John Higgins retired in 2000, having spent the bulk of his career as a British Council English Language Officer working in Thailand, Turkey, Egypt and Yugoslavia and the last fifteen years in lectureships at Bristol University and then running an M.Sc. programme at Stirling University. His main field was EFL, with a special interest in CALL (computer-assisted language learning) in which, together with Tim Johns of Birmingham, he was responsible for important developments in methods and materials.
His publications include A Guide to Language Laboratory Material Writing, Universitetesforlaget, 1969, Computers and Language Learning, Collins, 1984, Language Learners and Computers, Longman, 1988, and Computers in English Language Learning, Intellect Press, 1992, together with numerous papers, reviews and pieces of software. He maintains a web page on minimal pairs and homographs for teachers of English pronunciation skills.
Since retiring he has concentrated on his secondary interest in neglected twentieth century fiction, and is writing a biography of the thriller-writer Victor Canning, while maintaining a web page about his work at http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wordscape/canning/index.html. He has also written about the novelist Andrew Garve, concentrating on that writer's views on Soviet Russia. He is passionately fond of the music of Schubert, and has sung in a church choir in spite of his atheism.