Word of the day: allotment

Is it a sign that I am fully middle-aged, not to say old, that I have just nipped down the allotment? Probably - although, as we shall see, the nature of allotments and gardening has been changing in the UK. But…

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Phrase of the day: in a home

The initial spark for this word of the day came from a discussion we had with a user of our coursebook series, Outcomes, about our (lack of) focus on articles (a, an, the - or nothing) before nouns. My first…

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Phrase of the day: Not just a pretty face

Not just a pretty face originated following the Second World War with the beginnings of feminism. It was used by women to emphasise to their somewhat slow male colleagues that women were in fact very capable of all kinds of…

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Against all odds / against the odds

If you haven’t heard already, Leicester City won the Premier League title this week against all odds. They have one of the lowest wage bills in the league and the cost of the whole squad was less than Manchester City…

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On the way

I went to visit my parents yesterday and on the way there, I was thinking about the number of times I've done that journey up and down the motorway and imagined all the little ant trails that I have left…

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The bottom line revisited

As with single words, we should look for opportunities to revise or recycle chunks. When we do so, it's good to move beyond simply matching the word or chunk to the same meaning we gave last time. We can explore new…

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Pop

One of the best things about adopting a more lexical view of language is that you start to appreciate more clearly how words interact with other words, and you are then able to start passing on to students the message…

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Just because . . . it doesn’t mean

We've both often had students act more than a little surprised at our apparently un-English ways. Smiling and being friendly is often enough to start the questions about whether we're not secretly from somewhere ‘abroad’. This particular chunk helps offer…

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