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Please contact me if your organisation is interested in one of the two talks below, or in a talk on any other subject covered on this website.

1. ‘Spoken grammar’: defining it and teaching it

When you have a conversation with a very good non-native speaker of English, what you notice is not just that they get the verb tenses right or that they have a wide vocabulary, but also that they have acquired a kind of conversational grammar. With the help of recent computer research into frequency and usage, a description of this ‘spoken grammar’ is now available in corpus-based grammar publications.

I first got interested in the subject in 2002, and I have been researching and giving regular conference talks in Europe on the subject ever since, not as a grammarian, but as a teacher, sifting through the published materials for useful items of spoken grammar that will improve the ability of our own students to take part in natural conversations.

In the first part of this talk, I look at the process of identifying, prioritising and syllabusing these items, firstly through my experience of working with DELTA publishing to produce The Handbook of Spoken Grammar for students, and then through my production of a course on spoken grammar for teachers on Udemy, the online learning platform. In the second part, I look at the different ways in which we can teach key items in the classroom from raising and checking awareness to short exercises and creative classroom activities.

Participants will leave the talk with example syllabuses of spoken grammar items, and key teaching ideas that they can take immediately into their classrooms.

2. ‘Academic Grammar’: what is it and how can we teach it?’

Although, in theory, there are no grammatical items that belong exclusively to academic writing, there are a number of features that recur often enough - noun phrases, passives and hedging devices, for example - to give academic English its recognisable style.

In the first part of this talk, I look at the process of identifying, prioritising and syllabusing these items, firstly through my experience of working with Oxford University Press to produce the Oxford Grammar for EAP for students, and then through my production of a course on academic grammar for teachers on Udemy, the online learning platform. In the second part, I look, through the medium of business writing, at the different ways in which we can teach key items in the classroom from raising and checking awareness to practice exercises and creative classroom activities.

Participants will leave the talk with example syllabuses of 7, 12 and 20 items of academic grammar, and key teaching ideas that they can take immediately into their classrooms.

Selected talks/workshops previously delivered:

  • Organizing academic grammar, IATEFL, Birmingham 2016.
  • What shall we do with spoken grammar? English UK Teachers’ Conference, London 2013.
  • EAP power grammar: noun phrases and wh- clauses, IATEFL, Liverpool 2013.
  • Teaching new items of spoken grammar, Teachers’ Conference, Kortrijk (Belgium) 2013
  • Features of spoken grammar, DiNAC, Hasselt (Belgium) 2013.
  • Bringing Spoken Grammar into the Classroom, British Council, Brussels 2012.
  • Aspects of Spoken Grammar, IATEFL, Harrogate 2010, Brighton 2011, Glasgow 2012.
  • Teaching Spoken Grammar, TESOL Spain, Madrid 2008, Seville 2009.
  • Resource-light Teaching (with Andrew Walkley), British Council, Tashkent, October 2003.
  • Designing Natural Spoken English Courses, TESOL Spain, Valencia 2003, Madrid 2004.
  • Text Analysis for Translators, Chinese University of Hong Kong, February 1998.
  • University Teacher Training, International House Teacher Training Conference, March 1997.