May 2016

Advertising is underway for the Cambridge IB English Literature and Language Bridging Program courses in Hong Kong in June and July. The courses, run by ARCH Education in Hong Kong, are delivered by CLERA directors Dr Karen Ottewell and Dr Clare Lynch.

April 2016

Dr Karen Ottewell is on the judging panel for this year's Young Laureate Award organised by ARCH Education in Hong Kong.

The power of literacy lies not just in the ability to read and write, but rather in a person’s capacity to apply these skills to effectively connect, interpret and discern the intricacies of the world in which they live. The Young Laureate Award will certainly be a great opportunity for students in Hong Kong to hone these important critical skills at a young age, and ultimately be much more prepared for university and beyond.

- Karen Ottewell

February 2016

We are very pleased to note that Dr Karen Ottewell is one of the winners of the University of Cambridge 2016 Pilkington Prize.

Karen was one of the twelve inspirational academics recognised by the University of Cambridge for their outstanding quality and approach to teaching.

Find out more about the Pilkington Prize here.

January 2016

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Clare Lynch as a Director of CLERA.

Clare has degrees in English Literature and Language from the Universities of Manchester and London, a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and an LLM from the University of London. She teaches academic English at the University of Cambridge Language Centre, and has designed and taught modules on business English for Cambridge's Judge Business School. As the founder of Doris and Bertie Ltd, a team of business writing experts, Clare provides coaching, training and consultancy to a variety of organisations. Her clients include major financial firms, international regulators, and household names in the energy and tech sectors. Clare has recently branched out into online learning, designing and publishing business writing courses for Udemy.

Clare and Karen will be designing and delivering CLERA's new online course for ARCH Education starting next month. More details on this to follow soon.

December 2015

In December the first two Career Talks by CLERA Director Bernardette Holmes were published on YouTube by Cambridge University Press International Education.

In the first of her series of three Career Talks profiles Bernardette describes her career and previous experience. Bernardette Holmes: Career Talks Profile

In the second she describes what, as a specialist in language education, her typical day entails. Bernardette Holmes: Career Talks Profile 2

October 2015

Bernardette presented a paper entitled 'Meeting the needs of the Born Global Generation' at the morning session of the Speak to the Future Symposium - Languages for Employability, Entrepreneurship and the Professions held at Olympia Central in London on Friday 16th October. She also welcomed delegates to and summarised and concluded the afternoon session of the symposium Communicating for Britain 2020 and Beyond.

Catch up on the symposium here >>

June 2015

Bernardette Holmes, was awarded an MBE (Order Of The British Empire, Civil: Member) in the Queen's birthday honours list 2015.

'Mrs Bernadette Susan Holmes. Teacher and Modern Languages Education Advocate. For services to Education. (Ipswich, Suffolk)'  See full list >>

July 2014

In July 2014 Bernardette Holmes and Karen Ottewell from CLERA LTD delivered the Cambridge Pre-International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for ARCH Education in Hong Kong.


It is rare these days to have teenage students consistently ranking an academic course 10/10 – especially after 40 hours of intensive classes held at the end of long school days. However, the teaching of Dr Ottewell and Bernardette Holmes has proven this to be possible. With the support of comprehensive materials authentically prepared by the team, students remarked that the course has not only provided them with a taste of the IB philosophy, but has gone beyond to provide them with the skills and confidence to excel. As one local HK school student remarked, “The teachers articulate the concepts well and I feel that the feedback given was top-notch!”; whilst another international school student from HK complimented “the literature component, especially the section on poetry, was simply inspiring”. To contextualise the essence of much of the discussions that took place throughout the course, Dr Ottewell and Ms Holmes gave the students a taste of British Parliamentary debate style by tackling the motion “This House believes that art disturbs whilst science reassures”. Beyond philosophy, language, literature, thesis, debate and presentations, the students (a few weepy ones on the last day of the course) left with a sense of what education in Cambridge could potentially resemble! What a fruitful 40 hours of fun and constructive learning!

- Jennifer Ma, Co-founder of Arch Education

June 2014

In recognition of her contribution to languages education, Bernardette Holmes, was invited by the Lord Chamberlain at the command of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, 3rd June 2014.

Bernardette is currently involved with the reform of GCSE and A levels in both modern and ancient languages. She continues to be very active in research and policy development at national and international levels, while keeping firmly in touch with the classroom through her teaching of undergraduate students in Downing College Cambridge and pre-university students in schools and academies world-wide.