Monthly Archives: August 2015

How does kissing sound in different languages?

different-languages-expressions-illustrations-james-chapman-29Ever wondered how a dog barks in Turkish? Or how to snore in Korean? And what exactly is a Russian person doing when they ‘bulk’?

Follow the link below for a charming cartoon article by James Chapman, answering the above questions and more:

Sounds in different languages


Does meta matter?

metalanguage (1)

I have a confession. Until two weeks ago, I didn’t know what a comma splice was. I quickly recognised that I knew the error behind it, I just didn’t know that it had a name.

Did I feel this impeded my ability to identify and correct said mistake? No. Did I feel just a teensy bit disappointed in myself that I didn’t know what it was called? Yup.

But I’m a language professional. That’s why I felt, dare I say, ashamed at the notion of not knowing this marvellous little bit of metalanguage.

But in the world of ELT, the question of whether metalanguage should be used in the classroom remains controversial and highly contested.

Let’s look at some arguments: Continue reading

To sing or not to sing?: Using songs in the English classroom


I have always found the subject of using songs in the classroom a controversial one. Many teachers I have worked with wouldn’t touch them. Others took their guitars into class with them on a regular basis.

Below is my take on the matter, with some lesson ideas and useful websites to inspire other teachers to at least give it a shot.

Continue reading

Chaotic English

maxresdefault“I must polish the Polish furniture”

So you think you speak great English?

The poem below contains about 800 of the worst irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation. I dare you…

The Chaos (Gerard Nolst Trenité)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

Continue reading

5 reasons why private tutoring benefits pupils and students

home-tutoring-scottsdaleHere my top 5 reasons why private tutoring is a valuable addition to the education of school pupils and university students:

1. It puts you in control

At school or University, you have no choice of who teaches you. With private tutoring, you can choose who you want to work with. Working with someone who you get along with means Continue reading