Phrasal Verbs – Get and Go

Introducing phrasal verbs is a useful way of helping learners to gain a deeper understanding of how to use simple words, without having to memorise huge lists of difficult vocabulary. We use them so much in English, but it’s easy to forget the importance of these little phrases in favour of more advanced vocabulary. Below are a few examples of the flexibility of phrasal words. If you cannot think of all the ways these words on the spot, having a few examples on hand can be useful. Hope you find it handy. In the Take it Easy Teaching book there are some more examples, so do think about getting a copy that you can have you in class in case you want to quickly introduce some examples.

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8 Ways to Improve Writing in English Class

Writing is a really important skill and it’s a great way for students to improve their meaning focused output when they do not have a chance to talk. Since I’ve been in Japan, one thing I’ve noticed is that there is less focus on writing in all subjects, not just language study. There is far less creative writing, formal writing and making speeches in Japanese. My impression is that part of the reason for the difference is assessment is that writing is harder and less accurate to mark, as there isn’t a set answer. It is also time consuming to mark. (If you really want to, you can take it back to Confucius’ influence, but we won’t go there right now…)

Here are some tips to add variation to your writing tasks that will make it more interesting for the students, improve their writing and make marking easier.

All of this then comes together for overall improvement. Here I’d like to introduce a few tips for getting the most out of writing tasks.

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Creating a Balanced Lesson Plan

The Four Strands of Language Learning is a framework designed by Paul Nation. It involves a balanced lesson or curriculum consisting of four main areas (Nation & Newton, 2009). This kind of lesson planning is beneficial in that it compliments technical language study with practical use, treating language as a language and not just a subject.

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Correcting use of ‘Enjoy’ with prefixes and suffixes

Every English teacher in Japan has their own pet peeves. Some people can’t stand the strangely common phrase ‘I want to go to shopping.’ Other people find the overuse of the full stop soul crushing in sentences like ‘I’m hungry. Because I didn’t eat.’

One of mine comes from the way bits and pieces of English are picked up and turned into Japanese. It’s the word ‘enjoy’ and it gets my goat up to constantly hear ‘Shopping is enjoy’ or have the question ‘Do you like English?’ answered ‘Yes, enjoy.’

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