Knowledge Base

Glossary

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definitions of grammar terms used in Insights videos and on the Insights website
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Lexical Categories

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an overview of the different parts of speech, and soon: parts of a sentence and sentence types
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Proficiency Levels

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the standards for each Proficiency Level as set by the CEFR
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Standardized Tests

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COMING SOON

an overview of the TOEFL, IELTS, and YLE exams

English Explained

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Quick Guide to IPA Consonants

The International Phonetic Alphabet is used to specify sounds, or to help translate between languages with different alphabets. There’s lots of information out there on how to use it, but if you’re looking for a quick reference, this is it. (Part 1 of 2)

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Make Connections

As you introduce new grammar topics, make connections with related grammar topics that students have already learned. This is good for review, and it also helps students catch on to the new material easier.

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Translating Noun Cases

Many languages have noun cases. We don’t teach cases in English, but there definitely are some correlations between cases and English grammar. Maybe it would be a good idea to acknowledge some of the cases used in the students’ native tongue(s) and explain what English uses instead.

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Is It Okay to Break Grammar Rules?

People break grammar rules all the time. Is that okay? Which rules can we break? In what situations is it okay to break rules? Are there rules to breaking rules? Here’s a look at which rules you can break in casual writing.

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How We Term Clauses

You have to be careful with the terms ‘independent’ and ‘dependent’, since they don’t always actually reflect what we might assume they mean.

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Top-Down vs Bottom-Up Processing

We generally teach the structure of a grammar point, and the usage follows. That works well enough for receptive skills, but for productive skills, it feels backward. Maybe we should try the reverse approach.

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Identifying Grammar vs Using It

Learning a grammar point shouldn’t just be about knowing how to use it. How to use a grammar structure doesn’t matter until after they’ve determined what they want to say.

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Communicating Without Words

Using words is the most obvious way to communicate, but it’s not the only way.  It may not even necessarily be the best way.  Using alternate ways of communicating may be more fun or more effective.

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Vocab-Building through Associations

There’s a lot of vocabulary to learn, but thankfully plenty of words are related to each other.  Learning words by associating them with each other helps us to remember those words later.  You can help students establish and strengthen those connections in your students’ minds.

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