TED: The World's English Mania - Grammar & Vocabulary Lesson

TED: The World's English Mania - Grammar & Vocabulary Lesson


This lesson is designed as an extension to the main lesson on “The World’s English Mania.” One of our goals at LYE is to use one text - either via reading or listening - for multiple purposes over multiple lessons. This lesson asks students to use their language awareness and knowledge of pattern grammar to complete tasks. Language awareness tasks include reformulation, using affixes, and concordances using language from the talk. The grammar tasks ask students to study patterns from examples and replicate them in their own examples. The overarching aim of this lesson is to use the talk for more purposes and highlight language that is both functional and meaningful.

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Traditionally, languages have been described as being two separate entities: grammar and lexis. However, new research in the area of pattern grammar (Hunston, Francis and Manning, 1997; Lewis, 1993; Willis, 1990) has suggested that they can be combined and that meaning can be conveyed through patterns which words have. In addition, all words have patterns and words that share the same pattern usually share the same meaning. A good example of this can be found in the patterns ‘V + by + -ing’ and ‘V + as + n’. This approach to language teaching and learning emphasizes a different way of teaching and dealing with grammar. By focusing on patterns, teachers are providing learners with a more thorough and practical way of looking at language as well as emphasizing the connection between grammar and lexis rather than its distinction. 

Heightened language awareness also empowers students to autotomize their learning. With skills and strategies, learners can apply these on their own and be more confident in their accuracy. This lesson also uses corpus examples of the key words to display multiple usages and meanings to the target language. Helping learners navigate online corpus tools - and how to seek features like collocations, colligations, phrasing, etc. with certain words - has proven extremely effective for their independent learning.