Henry Widdowson, Professor Emeritus University of London, Honorary Professor University of Vienna, began his career as a British Council English Language Officer in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before taking up an academic appointment at the University of Edinburgh. He was a founding editor of the journal Applied Linguistics, a long-time member of the Board of Management of the English Language Teaching Journal and for thirty years acted as applied linguistics adviser to Oxford University Press. He has lectured and written extensively on a wide range of issues relating to applied linguistics and language education. Among his publications are the early books Stylistics and the teaching of literature (1975) and Teaching language as communication (1978), later followed by Aspects of language teaching (1990), Defining issues in English language teaching (2003) and most recently On the Subject of English (2020). Although now retired, he continues to give critical thought to issues about language and learning, particularly these days on the communicative use of English as a lingua franca and its pedagogic implications.