On the over-use of concept-checking questions: part 1

There aren’t many things that I think should be comprehensively banned from EFL classrooms, but the use of closed CCQs (Concept-Checking Questions) for items of vocabulary is one! For those of you unfamiliar with CCQs, they seem to have come…

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Grammar nonsense 4: relative clauses

This is less a post about the craziness of description and more one about the way grammar is presented and the expectation that grammar should always be practised – and practised in particular ways. Grammar McNuggets and overprotectiveness Scott Thornbury has…

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The best improvisation is prepared improvisation

One of the great delights of the annual IATEFL conference is seeing young teachers find their own voices and deliver confident, well thought-out presentations. One of the talks I enjoyed most in Birmingham this year was by Sebastian Lesniewski, and…

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CELTA, the native-speaker bias and possible paths forward

Last week at IATEFL, Silvana Richardson delivered a rousing, righteous plenary tracing the historical roots of - and critiquing - the institutionalised mechanisms and habits of mind that continue to privilege native=speaker teachers over non-natives. The talk can be viewed…

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Complicating the anti-coursebook debate: Part 1

As some of you may be aware, there's been a fair bit of coursebook bashing going on in the blogosphere over recent weeks, much of it carried out by Geoff Jordan. Given this, I've decided to lay down a few…

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