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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Grammar nonsense 6: future forms

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that EFL students attending a class must be in want of a good grammar explanation. However little known the feelings or views of such students may be on their first entering a classroom, this…

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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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