Author Archive

Word of the day: 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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Phrase of the day: What’s not to like?

We've often said that what strikes us most about the many incredibly competent non-natives we meet in our field is very rarely their grammatical accuracy! Rather than noticing the correct use of a mixed conditional or the stunning use of…

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Phrase of the day: nothing if not

Listening to a Radio 4 review programme the other day, I was struck by the description of quirky Icelandic singer Björk's new LP - Vulnicura - as "nothing if not honest". The chunk is a subtle and interesting way of…

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Phrase of the day: What’re you doing later?

Lots of very common chunks don’t get taught early enough in many course because they are seen as somehow being examples of ‘advanced’ grammar. For instance, this common question is often left out of Elementary and Pre-Intermediate courses due to…

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1 Lexis is more important than grammar

Absolutely central to lexical teaching is a view of language. A starting point on the road towards understanding this view is the commonly stated observation that without grammar you can say little, but without vocabulary you can say nothing. Take…

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Patterns beyond the past simple

The following grammar exercise on the past simple is from our book Outcomes Elementary (National Geographic Learning). Students complete the sentences with the correct past simple form of verbs given in brackets at the end of sentences - resulting in…

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