Grammar nonsense and curiosities: verb patterns

Welcome back? It’s been a while, but I'm now back by popular demand - by which I mean Hugh’s demand, if I'm honest! Here for your delight and delectation are some further thoughts on grammar nonsense. So step right up…

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A different kind of Beginner-level book 2

Just enough grammar and a spiral syllabus In our last post on teaching beginner-level students, we stated this principle: While there is a value in noticing and practising a particular aspect of grammar or vocabulary, it will not be mastered…

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A different kind of Beginner-level book 1

If that’s what it’s not, what is it? My post about the Beginner syllabus and short answers with auxiliaries has produced quite a few responses o social media - both positive and negative. On the whole, I'm happy to receive…

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Why don’t we teach more grammatical chunks at low levels?

One of the curiosities of the dominant grammar syllabus at low levels is that certain 'higher-level' grammar does occasionally creep through as words or chunks, while other patterns are apparently still not allowed to. Would you like some more chunks?…

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Translation: Tackling the Taboo part 2

In the first post on tackling the taboo that surrounds using any form of translation in the language classroom, I unpacked my own slow conversion, considered the roots of the English-only dogma, and explored why such positions were unsustainable. Today…

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Translation: tackling the taboo

As a native speaker teacher working in a multi-lingual teaching context in the UK, I am perhaps an unlikely convert to the cause of translation in language teaching, and it's been a long and winding road that's brought me here.…

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