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Collins ELT

A New Turn of Phrase

A New Turn of Phrase

When we think of language change, it tends to be new coinages that spring to mind (rewilding, deepfake, zoombombing), but in fact, a lot of new language is created by putting existing words together in new combinations, that’s especially true of phrasal verbs and idioms.

Exploring language change

Exploring language change

When a new edition of a grammar is launched, teachers and students may well wonder what can be new about a grammar. We all know about new words, which grab the headlines at every new edition of a big dictionary, but what does an editor do when she is asked to update a pedagogical grammar, taking account of developments that have occurred in the language over the past 20-or-so years?

Futurity

Futurity

Very early on in my teaching career, I remember addressing a class of Russian teenagers with the statement, ‘Will is the future tense in English.’ It was only later as I started developing as a teacher and gaining greater insight into the grammatical system of English that I started to see that there’s much more to will than meets the eye. Click here to read more.

Modality and conditionals

Modality and conditionals

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

Sun Tzu

The quote above, attributed to an ancient Chinese military strategist, is often used in leadership training to encourage people to act on their ideas and see them through to completion. But we’re interested in it for another reason: the language it contains, namely modals and a conditional sentence. In this blogpost we’re going to discuss each of these areas of language in turn.

Understanding academic grammar

Understanding academic grammar

For students new to dealing with academic texts in English, they can seem daunting; full of long words and long complex sentences. Are academics just trying to show off how clever they are and confuse their poor readers? Well, maybe just a little bit sometimes, but most of the time, there are good reasons for the grammatical choices made by academic writers. Understanding the reasons for those choices can help students of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) make more informed choices in their own writing.

Tense vs aspect

Tense vs aspect

Tense and aspect are often labelled as the same thing. It’s not uncommon to see the present progressive referred to as ‘the present progressive tense’ or will have + past participle referred to as ‘the future perfect tense’, for example. However, tense and aspect are not the same thing.

Grammar and register

Grammar and register

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer. Our last post focused on the difference between ...

Prescriptive vs descriptive approaches to grammar

Prescriptive vs descriptive approaches to grammar

What's the difference between prescriptive and descriptive approaches to English grammar, especially in the context of the Collins COBUILD English Grammar? Penny Hands, one of our series editors, answers in this blog post.

Get your students off to a flying start with Amelia Earhart

Get your students off to a flying start with Amelia Earhart

We've compiled some classroom ideas showing how you can use Amelia’s story in Amazing Aviators with your students. You can adapt the ideas to use them for many of the other Amazing People ELT Readers to help support your students on their English Language learning journey.

Phrasal verbs – our top tips and favourite classroom activities

Phrasal verbs – our top tips and favourite classroom activities

Phrasal Verbs are really tricky for our students. It’s just hard to get them right, and they are everywhere in the English language. It’s high time for some new teaching tips, activities and games to help you make phrasal verbs fun – and to help your students remember them. We hope you’ll enjoy using them in your classroom!

Make Your Meetings Work 

Make Your Meetings Work 

There are three main strategies that we teach to non-native speaker executives running, or taking part in, international meetings, either virtual or face-to-face.

The outcomes for them are confidence, greater fluency and the ability to run meetings, or take part in meetings, more effectively.

9 Top Tips – Elementary English Grammar 

9 Top Tips – Elementary English Grammar 

How to best learn English Grammar? Sorry, there’s no easy way! The only secret is studying English grammar rules and doing lots of practice exercises.

Our 9 top grammar tips for elementary learners of English might help you to understand some simple but essential basics.