Category: Colin Ward

Laughter in the Grammar Classroom

Humor’s a funny thing. It’s an unconscious, unfakable, universal form of communication all humans share, no matter what culture they’re from or language they speak. Yet, perhaps counterintuitively, humor emerges less from the crack of one-liners than it does from the uncertainty that emerges from shared experiences and […]

Projects for a dynamic classroom

In 2018, an Atlantic Monthly article featured a writer’s experience with Duolingo, the language app that uses gaming principles to attract learners to their lessons. The stickiness of the app seems to work. The article stated that Duolingo has 27.5 million active monthly users, and it is not […]

Hidden Grammars @ TESOL ’19

Click here for presentation handout: Hidden Grammar Handout TESOL 19 There’s more to grammar than discrete rules about verb tenses, articles, and modals.  When we channel Diane Larsen’s Freeman’s view of language as a complex, adaptive system, we can start to see grammar as any system of organization, […]

Learning Word Forms through Phrases

Word forms are notoriously difficult for ESOL students to master.  This is especially true for those whose native languages are non-inflected, meaning adjectives, nouns, and adjectives share the same form, as in Vietnamese.  It is therefore not uncommon to see our Vietnamese students make errors such as these: […]