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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Grammar nonsense 3: the use of the word grammar

So the other day, I opened my inbox and found an email encouraging me to celebrate March the 4th, ‘World Grammar Day’. At first, I thought it was some kind of joke. Here we are, with the world going slightly…

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Grammar nonsense 2: stative verbs

Exceptions – it’s not you, it’s me. A lot of grammar nonsense comes from labels that we use and that we assume are sufficient explanation in themselves to generate their own correct examples. Then, when students attempt to produce examples…

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Grammar curiosities 1: reported speech

The first post in our series on grammar nonsense got quite a lot of discussion going and it seemed that on the whole there was quite a lot of sympathy with the view that many of the ‘rules’ about reported…

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Grammar nonsense 1: reported speech

Is there anything that is more bizarrely and unnecessarily taught in ELT than reported speech? There have been many times when my heart has sunk as I've faced ‘the reported speech unit’ – both as a teacher and as a…

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