A critical look at the Communicative Approach (1)

(ELT Journal 39/1 pp. 2–12, 1985)

A critical look at the Communicative Approach (2)

(ELT Journal 39/2 pp 77–87, 1985)

Chunks in the classroom: let’s not go overboard

(The Teacher Trainer 20/3, 2006)

Design criteria for pedagogic language rules

(in Grammar and the Language Teacher, ed. Bygate, Tonkyn and Williams, Prentice Hall 1994, pp. 45–55)

English teaching in the nineteen-sixties and seventies

(slightly expanded version of paper published In ‘Forty Years of Language Teaching’ in Language Teaching 40, 2006, pp. 1–3)

Grammar, meaning and pragmatics: sorting out the muddle

(TESL-EJ 11/2, September 2007)

History is not what happened: the case of contrastive analysis

(International Journal of Applied Linguistics 17/3, Autumn 2007, pp. 391–396. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.)

Language teaching is teaching language

(written-up version of Hornby lecture given at IATEFL Conference 1996; published in the 1996 IATEFL Conference Report, pp. 34–38)

legislation by hypothesis

(Applied Linguistics 26/3, Autumn 2005, pp. 376–401)

Seven bad reasons for teaching grammar

(English Teaching Professional 7, 1998; Methodology in Language Teaching, ed. Richards and Renandya, CUP 2002, pp.148–152)

Talking sense about learning strategies

(RELC Journal 39/2, pp. 262–273)

Teaching grammar: does grammar teaching work?

(Modern English Teacher 15/2, 2006)

The influence of the mother tongue on second language vocabulary acquisition and use

(in ‘Vocabulary: description, acquisition and pedagogy’, ed. Schmitt and McCarthy, Cambridge University Press 1997)

The textbook: bridge or wall?

(Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching 2(1), 1992)

Two out of three ain’t enough

(written-up version of talk given at IATEFL Conference 2006, published in IATEFL 2006 Harrogate Conference Selections, pp. 45–54)

We do need methods

(in Contemporary Applied Linguistics Vol 1, ed.Wei and Cook, Continuum 2009, pp. 117–136)

What is grammar?


What is happening in English?

(English Teaching Professional 40, Autumn 2005)


(JELF 1:2, 2012, 379–390)

Applied Linguistics: a Consumer’s View

(Language Teaching 51.2, 2018, pp 246–261)


Less serious pieces

Brief abstracts

Chilton Research Association progress reports

Cross-examining the text

Dear BLAA news (‘Roll Play’)

Discourse respiration

Grammar: widening the scope

If you only read five papers …

Learning the piano in fantasia

Notes from the broom cupboard


Squaring the hypothesis

The use of sensory deprivation in foreign language teaching

(With Catherine Walter, ELTJournal 36/3, 1983, pp. 183–185)

The big grey book

Trajectories of identity construction

‘What do you read, my Lord?’ Some reflections on the role of literature in language teaching.

Classroom identity construction

For some other articles, see my book Thinking about language teaching.