Fred Pragnell holds a first degree in Modern Languages, and master’s degrees in Linguistics, Educational Psychology and Economics. He is a Chartered Linguist and currently Classics adviser for IAPS.
Fred taught secondary French and Latin in the 70s before heading off to Saudi to teach English, and later to run an English language institute. The traditional systematic approach used in language learning proved a great help in getting to grips with Modern Standard Arabic. Recognising the shortage of suitable materials then commercially available, he compiled A Week in the Middle East, a dual-language reader, which was published by Lund Humphries in 1984, and subsequently republished with exercises in 2003.
Returning to England Fred worked as a translator of French, Spanish and Arabic. In 1993 he wrote Arabic in Action A Basic Course in Spoken Arabic, published by Lund Humphries and in 2003, he published a second graded reader, The Arab News, focusing on the language of business and economics. This was followed in 2005 by Palestine Chronicle 1880-1950 a compilation of extracts from the Arabic press tracing the main political and social developments of the country. For some years Fred has worked as review editor for Sayyab Books, which has published a number of dual language sets of Arabic short stories. Most recently, Fred has taken one of these stories, The Train going up to Baghdad, and adapted it for learners of Arabic with exercises. Since 2007 Fred has been teaching Latin, Greek and Arabic at St Anthony’s Prep School in Hampstead. After collaborating with Kristian Waite to produce Galore Park’s An Introduction to Classical Greek, Fred has written an integrated set of Latin textbooks and graded readers from beginners, through Common Entrance, up to and beyond GCSE. The combination of mastery of grammar and of active vocabulary with the gradual development of reading fluency is designed not only to enable interested pupils to cover the language component of GCSE Higher Tier in some 240 hours but also to provide a firm basis for further Latin studies and skills that can be transferred to learning other languages, both soft and hard.