I firmly believe that English is a simple language – so much so that I have written a whole book about the fundaments of English grammar, exploring what lies at the heart of the language.
The book goes through the different parts of the English verb system, looking at the difference between simple and continuous forms, and explaining how the perfect form really works.
We then consider the idea of distance, which explains the reasons for verb form changes in English. Have you ever wondered why Would you like a drink? is more polite than Will you have a drink? This book explains the logic behind the grammar.
Once we have looked at the verb forms and the modals that English has available to it, we then consider how conditionals are structured – they are more regular and understandable than you have been led to believe!
So, who is the book for?
It’s for everyone – it doesn’t matter if you are teaching English as a foreign language, or if you are a student looking to master what you think are deeply irregular sets of rules. This book will help everyone with an interest in the English language.
It’s available now in both the paperback and Kindle edition, via Amazon.
Take a look at my article, One Year With Duolingo, in the latest edition of the wonderful Modern English Teacher.
I’ve been a big fan of Duolingo for many, many years now, ever since my student and friend Pawel introduced me to the platform in roughly 2015. During the pandemic I finally extended my daily streak to cover a whole year, and this is what I learned about the art of learning languages through that experience.
I have worked as an EFL teacher for around fifteen years; but the last year and a half have been unlike any other period of my teaching career. This book explores what it has been like to be a teacher whose lessons all ended up online. What were the challenges that the switch introduced, and how were they dealt with? As well as being an account of the year of the plague, this book also contains reflections on the art and practice of teaching English as a Foreign Language, and represents the product of all my years of experience.
I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the SCELT Bratislava conference in late September. The focus of the session was on Special Education Needs (or SEN if you prefer acronyms). I ran a session on Supporting Teachers with Dyslexia, the powerpoint presentation for which you can download here.
English grammar is not really all that difficult. Sure, some aspects take a while to master, but by the time you’ve been studying English for three or four years, you’ll have met all the grammar you’re ever going to need.
That’s not true with vocabulary!
English vocabulary seems to go on and on, and yet to be considered fluent you need to know a massive amount of it. How can anyone be expected to learn so much?
Well, that’s where my book, ‘Sixty-Six Lessons for Autodidacts’ comes in.
The book contains – you’ve guessed it! – sixty-six lessons, each of which looks at the words you might use when you talk about a particular topic. Then you’ll look at a selection of words that are related to the originals, and expand out from there. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself learning ten words instead of one, and because they’re all logically related, they’re easier to remember.
Are you an EFL teacher preparing students for one of the Cambridge Assessment English main suite of exams?
B2 First & First for Schools
In that case, you might be interested in my new book, available as a pdf download (with a complete Listening paper at C1 Advanced level as mp3 files) from my Shop for only 5 EUR.
The book looks in detail at every part of every paper in the exams.
The book, which runs to nearly 280 pages, contains a detailed break-down of all the different aspects of the various exams, and shows both how students can best approach each section and what you as a teacher can do to support them on the road to success.
The Appendices include a full Speaking paper at each of the three levels, Writing templates, and Writing feedback forms. These photocopiable worksheets will help you to make your Writing lessons more approachable, and will help to fix in your students’ minds the best approach to the different genres of writing.
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