Don’t drill! Drill it! Drill it now!

The Portable TEFList

Two recent related but separate occurrences inspired this blog post. Firstly, I have done a lot of observations recently and seen some very good classes, some excellent classes, but I haven’t seen much drilling; secondly, a colleague told me I drill more than he does. So, I got thinking. I looked up drilling in Penny Ur’s A Course in Language Teaching and it gets a mere perfunctory mention on page 54 (Ur 1995: 54). Why don’t teachers like drilling? This post explores this question a little before describing some drilling techniques further down.

What is Drilling?

Basically, drilling is a form of repetitive practice that has been used throughout the years to practise a various things, from grammar structures to connected speech. For anyone trained as an EFL teacher pre the 1980s, it probably conjures up images (sounds?) of grammar drills, audio-lingualism and a faint hint (smell?) of behaviourism. However…

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What is a gerund?

This activity is for students of pre-intermediate level (A2-B1) who meet the gerund for the first time. It is supposed to be used as a homework for a flipped classroom, but might as well be done in class.

I’m working with English File 3rd edition, so it is totally compatible with this textbook and actually based on it. However, I’m sure you can use it with another coursebook. Fortunately, grammar is pretty universal 🙂

The lesson is published on TedEd. Also the video can be found on YouTube.

The worksheet mentioned in the lesson is here: Grammar_What is a gerund