In Memoriam: Remembering Michael Lewis

Like many of you, my first encounter with Michael Lewis came via his seminal 1993 book The Lexical Approach: The state of ELT and a Way Forward. I did my DTEFLA in 1995 and it had already made it onto…

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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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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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