• Loan Words

    We often hear it said that we British are a monolingual lot, but few of us realise just how frequently we (English speakers) use words and even phrases derived from “foreign” languages; words which have come to us from all kinds of far-flung places. To test your knowledge of "borrowing" in the English language, see if you can identify the country of origin of the five loan words below.

  • Complex writing systems

    Handwriting is a skill barely touched on in the majority of ELT text books. However, for many learners that speak languages with complex writing systems such as Chinese and Arabic, practising word formation and handwriting is a vital skill to acquire if they are to become competent writers.

  • Controversy in the EFL classroom

    So you’re well into the academic year; the what-did-you-do-at-the-weekend conversation died off many moons ago and the role plays are starting to wear a bit thin. You’re sick of the sound of your own voice and student enthusiasm appears to be on the wane. Where to next? Ever thought of causing a controversy?

  • How's your grammar?

    In the light of Michael Gove’s recent complaint about the standard of grammar among civil servants, we’ve compiled a short quiz to allow you to test you’re grammar against five of the most common clangers made by native speakers. (Hands up if you spotted the error above)

  • Speaking activities in EFL

    Let's face it, speaking lessons are not always the easy ride we might expect them to be; shy learners, shallow topics, and dominating show-offs can all take their toll on speaking activities, transforming precious opportunities for dialogue into desperate teacher monologues as we try to salvage the activity at hand.