‘Fun, Useful Ideas for Working with Adjectives’ by Jennifer Lebedev

Jennifer Lebedev’s latest blog post is titled “Fun, Useful Ideas for Working with Adjectives”.

Jennifer says, “My next grammar video will target the order of adjectives. I find it’s one of those topics that can put me a loss for answers. Why do we put size before color? Why do we put shape after size? Well…because. It sounds like a lame answer, but that’s just what we do. Language users develop standards, and it’s best to observe those standards for clear communication. If you talk about a brown big couch, you might be putting a pothole in the road to comprehension. In contrast, the phrase a big brown couch is easily digested in the flow of conversation.”

‘What’s Wrong With Nonstandard Dialects?’by Barrie England

Barrie England’s latest blog post is title “What’s Wrong With Nonstandard Dialects ?”.

Barrie says,”What, I wonder, do such people make of nonstandard British regional dialects? Here are examples from four of them. Are these equally ungrammatical, illiterate, incorrect, sloppy and lazy? Or are they dialects which have the same linguistic validity as Standard English, but which for political, economic and social reasons weren’t selected for standardization?.”

‘On ‘I would have liked to have studied’ by David Crystal

David Crystal’s latest blog post is titled “On ‘I would have liked to have studied”.

David says, “A correspondent writes to ask if I could explain the difference in the meaning between the following sentences: (1) I would like to have studied philosophy. (2) I would have liked to study philosophy. (3) I would have liked to have studied philosophy.The underlying issue is one of focus. Where is the perfective meaning inherent in the auxiliary verb have being focused? In (1) the liking is now and the studying is some time in the past. In (2) the liking is some time in the past (and thus the study). In (3) both the liking and the study are in the past.”

On ‘I would have liked to have studied

David Crystal’s Blog

‘Grammar Basics: Active and Passive’ by Barrie England

Barrie England’s latest blog post is title “Grammar Basics: Active and Passive”.

Barrie says, “We can conclude from this that the English passive is formed by taking the object of the sentence as it appears in the active and placing it at the beginning of the passive sentence, thus making it the subject of the new sentence. We change the verb from the active to the passive by taking its past participle, painted in this case, and placing it after the appropriate tense of the primary auxiliary verb beMy portrait was painted by Picasso happens to contain, as we have seen, the Adverbial by Picasso. Such a constituent of the sentence is called the Agent or the  Instrument, the latter because it tells us who (or sometimes what) was, yes, instrumental, in bringing about the action described. Note, though, that an Instrument is not always necessary in a passive sentence. We can say, for example, My house was broken into without saying who by, perhaps because we don’t know.”

Grammar Basics: Active and Passive

Barrie England’s Blog

‘Students, parents, teachers, principals + elected officials understand the research behind cell phones for #mlearning’ by Lisa Nielsen

Lisa Nielsen’s latest blog post is titled “Students, parents, teachers, principals + elected officials understand the research behind cell phones for #mlearning”.

Lisa says, “In general, 95% of teens use the internet and 74% are “mobile internet users” (Pew, 2013).  With or without us, students are using cell phones for learning despite the perception by some parents and teachers that cell phones are distracting to kids. A national study shows that 1 in 3 middle schoolers are using their devices to complete homework and learn better (Tru, 2012).”

Students, parents, teachers, principals + elected officials understand the research behind cell phones for #mlearning

Lisa Nielsen’s Blog

‘TESOL 2014 Highlights: Using Twitter’ by Jennifer Lebedev

Jennifer Lebedev’s latest blog post is titled “TESOL 2014 Highlights: Using Twitter”.

Jennifer says, “The presenters started with a discussion of the benefits. Among them is the fact that Twitter makes text retrievable. Students and teachers can easily go back and read earlier tweets. Also, people can become connected by topic. Connections can occur in and out of the classroom. Finally, through a humorous anecdote of his own language learning experience in Korea, Nathan explained how subtle things in speech, such as a small word or structure, might be missed in conversation, but through the process of reading text those small differences are more easily perceived.”

TESOL 2014 Highlights: Using Twitter

Jennifer Lebedev’s Blog


‘And the Other Is a Jellyfish’ by Barrie Caxton

Barrie Caxton’s latest blog post is titled “And the Other Is a Jellyfish”.

Barrie says, “I’m thinking of technical terms in rhetoric like chiasmus, the name of the criss-cross pattern “A, B: B, A” that Jack Kennedy loved so much (“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind”), based on the name of the Greek letter chi, because of its X-like shape. There is (as far as I’m aware) no comparable term for the way this remark on Twitter achieves its sting (no pun intended):.”

And the Other Is a Jellyfish

Barrie Caxton’s Blog

‘Shall we self-study?’ by Alexandra Chistyakova

Alexandra Chistyakova’s latest blog post is titled “Shall we self-study?”.

Alexandra says, “The advantages of self-study groups are self-obvious: higher motivations of participants for learning; the increased sense of responsibility for one’s part of a task; the inspiring feeling of togetherness and being one team; the genuine interest in what participants are studying; better understanding and acquisition of the material as one has to teach it to others; and, the last but not the least, extensive practice of communicative skills. Not surprising that all these advantages may lead to better learning outcomes.”

Shall we self-study?

Alexandra Chistyakova’s Blog


‘The Story of Sounds: Episode 21: Discovering the vowel /e/’ by Adrian Underhill

Adrian Underhill’s latest blog post is titled “The Story of Sounds: Episode 21: Discovering the vowel /e/”.

Adrian says, “It’s a lot of fun working with the vowel /e/. Just about every language has one or more versions of this sound. In English it is one of the more frequent vowels sounds, probably in third position after /ǝ/ and /ɪ/. When you look at the Sound Foundations chart you can see that /e/ is located on the far left of the chart, below /iː/ and above /æ/. This already tells you something…. for example it tells you:.”

The Story of Sounds: Episode 21: Discovering the vowel /e/

Adrian Underhill’s Blog

‘Accountability: the teacher and the learner’ by Henrick Oprea

Henrick Oprea’s latest blog post is titled “Accountability: the teacher and the learner”.

Henrick says, “The educational success students achieve is only partly under their own control, and only partly under the control of their teachers. This is where the sociocultural concept of ‘scaffolding’ … is useful. The essence of this concept, as developed by Bruner (1986), Wood (1988) and others, is that an effective teacher provides the kind of intellectual support which enables learners to make intellectual achievements they would never accomplish alone; and one way they do so is by using dialogue to guide and support the development of understanding. (Neil Mercer – Language for teaching a language).”

Accountability: the teacher and the learner

Henrick Oprea’s Blog


‘A Cool Tool for #Flipped Literature Classes’ by Eva Büyüksimkeşyan

Eva Büyüksimkeşyan’s latest blog post is titled “A Cool Tool for #Flipped Literature Classes “.

Eva says, “I believe we are pretty lucky because we have so many online resources and texts that we can recommend our students to read. To tell the truth, I prefer paper and I love preparing my own handouts but I liked the idea of Curriculet, an online reading platform I came across on Scoop.it. It allows teachers to create reading classes and help students to understand and analyze the texts by assigning questions. Watching videos, they can listen to useful information that will help them see between the lines. It is free. Sign up and see how tempting it is to use.

A Cool Tool for #Flipped Literature Classes

Eva Büyüksimkeşyan’s Blog

‘On ‘I would have liked to have studied” by David Crystal

David Crystal’s latest blog post is titled “On ‘I would have liked to have studied”.

David says, “We can feel the speaker’s focus shifting from one time-frame to another, and dragging the ‘have’ along with it. I’ve talked about this sort of thing before on this blog (eg with sentences like ‘I’ve seen him three weeks ago’).Such sentences are thus more likely to be encountered in speech than in writing. They show some of the characteristics of a blend. In writing, Fowler’s recommendation is usually followed by other style guides. But why is the ‘double have’ construction ‘wrong’? I see a place for (3), if the writer wants the perfective aspect of both the liking and the studying to be emphasised. It’s a bit like using a repeated negation. The two uses of nor are omissible in the following example, but it’s easy to think of contexts where the emphasis would be desirable.

On ‘I would have liked to have studied

David Crystal’s Blog


‘100 words’ by Ceri Jones

Ceri Jones’ latest blog post is titled “100 words”.

Ceri says, “I know that we’ve focused on the use of the preposition to with go time and time again. It’s somehow satisfying to see it used here. And the same goes for the preposition at.  The class has got a little obsessed with the use of at and questions have been coming up again and again since the very first lesson on the difference between in, at and on.  It’s pleasing somehow to see it being used correctly here.  And of course it’s great to see that the vocabulary items she needed in the class and that we noted in our summary are being recycled here in her story (cow and tent).  And I realize that the first things I’ve focused on are examples of successful learning – maybe it’s because it makes me feel better about myself as a teacher!”.

100 words

Ceri Jones’ Blog

‘ETWION Twitterathon’ by Arjana Blazic

Arjana Blazic’s latest blog post is titled “ETWION Twitterathon”.

Arjana says, “eTwinning and Social Media, the learning event that Bart and I are running is in the full swing and tomorrow we’re organizing a Twitterathon – a 3-hour Twitter chat for educators. We’re going to discuss three  educational topics chosen by teachers from the learning event and beyond. We invite you to join us for the Etwion and vote for the topics. The poll will be open till midnight, March 6. TheTwitterathon will take place on March 6, from 7-10 pm CET.

ETWION Twitterathon

Arjana Blazic’s Blog

‘SAVING GRACE’ by Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy’s latest blog post is titled “SAVING GRACE”.

Kieran says, “EFL lesson is designed around a short film called Saving Grace by Toad’s Caravan commissioned by the charity Mary’s Meals which provides 860,000 free meals every school day to hungry children. Saving Grace tells the story of 10-year old orphan Grace, who lives in poverty in Malawi. Grace has to forage and beg for food for her and her siblings, and as a result, can’t go to school.The animated film explains how by providing a free meal at school, Mary’s Meals can enable more children to go to school, eat, learn, and break the poverty cycle for future generations.”


Kieran Donaghy’s Blog

‘As Long As We’re on This Topic: Using “as long as” with multiple meanings’ by Jennifer Marten

Jennifer Marten’s latest blog post is titled “As Long As We’re on This Topic: Using “as long as” with multiple meanings”.

Jennifer says, “The learner heard the line “as long as you love me” in a song and asked about the meaning. Was it really part of a conditional statement? Likely, but I’d need to see all the lyrics to understand the context. My first response to the learner addressed only two possible meanings of as long as: condition and time. (Examples: As long as you are careful, you may borrow my laptop. = condition, “if” or “provided that” / You can keep that book for as long as you want. = time, “for that length of time”) Looking at different dictionary entries, I was reminded that as long as could also express reason, much like the conjunction since. (As long as we’re on this topic… = Since we’re on this topic…).”

As Long As We’re on This Topic: Using “as long as” with multiple meanings

Jennifer Marten’s Blog

‘Is it best to teach pronunciation during early childhood?’ by Adrian Underhill

Adrian Underhill’s  latest blog post is title “Is it best to teach pronunciation during early childhood?”.

Adrian says, “The chart is not something to teach. It is a help for the process of learning. The chart is to pron what the white board is to grammar and vocab. Use the chart with kids just the same. They love it. If you don’t have a chart arrange their shoes at the front of the room for the twelve vowels and gather round and practice, or distribute the twelve vowels to 12 pupils like this:.”

Is it best to teach pronunciation during early childhood?

Adrian Underhill’s Blog

‘Come What May’ by Barrie England

Barrie England’s latest blog post is title”Come What May”.

Barrie says, “The user of the language is constrained only by the hundreds of millions of their fellow speakers, who unwittingly negotiate every day about how to set the conventions of usage that define them too as English speakers. Railing against the decision of a few tens of millions of our fellow speakers who have adopted or abandoned some expression is, to put it in terms of the old joke, like trying to teach a pig to sing: It not only wastes your time, it also annoys the pig.”

Come What May

 Barrie England’s Blog