Colin McIntosh is a writer, publisher, and teacher, specializing in English for speakers of other languages (and in other languages for speakers of English).
He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1963 and studied at Robert Gordon’s College in the city. After graduating in French and German in 1985 from Worcester College, Oxford, he taught English in Lucca and Pisa, Italy, dividing his time between state-sector secondary schools and private language schools. Returning to the UK in 1993, he studied for his teaching diploma while at the same time teaching at Aberdeen College.
After passing his diploma exams with distinction, he studied for an MA in Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he also earned a distinction. His dissertation focused on the interlanguage of Italian learners of English, and his main interests included second language acquisition, the phonetics and phonology of English, discourse analysis and pragmatics, the social psychology of language, and sociolinguistics. While in London he taught at further education colleges and kicked off his lexicography career with Larousse.
Colin went to work for Oxford University Press in 1995 as an editor working on bilingual dictionaries for learners of English. He quickly rose to become Senior Editor, and branched out into monolingual learners’ dictionaries and vocabulary publishing. During his time with Oxford he edited the Oxford Phrasal Verbs Dictionary and the Oxford Collocations Dictionary. He also contributed to the Sixth Edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, working on new words and originating the Oxford 3000, a research-based tool for vocabulary study. After moving to Cambridge University Press in 2009 as Publisher for dictionary and consumer publishing, he edited and published the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Fourth Edition) and the Cambridge Dictionary website, as well as numerous other dictionaries and titles covering vocabulary and grammar in the Vocabulary in Use and Grammar in Use series. During his time at Cambridge, the Cambridge Dictionary website became the most successful dictionary website for learners of English in the world.
His publishing career has taken him around the world, and he has been a regular conference presenter, representing OUP and CUP at IATEFL and TESOL conferences in the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, and Thailand.
Colin left Cambridge in 2015 to become a freelance writer, editor, and publisher. He is working on several new projects.