Whose English is it anyway?

I am a native speaker of English.  I was born and raised speaking a particular variety of North American English.  It’s my mother tongue. Heck, my mother (and my father and the whole community around me for that matter) taught me how to speak it.  Well, to say they “taught” me isn’t entirely accurate. I was brought into the fold and participated in this living, growing, evolving thing that is my native language.  I’m proud of that. I feel like I belong to something quite beautiful and unique. It’s good to belong to something. It’s nice to share a language with other people, to know what they’re thinking and even, if you’re quite lucky, to have a little window into knowing how they feel.  I think that’s really very special.

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Effective ways to work with euphemisms in the classroom

Have you been offered a career change? An early retirement opportunity? Well, I’m sorry but I think you have been fired. But saying the first two sounds harsh or too straightforward, doesn’t it?

A euphemism, also called doublespeak, “makes the bad seem good, the negative seem positive, the unnatural seem natural, the unpleasant seem attractive, or at least tolerable”. So how are our L2 students going to understand such nuanced language? Continue reading

5 fantastically fun ideas for the primary classroom

With the Pearson Teacher Training Department for Spain and Portugal having delivered a large number of sessions around primary learners so far this year (and with many more to come!), the aim of this week’s post is to share five of the practical ideas we’ve been looking at. These activities have fun and engagement at their heart, as well as including the language practice our students need to make progress.

1) Sing a welcome song

Songs are a great way to learn English and thankfully for us, most primary-aged pupils are only too happy to sing. We often use songs as a way to contextualise a grammar point or some vocabulary – a catchy song will help this stick. But what about beginning our lessons with a welcome song? This is a great way to set a positive climate for learning and to calm and focus our students. Here is an example of a welcome song:

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