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The English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI), founded on August 7, 1969 by the late Padmashri S. Natarajan, a noted educationist with the pledge of committed support by five other teachers, can now claim to be the largest network of teachers of English in India, having grown both in numerical strength (from about 250 initially to about 4,000 now) and in popularity and stature since its modest beginnings through sustained professional development activities and initiatives.

The seeds were sown more than half a century ago and now ELTAI has grown into a big banyan tree spreading its roots and branches nationwide into about sixty chapters, and still growing. It has been an Associate of IATEFL (UK) and an Affiliate of TESOL (USA) for long and has established partnerships with several professional associations worldwide.

ELTAI’s professional publications include Journal of English Language Teaching (a bi-monthly print journal), which is given free to all the members of the Association, and three open access e-Journals, focusing on teaching and research in English literature, classroom practices in ELT, and the use of technology in ELT.

We conduct and support conferences, seminars, and workshops at regional, national, and international levels on areas relevant to English studies today. Our consultancy services include support for teacher development activities, and discussions on current issues and needs relevant to the Indian context.


  • ELTAI envisions to make India a hub of ELT-related activities and to conceptualize the experiences of practitioners in teaching and learning the English language and symbiotically share them with others.
  • ELTAI shall develop into a movement spreading across the length and breadth of the country empowering teachers to make every learner of English globally competitive.
  • ELTAI shall aim at becoming a recognized leader, a catalyst, a facilitator, and a trendsetter in spreading English literacy across the country.



  • To provide a forum for teachers of English to meet periodically and discuss problems relating to the teaching and learning of English in India
  • To help teachers interact with educational administrators on matters relating to the teaching of English
  • To disseminate information in the ELT field among teachers of English
  • To undertake innovative projects aimed at the improvement of learners’ proficiency in English
  • To promote professional solidarity among teachers of English at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels
  • To strive to promote professional excellence among its members in all possible ways.



  • The Journal First:The late Padmashri S. Natarajan started the journal, Journal of English Language Teaching, in 1965, a few years he founded the association, to create awareness among English teachers of the need for professional development. The journal was given free as an incentive for becoming a member of the association when it would be started later.
  • The Association Next:Shri Natarajan first founded the Society for the Promotion of Education. Under its auspices, he started several subject teachers’ associations and ELTAI was born in 1969 with the starting membership of six, which gradually increased to about 250 in the first year.
  • Membership Drive (Or Enrolment of Members):A large number of seminars and workshops were conducted regularly by ELTAI at intra- and inter-institutional levels focusing on improving classroom practices. Several regional conferences were also organized by ELTAI. The participants at these professional development programmes were briefed about the benefits of joining ELTAI – the beginning of face-to-face membership drive on a regular and continual basis.
  • Formation of Chapters:Active members our association in different parts of the country were encouraged to start ELTAI chapters in their respective regions with a view to providing professional development opportunities to teachers at the local level – the key step in the direction of spreading its wings far and wide. Now, we have about sixty chapters and the number is growing.
  • Annual national and International Conferences:ELTAI has been conducting annual conferences at the national level almost every year since the inception of ELTAI and combined national and international conferences since 2005 (36th Annual Conference and 1st International Conference held in Chennai). These annual events are being conducted with the help and support of host institutions and the local chapters. These hugely successful events have also been supported in a big way by the British Council and the Regional English Language Office (RELO), USA. Again, participation in these conferences has been increasing every year.
  • Special Interest Groups (SIGs):. The membershipELTAI has three SIGs: Literature SIG, Computer Technology SIG, and Business English SIG. Membership is open to any active member of ELTAI on a voluntary basis. The former two SIGs started the two open access online journals, Journal of Teaching and Research in English Literature and Journal of Technology in ELT The SIGs are being reactivated.
  • Online Discussion Forums: Google groups have been formed not only for members of ELTAI but also for members of the SIGs for sharing of relevant information and views on topics of interest to teachers of English, with particular focus on classroom practices and strategies. ELTAI members may join any of these groups by sending an email to ELTAI expressing their interest.
  • IATEFL-Hornby Trust Projects: ELTAI has been awarded grants by the IATEFL-Hornby Trust three times for our projects: (1) Training trainers and teachers of English in Virtual Learning; (2) Training trainers and teachers in using mobile phone technology in the teaching and learning of English; and (3) Master Trainers’ workshop for our Chapter heads in ‘The use of digital tools for learner autonomy in communication skills (2019).


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