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28
NOV
2017

Teaching Matters: Correcting Error in the Classroom

  “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” -Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE), Ancient Greek philosopher   What are “good mistakes?” How can we – as teachers of English – encourage students to make more of them? When can we use error as an...
03
MAY
2018
Shakespeare used plural pronouns too

Is “They” Okay? Is it okay to use “they” for a singular pronoun of unknown gender?

‘Chandos’ Portrait of Shakespeare in the National Portrait Gallery, London “There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me As if I were their well-acquainted friend.” Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors, Act IV, Scene 3: William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British playwright...
26
JUN
2014

Proceed with Caution: Gender-Neutral and Plural Pronouns

How to approach pronouns in English class “The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.” ―Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) American journalist How unfortunate it is that English has no gender-neutral pronoun, one to use when saying “he...
17
SEP
2014

Perfection and grammar: not essential for ESL students, or even native speakers

Certain grammar rules unnecessary for comprehension, everyday conversation “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” -Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Spanish surrealist painterIs it always essential to have perfect grammar? Must we always avoid split infinitives, dangling...