The Short Version
My name’s Peter Travis. I write English exam materials and enjoy helping students gain exam success.
The Longer Version
I’ve had a long career in EFL, which began in Coimbra, Portugal back in 1991. I moved on to Greece the following year and then took on a full-time post in a further education college in the UK. In the mid 90s I co-authored ‘Candidate for FCE’ and ‘Candidate for CAE’ with Fiona Joseph for Prentice Hall.
In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I was given the chance to take on the cross-college role of developing an e-learning strategy – and the opportunity to develop new ICT skills. These skills allowed me to work with Fiona to create the Flo-Joe website for students preparing for Cambridge English exams.
It was a combination of my background in EFL, a growing interest in e-learning and the success of Flo-Joe, which ultimately led to me leaving my job in 2006 and setting up on my own as ‘Splendid Learning’.
One big advantage of leaving my 9-5 job behind was the extra time I had to develop ideas that had long been brewing. I love technologies that can be put to innovative and effective uses in ELT and it was around this time that I took an interest in podcasting. Being relatively low-bandwidth and simple to create, I could see it offered exciting opportunities for language teachers.
I decided to put this to the test with my own Splendid Speaking Podcast, which quickly became popular, with the show still regularly appearing in the top 3 on Podomatic. The podcast was shared through Splendid Speaking, a website I also developed in 2006, aimed at helping advanced learners of English develop their speaking skills. This was quickly followed by the launch of the Splendid Speaking Course and CAE Speaking Success.
In 2012 I launched the IELTS Speaking website to support learners in developing their speaking skills for this popular exam. During this time I also developed IELTS Speaking Advanced for students preparing for the Speaking paper.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve worked with Harper Collins to author ‘Practice Tests for PET‘ (Cambridge English Preliminary) and ‘Practice Tests for FCE‘ (Cambridge English: First). I have also co-authored 2 further titles for Harper Collins, ‘IELTS Practice Tests‘ & ‘IELTS Practice Tests 2‘. All these titles had a very short timescale for completion and I’m pleased to report final versions were handed over on time and with little in the way of re-drafting required.
I’ve spoken at various regional and national EFL events across the country and have also run workshops on the use of new technology. (In addition to ELT events I’ve worked with Birmingham City Council on their ‘Wired up to Wellbeing‘ pilot project, which aimed to enable libraries and library staff to support the over 50s in the use of the Internet.)
When I’m not working I love spending time with my two daughters and you’ll often find me taking part in my main interest – running. I regularly take part in events from 5k through to marathons.