September 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Obituaries: Writing - Thailand: The Guardian : Thailand RPCV and Writer Printha Jane Ault dies in England

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: The Peace Corps in Thailand: September 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Obituaries: Writing - Thailand: The Guardian : Thailand RPCV and Writer Printha Jane Ault dies in England

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 3:46 pm: Edit Post

Thailand RPCV and Writer Printha Jane Ault dies in England

Thailand RPCV and Writer Printha Jane Ault dies in England

Thailand RPCV and Writer Printha Jane Ault dies in England

Obituary: Printha Ellis: Prolific American author of English textbooks

Sep 22, 2004
by Nicholas Fogg

Many people meeting Printha Ellis for the first time must have thought her quintessentially English, but her accent was misleading. She was as American as apple pie, and was, in 1967, chosen to represent Idaho in the United States College Queen competition.

But Printha, who has died in a car crash aged 57, had lived in England for 30 years, and her awareness of the subtle differences in English pronunciation and usage made a huge contribution to her success as a prolific author of educational English language textbooks.

Her worldwide sales were so huge that her husband described them as "telephone numbers". Her most recent work was with the New Standard English Series, published by Macmillan and FLTRP in Beijing. In China alone, her books are used by more than 6m children each year. Way Ahead, co-written with Mary Bowen, first published by Macmillan for the Middle East in the mid-1990s, but also now used in Russia and eastern Europe, has been a major primary school series.

Printha Jane Ault was born in Pasadena, California, but her family subsequently moved to Idaho. After graduation from the University of Idaho, she went to Thailand as a teacher with the Peace Corps. On arrival, her first task was to teach a lesson to the entire school of 600 children.

On a trip to Nepal, Printha met an Englishman, Mark Ellis, a teacher and novelist who shared her interest in linguistics. They were married in England in 1969. Printha took an MA in literature at Leeds University in 1970. After spells teaching together in Thailand and Libya, they returned to England and became co-authors of two series that were to prove groundbreakers.

The Skill Of Reading was used worldwide, but had its biggest impact in the Middle East, where it gathered a great following. One of the titles, Shades Of Meaning, was especially popular in Jordan, where, on one occasion which Printha delighted in recalling, a taxi- driver was so thrilled that he had his English teacher sitting in the back of his cab that he stopped to introduce her in every village through which they passed.

Mark and Printha Ellis were then commissioned by an iconoclastic editor, Peter Murphy, to produce the Counterpoint series for Nelson's. This was aimed at the young adult market. With its magazine format and dedicated research into original stories, it set new standards. No subsequent course-book in this field published in Britain has been unaffected by it. Printha was awarded an MA in linguistics at Birmingham in 1991.

She believed strongly that, to be an effective communicator, she had to meet her audience. She was an enthusiastic and fearless traveller, who promoted her books and gave seminars around the world. In Saudi Arabia, she found herself lecturing to an audience of men and women separated by a screen, around which only she could see both sides.

In Libya, she taught literature to male students, one of whom, on being shown Sir Walter Raleigh's poem My Body In The Walls Captived, came up to her and claimed, "We are all captived both in body and soul."

As well as possessing a global perspective, Printha was an enthusiastic member of her local community in Marlborough, Wiltshire. She and Mark helped to found the town's noted jazz festival, and her promotional skills proved invaluable to its growth in size and prestige.

She died in a crash in which both her mother and husband's stepmother were also killed. She is survived by Mark, and her sons Nathaniel and Carson.

Printha Jane Ellis, author and educationist, born January 6 1947; died September 7 2004

When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: The Guardian

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Obituaries; Writing - Thailand



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