Back channelling

Back channelling is the feedback which a listener gives to a speaker to show that (s)he is following, or understands what the speaker is saying. The […]

Tense and aspect

Tense Ask a teacher or learner to list the different tenses in English, and most will come up with something like this: present simple, present progressive, […]


A genre is a text type (spoken or written) which has a distinctive form and content and which is socio-culturally recognisable. Have a look at these […]

Top down and bottom up processing

The way in which we process (and therefore understand) written and spoken texts is often described as either top-down or bottom-up. Top-down processing is the idea […]
Anaphoric, cataphoric and exophoric references


A look at anaphoric, cataphoric and exophoric referencing in English language teaching.

Teaching techniques – checking understanding

When should we check understanding? We should check that learners understand: when we are introducing or revising new language (grammar or lexical items and functional expressions) […]

Teaching techniques – concept questions

Concept questions (also referred to as concept check questions or CCQs) are questions designed to check learners’ understanding of a language item. To formulate effective questions, […]
connected speech

Features of connected speech

A look at assimilation, elision, delayed plosion, catenation and intrusion in connected speech.

Irregular verbs

Here’s a list of some of the more common irregular verbs. The verb 2 form is often referred to as the past simple because of its […]
phonemic chart

Phonemic chart

This phonemic chart contains all of the 44 sounds, or phonemes, found in spoken English. It is divided into three sections: Vowels at the top left […]
lesson planning

Lesson planning

What is a lesson plan, do we need one, and what should it include?
teaching techniques

Teaching techniques – drilling

What is drilling? Drilling is a way of standardising pronunciation of a language item and developing fluidity (the ability to introduce language quickly and easily). The […]