English Ideas Banner
English Ideas  |  Books  |  Grammar  |  Ideas  |  Thoughts  |  ESP  |  Courses
The English Ideas Project
This project is about fostering better English language teaching by creating a better pedagogical grammar of the English language, creating better teaching/learning materials, and training teachers. There are a number of sub-projects as part of the global English Ideas Project. You can scroll down to see the projects and ideas or use the page links above. Much of the material is free to use, with the proper acknowledgement. Click on the images to access the materials.
The Projects
Learning Events and Courses
courses image
Moodle Courses

Visit this page for more information about our groundbreaking courses for teachers.

Visit this page for more information about our specialised courses for learners: IELTS Academic Writing and Academic Writing for Undergraduates.

In-Service Certificate for Teachers of Uniformed Personnel

The new Certificate for Teachers of Uniformed Personnel (CTUP) is a professional in-service qualification for English language teachers working with the military, police and border guards...

Click on the image above for a direct link to our Moodle Courses.


Noun Phrase Cover
Teaching English The Ideas of English Grammar

The English Noun Phrase: A Handbook for Teachers

The English noun phrase is the most complex part of English grammar. Noun phrases may be single word nouns and pronouns or multi-element noun phrase complexes which can contain a huge range of sub-elements. Noun phrases can include determiners, adverbs, adjectives, nouns modifying nouns, and compounds, relative clauses, prospective-to clauses, do-ing clauses, done clauses, prepositional phrases, and noun content clauses. All these elements are used to help make the noun understandable and the reference clear, and to give essential information about the noun. This book explores the intricacies of the noun phrase, with a special focus on the complexities of determiners and post-nominal modification, and helps you improve your understanding of both simple and complex noun phrases. It then shows you ten techniques you can use with learners of all levels to improve their understanding and production of noun phrases. The book includes photocopiable materials for you to use in class with intermediate + learners.

The English Noun Phrase: A Handbook for Teachers

Teaching English: Being the Best is the essential handbook for ELT teachers who want to take their teaching to the next level, beyond best practice. Over two hundred 60-second essays on all aspects of teaching will help you to become the best teacher you can be. The book covers topics not included in other methodology books such as two new approaches to reading (the Dual Text and Deep Text approaches), opportunity cost, the competence model, being professional and avoiding burnout. It is for all English language teachers teaching adults and older teens, both newly qualified and experienced teachers alike.

Teaching English: Being the Best is available from: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de etc.

The Ideas of English Grammar is an exploration of English grammar which identifies the grammar a teacher really needs to teach and the grammar a learner needs to learn.

It is a complete re-imagining of pedagogical grammar, based on Lexical Priming theory and the Associative Model of English.

Grammar is envisaged as a system of Distance, Meaning and Conventions. These ideas are explored in depth and the ideas of verb and noun pathways are introduced.

The Ideas of English Grammar is available from Amazon: The Ideas of English Grammar

Military English Cover Photo
Military English Tactical and Peacekeeping Operations is a new pre-deployment course for Army personnel who are to be sent on multinational peace support operations or on training courses in an English language speaking country, or are to be trained by English-speaking instructors.

An Intermediate/ B1 /STANAG 2 Level course.

There are four components to the course:

1: A Coursebook with 200 lesson-units, providing over 200 hours of study materials including vocabulary learning tasks, reading and listening tasks, briefings, role plays and other speaking tasks.

2: A Workbook, which includes a grammar reference and study pages, peacekeeping reading tasks, writing tasks, abbreviations and acronym study pages, patrol report forms etc., consolidation tasks, a mini dictionary, key vocabulary pages, key tactical verbs, and more.

3: A Teacher's Book with full instructions on teaching the course, and coursebook and workbook task keys.

4: Electronic Resources: over 800 colour pictures and maps, over 55 PowerPoint Presentations and audio files, and audio transcripts for use on phones, tablets or computers. These can be freely downloaded and shared with all students.


Military English Army Key Words Military English Army Key Words is book of key word lists and glossaries, extracted from a corpus of US Army Field Manuals.

The topics covered are:

The Soldier's Guide | Operations | The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad | the Brigade Combat Team | Theater Army, Corps, and Division Operations | Pathfinder Operations | Reconnaissance & Security Operations | Rangers | Scouts | Army Aviation | Airborne Operations | Engineer Operations | Fire Support Operations | Ordnance Operations | Quartermaster Operations | Civil Affairs Operations | Civil Disturbance Operations | Counter Insurgency | Multinational Operations | Peace Operations | Tactical Radio Operations | Land Navigation | Terrain Analysis | Desert Operations | Jungle Operations | Mountain Operations | Survival | Tactical Combat Casualty Care

You can read more about the book and corpus here.

Military English Army Key Words is available from Amazon: Military English Army Key Words

Understanding English

Understanding English: An Introduction to the Associative Model

The Associative Model of English is a way of understanding the process of how we use English at the time of articulation (when we speak-hear) or when we read. It is a linear dependency relation model of language. By using the ideas in this short introduction to the Associative Model you will deepen your understanding of how English is used. You will also be able to effectively diagram sentences (and texts) to show the associations between words and how they 'work' as meaning units.

Understanding English is available from Amazon: Understanding English: An Introduction to the Associative Model
Free Books

A Brief Guide to Text Analysis and Corpus Linguistics Rough and Ready Guide Aide memoire cover
A Brief Guide to Text Analysis and Corpus Linguistics

The Guide explores text analysis and useful tools, then introduces you to corpus linguistics and shows you how to build a micro-corpus and do things like produce a key word list.


Text Grammar Topic Comment Information Key Word Lexis Corpus Construction Ethics Collocations

Click on the image above to access the Guide. It is formatted as an A5 .pdf file so you can print two pages on one page of A4.

The Rough and Ready Guide to Teaching English Online in a Time of Coronavirus

A short introduction for teachers who have to suddenly teach online.

Military English Aide-Memoire for Teachers of Army Personnel

Click the image above to download a .pdf file aide-memoire (A6 size) to help you with key army English vocabulary. Print it out, laminate it and keep it handy.


Visual Grammar

The Visual Grammar of English

This grammar presents grammar with visual explanations.

It is based on my reimagining of English grammar, which you can read about in The Grammar of English Ideas.

Keywords for the Visual Grammar and Grammar of English ideas

Lexical Priming G[DMC] Distance Associative Model Verb Pathways Meaning Conventions Noun Pathways Placement Principle and Active Prospective Grammar

You will need to use Flash to access the grammar presentations.

The Associative Model

The Associative Model of Language

The human brain is an association-making 'machine'; we look for associations and patterns everywhere and language is used to make our associations clear enough to communicate what we think, feel and want to get done in the world.

The Associative Model applies this insight to the structure and meaning of language.


Associative Model Verb Pathways Noun Pathways Placement Principle Start Here Associative Principle

You can also study Associative Model sentence diagrams here.

language awareness

The Language Awareness Challenge

A language awareness reading maze; can you find your way out of the labyrinth safely?

This maze introduces some of the key ideas of The Ideas of English Grammar using a Tiddly Wiki.

Other Ideas

testing The Dual Text Approach thoughts

Testing Ideas

This page has some ideas about how to test and assess spoken English.

The Dual Text Approach to Reading

This page has sample materials and an explanation of the Dual Text Approach to reading.

Thoughts on Teaching and Learning

This is a page of links to short thought pieces on teaching and learning.

Linguistics Timeline Need Analysis Verb Collocation cards

Linguistics and Chomsky: the Generative Grammar Dead End

Thoughts on Chomksy and where linguistics went wrong.

Needs Analysis

Ideas for conducting a needs analysis.

Verb Collocations

All language can be viewed as collocations......


military English Aide memoire cover Teaching Uniformed personnel Magazine
Military English for Tactical and Peacekeeping Operations

A 200 hour pre-deployment English language course for soldiers going on multi-national operations and peacekeeping missions.....

Military English Aide-Memoire for Teachers of Army Personnel

Click the image above to download a .pdf file aide-memoire (A6 size) to help you with key army English vocabulary. Print it out, laminate it and keep it handy.

Teaching Uniformed Personnel is a new free quarterly magazine written especially for teachers of army, navy and air force personnel, police officers and border guards......
police English    
Police and Border Guard English

Materials for teachers and learners, including including photocopiable worksheets and Learner Notebooks.

A note about cookies: this site does not use cookies. I am not interested in tracking you at all. As far as I am concerned 'cookies' is an American word for biscuits and biscuits are for eating.