Corpus research (the processing of millions of words of spoken English) has revealed a significant number of grammar items that haven’t yet become part of our teaching syllabuses, such as ‘tails’ (It’s a great place to visit, Barcelona.) or ‘vague category phrases’ (Shall we go for a walk or something?). In this talk, I consider research in the area; discuss criteria for deciding which of these items might be useful to learners of English; suggest an exemplary syllabus of items; and give an overview of how these new features of grammar might be presented in ways that will engage our students.
Workshop: "Spoken Grammar in the Classroom"
Once we’ve decided on a syllabus of spoken grammar items that might be useful to our students, how can we actually bring them into the classroom so that learners, if they choose to, can incorporate them into their own conversations? Short, naturalistic dialogues are, I believe, the key. In this practical workshop, I’ll explore how, with a selected group of items, we can use dialogues to raise awareness of the grammar and meaning of the features; to check understanding through gap-fills and transformations; to act as models for freer practice in pair work and role plays. Throughout the workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to generate ideas and create activities.
Ken Paterson is a freelance writer of grammar practice materials for students and teachers - print books, e-books, online ELT courses (forthcoming) and apps - including the Oxford Grammar for EAP and A Handbook of Spoken Grammar (shortlisted for a British Council ELTon in 2013 in the category ‘Innovation in Learner Resources’). He has also given talks and workshops at IATEFL, TESOL Spain and for the British Council. His specialist interests are spoken and academic grammar.
Before going freelance, Ken had a twenty-year career at the University of Westminster, where he held a number of positions – including Chair of Professional Education, Chair of English and Linguistics, and Director of the Centre for English Learning and Teaching – and taught on a variety of programmes: EFL, BA in English Language, and MAs in TESOL and Translation.