Word (hi)stories: Making Lessons Memorable and Engaging
IATEFL Webinar presented by Jennifer Lowe
Students are often discouraged by the apparent inconsistencies of the English language: i.e. Why does English have silent letters? Why is the first person subject pronoun “I” always capitalised?
However, many of such “inconsistencies” in spelling, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and intonation, can be explained by dipping into the history of English and looking at some of the mechanisms that shaped the language. Understanding that there are logical, historical reasons behind many puzzling aspects of the English language acts as a real eye-opener, triggers students’ curiosity, boosts their motivation to learn and will definitely make your courses memorable, as students always find these explanations illuminating.
This does not mean that you need to become an expert in the history of English; you can simply tell a few stories lying behind specific words, specific grammatical constructions and pronunciations to achieve the eye-opening effect in your students. They will develop an appetite for knowing more and more and will be happier to accept the peculiarities of the English language that we love (or hate) so much!
About the Presenter
Jennifer Lowe is a tutor and teacher and teacher-trainer. She conducts academic research in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University and is a regular speaker at International conferences on English Language Teaching and Linguistics. She is part of the ELT Research team’s freelancer network at Cambridge University Press and runs her own private language school near Milan - founded in 1996 and employing 8 teachers.