Language is Power crest

English Language Teaching

by Ms Marianne Vanderklugt

in Adelaide, South Australia

Unfortunately, Marianne Vanderklugt has died.

(October 1963 - 2nd May 2024)


Painting titled “The Linguist”, of my wife, Marianne Vanderklugt.


My wife, Marianne Vanderklugt, died unexpectedly on 2nd May 2024. She had been battling cancer for 14 months, but we had thought that she was steadily overcoming the hideous disease.

Marianne was a warm, remarkable and wonderful ‘person’, and ‘woman’. She was an excellent life partner to me, and her loss has shaken me to the core. We had a close bond with each other. We loved each other.

She was highly intelligent, highly gifted, and she loved languages. She was an inspiring teacher, with fabulous skills in understanding languages, but also fabulous skills in teaching, such as setting up cooperative environments for allowing all students to feel involved with their education, or answering any questions she might get using easy to understand explanations. She could explain any tricky grammatical queries that came up, again using easy to understand explanations.

I think Marianne, up to about 15 months before she died, would have felt that she did have a very good life, as have I with her. She enjoyed many things, and especially getting to know so many interesting people from all walks of life. She enjoyed her teaching, and doing it the way she felt it should be done. She understood the truth about the nature of life and death. She had a very good understanding of what things were important in life. She had a very good sense of humour. She had been very successful at a wide range of jobs, but especially with her teaching. She took responsibility for what she did with her life. She felt proud of what she had achieved. I felt very proud of what she had achieved.

Marianne loved Languages. She loved their intricacies, their grammar, their ability to express people’s feelings, and their ability to describe the things that we see around us in the world. At one time, she spoke Dutch, English, French, German and Italian. She was amazing to travel with through western Europe. She could also understand Latin, as well as a lot of Spanish, some Portuguese, some Vietnamese, some Danish, some Swedish and some Japanese. And she was very interested in the Australian indigenous languages. She kept each language separate from all of the others. She rarely mixed her many languages.

Marianne loved speaking English, and getting her command of English as high as she could. She had a much better understanding of English than I do.

As mentioned earlier, Marianne loved teaching, and loved most of her students. Marianne always tried to teach in a student-centred manner. She loved empowering her students, with proper skills in using English. Many of her students have made comments like, "she was the best teacher that they had had in their lives" (and they didn't mean just the best English language teacher, but any teacher).

She loved discussing moral dilemmas with her students, trying to get them to look at various problems from the different points of view available to each situation, and then require her students to clearly express those different points of view using good English. Her favourite moral dilemma was “the girl and the sailor”.

She loved books, as physical objects, with paper pages, harder covers, etc.

She loved reading. She read many library books, her own books, magazines, newspapers, online articles, etc. She is sure that through reading, she had developed a huge working vocabulary in English.

She loved reading newspapers (her favourite of the past 15 years or so was the “Australian Financial Review” - she did not like “The Australian” - she used to, but she noticed that it had become too ‘right-wing’ biased), as well as watching the news, and current affairs (mostly on ABC, of course). She had an excellent understanding of current affairs and most things happening around us.

She loved earning her own money, and feeling financially independent. She had found lots of employment during the 1980s and 1990s, and did many different types of work.

She loved the worlds of economics and finance, in terms of the use and control of money. About 20 years ago, she read up about superannuation, to make sure she knew how it worked, and how she could get the best returns from it. She helped me with my superannuation. She also realised that to run her own business (2000 – 2007), she would need to have a very good understanding of finance and economics.

She loved real estate, and the way that savvy investing could be highly rewarding. She had bought her own flat around 1984, as an investment. We bought our first house in 1992. When we sold that house in 2005 (13 years later), we had tripled its value. She was amazed by that type of outcome.

She loved travel, and meeting people living very different lives. She had travelled to France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and back to The Netherlands.

She was never interested in having her own children. She would often say to me that to her, some of her students felt more like the children she would rather have.

She loved intimacy with me, as I did with her.

She was highly competitive! Table tennis was one of the few sports she was interested in playing, but only in the informal manner that we played. She was definitely not interested in playing competition table tennis. She wasn’t interested in AFL football, or netball, or the Olympics, or any of the sport that is promoted as being so important in Australian society. She wondered why sports people were always idolised in Australian society, instead of scientists, business entrepreneurs, volunteer firefighters and so many women (who had to quietly endure life in a very 'blokey' society, and who were largely responsible for raising the next generation of our society).

She loved walking, but only if she felt safe. Before getting ill, she would go for a half hour walk every morning, and another mid afternoon. She said that walking was really good for her mental health.

She loved a lot of Vietnamese cooking (probably from her time of working as a nanny for a Vietnamese family).

Marianne loved morning and afternoon teas. She loved a good coffee, and she loved having some European-style cakes.

She loved meeting people who were sensitive, honest and not caught up in social status. She came to know and like many people who were bi-polar.

She didn’t like the patriarchal society she realised she was living in, and was always interested in ways that might address the inequities that she saw.

She loved talking about lots of things from a wide range of topics. She had an excellent understanding of a wide range of topics.

She hated medical treatments, but knew she needed to endure them to get over the cancer she had. She undertook all the procedures and treatments as directed by her small team of oncology specialists.

Some of Marianne's history.


(Written by Neil Huggett, Marianne’s husband of 31¾ years, in May 2024. I have been close to Marianne for about 38 years. I miss her terribly!)

If you wish to email me, my email address is