Phrasal verbs: myths and realities

Last year I was lucky enough to attend the PASE conference in Warsaw, where I saw a locally based teacher, Jonathan Marks, give a thought-provoking talk on phrasal verbs. Having long believed that this is one area of the language…

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Yet more thoughts on teaching grammar

I'm now four weeks into the Focus on Grammar course I'm teaching at International House, London, which means only two more weeks to go. It's been a strange and mostly fairly lovely experience, made much easier by having some really…

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ELT: In need of family therapy?

In my previous blogging incarnation on the CELT training site, I wrote about why lexical sets may be popular and about some of the downsides to them. That blog was closed when I left University of Westminster and I have…

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Further thoughts on teaching grammar

Last week, I posted up a few thoughts I'd had on starting to teach (at IH London) a part-time, six-week evening course called Focus on Grammar. Following the second lesson with my lovely class last Thursday night, here are a…

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Some reflections on the universal panacea

Last week I started teaching a six-week evening course at International House, London. For someone with such a keen interest in lexically-oriented teaching, the decision to go for the Focus on Grammar option may seem perverse, but I've long maintained…

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Why teachers shouldn’t prefer blonde

I recently asked a couple of colleagues which word they thought was more frequent - arise or blonde. Almost immediately, the answer blonde came back. However, despite the confidence of the response, according to the British National Corpus (BNC) and…

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Welcome to Lexical Lab

We were at a conference in Poland last year and a teacher we got talking to mentioned how excited he'd once been about the Lexical Approach and how discussing the ideas behind it had energised his teaching. He then shrugged…

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