GRAMMAR – the singular “they”

GRAMMAR – the singular “they”

10 grammar rules you can really forget and 5 grammar points you should worry about more


Learning Theories – all the major concepts at a glance


TAG Questions

The basic tag questions are general English, shared by British and American:

informational: ‘You don’t wear glasses, do you?’ (I’m not sure, but think you don’t. Am I right?)

inclusive: ‘It’s a nice day, isn’t it?’(It obviously is – I’m not really asking, but just making polite remarks so you can join in the conversation).

emphasizing: ‘I made a bad mistake, didn’t I?’ (This is a soliloquy. I’m not talking to anybody but myself and don’t expect an answer to the rhetorical question. It’s the verbal equivalent of underlining.)

The last of the above types is more characteristic of British than of American use, but the next two are distinctively British and are relatively recent contributions of British English to the rhetorical inventory of impoliteness:

peremptory: ‘Is the tea ready?’ ‘The water has to boil, doesn’t it?’ (Everybody knows you can’t make tea without boiling hot water, and you can see that the water has not come to a boil yet, so stop bothering me with idiotic questions.)

antagonistic: ‘I telephoned you this morning, but you didn’t answer.’ ‘I was in the bath, wasn’t I?’ (The reason I didn’t answer was that I was in the bath, and it was a great annoyance having you phone at that time; if you had any sense and consideration, you would not have called then. [Never mind that the caller could not possibly know all that – I was annoyed at the time and I’m even more annoyed now at what I perceive to be a complaint when I am the one who was put upon.])



part 1 Fanfare for the Comma Man
part 2 The Most Comma Mistakes
part 3 Some Comma Questions

What is Study-English-Online.Net?

Teachers’ Digital Toolkit

International online learning projects for students


Online tools for resource creation

Animoto Create videos from images

Benettonplay Create stunning animations Create educational games

Gliffy Create floor plans, flowcharts and 3D diagrams

Glogster EDU Create interactive multimedia posters

Kerpoof Create movies and stories

Mixbook Create a page turning e-book

Myebook Create an e-book

PoducateMe Exe files How to create a podcast

Power League Create an online debate

Prezi A zooming presentation tool

Scratch Join up and download programming software to create digital learning objects

Sketchcast Embed evolving sketches into your blog

SketchUp Create, modify and share 3D models

Storybird Collaborative storytelling

Storyjumper Create a page turning e-book

Technology tips and cybersafety

Timetoast Create a free online timeline

Voice Thread Hold an online conversation about an image

Voki Create a personalised speaking avatar

Wordle Create word clouds to summarise main concepts of a unit for students

Source/Courtesy – UNSW

Three Generations of Distance Learning Pedagogy

Three Generations of Distance Learning Pedagogy

1. Cognitive Behaviourism

2. Constructivism

3. Connectivism

Do we ever stop learning vocabulary?

Almost every hobby that lets you evolve from a newbie to an expert implies learning hundreds of collocations within the first couple of months of intensive practice, which amounts to thousands if you continue for over a decade. Every time I meet someone who is interested in something I have not been exposed to much before, I end up frustrated because I do not get it what they are talking about time and again, and have to read a book or two, or explore a few websites to feel more or less on a par. As a case in point, I went on a tour this afternoon, the aim being to visit several private gardens the owners of which had won prizes in the Best Garden of the Year Contest. Most of my groupmates were landscape designers, and I was probably the only person who did not know the ropes. Those people kept asking questions, discussing landscape features, naming plants and ways of taking care of the latter, and there were dozens of other minor subtopics. There are lots of words I have to look up now in order to be able to explain to my family what they can see in the pictures I took in the gardens and nursery I visited several hours ago. Having said that, I would like to emphasize it that I am quite knowledgeable about horticulture and various plants, but that did not help much in conversations with the more experienced. Some of my questions were pathetically simple and followed the “what’s-that-brown-thingy” pattern.

Errors vs Mistakes

a mistake vs an error

According to Corder (1967) cited by Ellis (2008), a ‘mistake’ is a deviation in learner language that occurs when learners fail to perform their competence. It is a lapse that reflects processing problems. An error, on the other hand, is a deviation in learner language which results from lack of knowledge of the correct rule (pp. 971, 961).

global errors vs local errors

Global errors are errors that affect overall sentence organization (for example, wrong word order). They are likely to have a marked effect on comprehension (R. Ellis, 2008, p. 964).
Local errors are errors that affect single elements in a sentence (for example, errors in the use of inflections or grammatical functors [sic] (R. Ellis, 2008, p. 970).

Source:  Ellis., R.  (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. 2nd ed. Oxford: OUP.

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