Teaching Language: From Grammar to Grammaring

I have always wanted  to be a perfect English teacher, and I had an unswerving belief that it is the language I should work on first and foremost. Well, at least it was like that until recently. I suddenly realised that I have been missing on something. On something really important- methodology. So, I am going to fill in this crack and this book is going to be the first in (hopefully) a series of other books on methodology.

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vortex noun

UK /ˈvɔː.teks/ US /ˈvɔːr.t̬eks/ plural vortexes or vortices UK /-tɪ.siːz/ US /-t̬ə-/

[ C ] specialized environmenta mass of air or water that spins around very fast and pulls objects into its empty centre

intractable adjective

UK /ɪnˈtræk.tə.bəl/ US /ɪnˈtræk.tə.bəl/ formal

very difficult or impossible to control, manage, or solve:

We are facing an intractable problem.

dichotomous adjective

/daɪˈkɒt.ə.məs/ /daɪˈkɑː.t̬ə.məs/ formal


involving two completely opposing ideas or things:

The test was used to compare dichotomous variables.

attrition noun [ U ]

UK /əˈtrɪʃ.ən/ US /əˈtrɪʃ.ən/


formalgradually making something weaker and destroying it,especially the strength or confidence of an enemy by repeatedlyattacking it:

Terrorist groups and the government have been engaged in a costly war of attrition since 2008.


UK /ɪˈnɜːt/ US /ˌɪnˈɝːt/

inert adjective (NOT MOVING)


not moving or not able to move:

The inert figure of a man could be seen lying in the front of the car.

oftentimes adverb

UK /ˈɒf.ən.taɪmz/ US /ˈɑːf.ən.taɪmz/ mainly us


on many occasions:

Oftentimes a company will contribute toward an employee’s moving expenses.
He would oftentimes prefer to be alone.

attest verb [ I or T ]

UK /əˈtest/ US /əˈtest/ formal

to show something or to say or prove that something is true:

Thousands of people came out onto the streets to attest their support for the democratic opposition party.

seminal adjective

UK /ˈsem.ɪ.nəl/ US /ˈsem.ə.nəl/

seminal adjective (IMPORTANT)

formalcontaining important new ideas and having a great influenceon later work:

She wrote a seminal article on the subject while she was still a student.
He played a seminal role in the formation of the association.

be/get bogged down

phrasal verb with bog UK /bɒɡ/ US /bɑːɡ/ verb -gg-

to be/become so involved in something difficult or complicated that you cannot do anything else:

Let’s not get bogged down with individual complaints
uk Try not to get too bogged down in the details.

Turning over a new leaf: idioms and phrases for the New Year

New Year is a time when we often take stock of our life (think about what is good or bad about it). We may feel that we should draw a line under the past (finish with it and forget about it) and make a fresh start. This post looks at idioms and other phrases connected with this phenomenon.

If we decide to stop doing something we consider to be bad and to start behaving in a better way, we can say that we are going to turn over a new leaf. We might decide to kick a habit such as smoking (stop doing it), have a crack at (try) a new hobby, or even leave adead-end job (one with no chance of promotion) or finish a relationship that isn’t going anywhere.

Of course, many of these things are difficult. You may have decided to give up sweets once and for all (definitely and for ever), but that’s easier said than done when you receive a birthday box of your favourite chocolates. If you have a bad day or two, it’s easy to feel that you are back to square one (have made no progress). However, people who advise on such things will tell you that it’s not all or nothing – if you break your resolution, it’s not the end of the world and you can soon be back on the straight and narrow (doing what you should be doing).

In order to stick to a resolution, there are some strategies you can use. First, you could put your money where your mouth is (pay money to show you are serious about something), for instance by taking out a gym membership to get fit. One common piece of advice is totake it one day at a time (not focus too much on the long-term goal). After all, as they say,Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Another is not to bite off more than you can chew (not try to do too much) – we all know someone whose New Year’s resolution to ‘renovate their house’ means that they and their family are still living in a building site ten years later. It’s also important to be realistic – with the best will in the world (even with a lot of effort), a chain-smoking couch potato (lazy person) isn’t likely to give up cigarettes and go running five times a week. It may be a good idea to get the ball rolling (start) with a more modest aim.

Some people are very successful in their resolutions. Once they’ve decided to bite the bullet(do something difficult), they get their act together (organize themselves effectively) andput their heart and soul into achieving what they want to achieve. If they manage to stay the course (not give up), they will see their efforts bear fruit.

And finally, I could not leave this topic without one well-known proverb: the road to hell is paved with good intentions, which means that although people often intend to be good, they often fail at it.

Happy New Year!

by Liz Walter taken from:

Turning over a new leaf: idioms and phrases for the New Year


Marmite noun [ U ]

/ˈmɑː.maɪt/ /ˈmɑːr/ trademark

a soft, dark brown, salty-tasting food for spreading on bread, made from yeast, that is popular in the UK

uk informalsomething or someone that some people like very much and other people dislike very strongly:

Russell Brand is something of a Marmite presenter — you either love him or you can’tbear him.

sidetrack verb [ T usually passive ]

UK /ˈsaɪd.træk/ US /ˈsaɪd.træk/


to direct a person’s attention away from an activity or subject towards another one that is less important:

Ruth was looking for an envelope in a drawer when she was sidetracked by someold letters.
The students sidetracked their teacher into talking about her hobby.
I’m sorry I’m late — I got sidetracked.