthusiastic companion in a flamboyant bow tie who livened up the most tedious of academic conferences.

Just before Christmas he wrote offering a piece on his latest passion: teaching EAP online. We wrote to say yes, but heard no more – until we learned from his publisher at Garnet that Mark Krzanowsk had died on 19 January in Tema, Ghana, after a short illness. He was 57.

With me he always talked about his future. Should he try for this job? What did I think of that one? Should he take this job in China? And to China he went, initially with the University of Surrey and then in his most recent job, with Brunel, and loved it. He talked little about his past, nothing about his early years, apart from the fact that he was Polish. We know he spoke Russian, but only because he resorted to it in an interview he did for us with a Cuban teacher of limited English.

Before he arrived at the University of Westminster, he worked in EAP for many of London’s big names: UCL, Goldmiths, the University of the Arts, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine…. He published endless papers, edited the IATEFL Journal ‘Professional and Academic English’ and, in 2020, started a PhD on South African English. He wrote a book on tertiary education in Sudan called Time for a Change.

Mark was a whirlwind for change both personally and professionally; a man of ideas and passions and infectious laughter. Our lives will be emptier for his passing. Melanie Butler

Image courtesy of Library
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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