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

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 referencing


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

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 […]