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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


"I am my language."

What a powerful phrase about how language is so wrapped up with identity. Both our own personal identity and our social identity in a larger group.

A language learner aims to get to the moment where they "flow" with the language and "sing" language (Anna Deaver Smith talks about this here). It is the ultimate goal for all second language learners - a moment where they become one with the second language and take on a whole new identity. I remember learning French for many years yet never really identifying with the language, it was kind of something added on to myself. A bag I picked up and used when appropriate. Then, after a few months in France and hanging out with a lot of Corsican friends, I started swearing in French. Just naturally, may I say, beautifully. It was at that moment I became "French" and assumed my French identity.

This begs the question - is learning to swear a way for a student to identify and associate with their second language? For them to get motivated and feel at home in the "second language skin"? Should teachers teach swearing, how to swear?

I've written about this previously and at length. But today, I got to thinking about how you might teach swearing or even if you can. Swearing seems much more than the sum of its parts. We usually acquire swearing rather than learn it. We hang out with a social group that swears and we naturally pick it up. We all remember how our parents were concerned about our English getting "bad" if we hung out with the wrong types. I worked as a steel erector a number of years after university and my own family just couldn't believe the mouth on me!

It would be difficult for any teacher to teach swearing I think. Students would love it but I can see administration, parents etc.... being up in arms. Also, it would depend on the teacher having a certain comfort level with swearing - we have a natural aversion to it unless anger/emotion overcomes it. You also never see it in a coursebook. It is a vital part of the English language but we just assume students will learn it themselves as if by magic. I say, if you can, teach it, use it in class - it will empower your students. But it is for you the teacher to be the judge.

This commercial is a nice way to begin. Here's a simple transcript / worksheet for it. It also raises the issue of English only workplaces and how the language would exclude many second language speakers (this paper is a great review of this topic). A great read on the topic of swear words is George Carlin's Seven dirty words. (and video).   

But the question remains - would you ever use this in class?

This "language in use" image has a lot of the top swear words English speakers use. 

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