Practical English and English with a Smile were two volumes which first appeared in print in the middle of the 20th century, and from then onward became well established as the standard 'teachers' companion' in the latter half of the Century, and was prescribed as the principal textbook for the Teaching of English to Sri Lankan students.
The author was the Founder Principal in the early 1930s of St. Bernadette's College, Polgahawela, the doyen among educationists in Sri Lanka, Mr. W.H.Samaranayake (now deceased). He was the first academician to have used Sri Lankan indigenous themes,situations and characters in establishing a teaching medium with a local flavour as would appeal to Sri Lankans.
Mr.Samaranayake himself published these memorable volumes, and after 50 years, these works still retain their appeal and resonance among students and teachers alike. Repeated reprints have continued to be made available through the good offices of the Expographic Book Shop, under the trading name "Samaranayake Publishers".
His first book of the series was "Practical English" in 1940. This was followed by another in the series "English without Tears" in 1951. In 1952 it was revised and reprinted under the title "English with A smile", and in 1954 there was the Second Book "English with a Smile". Then in 1957 came the third book under the same theme "English with a Smile". They were used as prescribed class text books in all schools in Sri Lanka until 1965.
They are still current as text books for teaching English in Sri Lanka and are used in most of private schools and where special tuition in English is offered, and sales have been at around 30,000 to 40,000 copies per year. All of these books are published by Samaranayake Publishers which remains under the purview of Mr. Ranjith Samaranayake.
These books offer something special as compared with similarly priced books printed in Sri Lanka. For the quality of the content it is considered by the student population as being at very reasonable rates and therefore affordable.