past simple for beginners ( a matter of common sense)

At which point in a Beginner or even Elementary course do you introduce and teach the past simple? Here’s a guide. It has always bugged me that Beginner textbooks do not introduce the past simple until half way through the book. So it sadly transpires that students will not start using the past simple tenseContinue reading “past simple for beginners ( a matter of common sense)”

summer series: three grammar activities

Hope you are all having a nice relaxing summer. I am indeed. So here’s the second post on the summer series: three grammar activities. Click on the links for the full posts. In skeleton questions the teacher thinks of conversation questions for the class for some speaking practice on a given topic. However, instead ofContinue reading “summer series: three grammar activities”

10 fingers

This zero prep activity works really well to practice present simple, present perfect or past simple tenses. This is how it goes: Get all your students to form a big circle. If you have a large number of students, they can break into two or three circles. Then ask them to hold up their fingersContinue reading “10 fingers”

syntactic priming

Syntactic priming is the process that takes place when we make predictions upon hearing certain grammatical patterns which guide us to guess the string of words that are more likely to be uttered next based on our previous encounters with those patterns. Basically we are constantly building sentences based on what we hear, which areContinue reading “syntactic priming”

vertical and horizontal development

In the book Teaching Lexically, Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkey refer to horizontal and vertical development exercises and the pay-offs they bring.¬† By developping a sentence horizontally we are adding something that the writer or speaker¬† might say next. By developping a sentence vertically we are adding something that someone else might say next.¬† I’mContinue reading “vertical and horizontal development”