Category Archives: Grammar

24. The Probable Language Brain [2013, extended 2015]

Abstract: Let us sup­pose that you are a research lin­guist, tor­mented by some doubts and ques­tions about the state of your pro­fes­sion, and not con­strained by hav­ing to repeat a cat­e­chism of “known truths” to Lin­guis­tics 101 stu­dents, and not … Con­tinue read­ing

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21. WHAT NEXT? Eighty things to do with students learning English

This is a col­lec­tion of things to do in a class­room, plus a lit­tle expla­na­tion for teach­ers. The col­lec­tion is not a syl­labus, it is not graded and it is cer­tainly not “com­plete” (what would “com­plete” mean here?). How­ever bits … Con­tinue read­ing

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18. Fluency Vs Accuracy OR Fluency AND Accuracy for Language Learners?

Abstract : This sem­i­nar paper indi­cates a fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence in objec­tives between lan­guage learn­ing for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and learn­ing for live use. Whereas accu­racy is an absolute goal within school­ing con­texts, its value on the street is highly vari­able. This dif­fer­ence … Con­tinue read­ing

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16. Grammar for Language Teachers

This entry has the struc­ture of a sem­i­nar pre­sen­ta­tion. It was just that,  for Chi­nese teach­ers of Eng­lish in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, May 2008. I hope that you find it provoca­tive enough to be use­ful. Abstract: 1. What are … Con­tinue read­ing

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11. Some Mysteries of Language Learning

An expert is a fool a thou­sand miles from home. Hav­ing suc­cess­fully failed to learn about nine lan­guages, I’m a vet­eran lan­guage learn­ing imbe­cile, always a thou­sand miles from suc­cess, and an eter­nally hope­ful begin­ner. I’ve also had the cheek … Con­tinue read­ing

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