English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com

Big Grammar Book


Big Grammar Book has been downloaded from EnglishBanana.com over 1 million times in 2015 (so far!)

Big Grammar Book

I recently came across this statistic from our server log files and felt it was so encouraging that I wanted to share it with you.

I had no idea that Big Grammar Book was still so popular (it was published in 2004), and the total number of downloads for this year to date will be much higher, since the book can also be downloaded from numerous other websites – the most famous being Guardian.co.uk – where it is the second most recommended resource of all time, and rising! – and TES.co.uk. The million downloads from englishbanana.com does not include any of these other sites!

When you consider that Big Grammar Book was published 11 years ago, you can add to this 1 million all the other millions of downloads over the years – not to mention those of my other 19 books – plus downloads of all the thousands of worksheets – and you can see that EnglishBanana.com material is really pretty popular! The total number of downloads – which I have not been able to calculate, being an English-y sort of person, rather than a maths-y one – must be mind-bogglingly huge!

Is the high number of downloads because it is free? I hope it is because it is high quality, but I guess being free doesn’t hurt! According to figures from bookshops, the average book sells fewer than 250 copies per year and fewer than 2,000 copies during its lifetime. It is only the celebrity books and books by really famous authors that hit the million mark. When people ask me why my material is all free and in the Public Domain, I point them in the direction of this page, which helps to explain my motivation. But as a writer, there is a part of me which gets a great deal of satisfaction from being read. I’m personally thrilled that over a million people – this year alone – have had the chance to use my Big Grammar Book – that I put together on my computer on my own all those years ago – to learn or teach English.

Also, since a normal ELT course book has the “normal” price of £28 in the UK, it’s no wonder that people are glad to download free resources, like Big Grammar Book. I’m glad to be able to offer them. 🙂

So, go ahead! Download Big Grammar Book – and all the other popular free downloadable pdf files and resources from EnglishBanana.com. It is all online waiting for you to discover!

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FREE ESL Lesson Plan: Mode 1 Vocabulary Session

This is a free lesson plan from You Are The Course Book – Lesson Plans by Matt Purland.  You can download the complete book for free here. (.pdf – 6 MB) This book is in the public domain, which means that anybody can use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Mode 1 Vocabulary Session

Method:

1. T asks each group to write down 8 interesting and random words or phrases. They must be content words, not function words. They could be completely random, or begin with the same letter (elicited from a SS), or from a particular topic, e.g. Music. SS work together – one list per group. SS can use dictionaries. One SS from each group reads out their words and T selects the most interesting and random words to write on the board – 8 in total. T does not allow boring words, e.g. table, chair, book… SS write down the whole list.

2. T checks that everybody knows all the words and leads a pronunciation drill with the words. SS have to listen and repeat each word after T.

3. T asks SS to work as a team and write down the type of each word, e.g. noun, verb, adjective, etc. When each group is ready T asks for a SS to come to the board and write the word types on the board next to the vocabulary words. T elicits whether they are correct or not. If not, T elicits the correct answer and the SS writes it.

4. Repeat 3, except with number of syllables in each word.

5. Repeat 3, except with the stressed syllable in each word, which is underlined.

6. Repeat 3, except with the stressed vowel sound in each word. SS writes it with Clear Alphabet, if possible. If not, T elicits it from SS who use the Clear Alphabet chart (p.107). SS could also write each word in Clear Alphabet.

7. Repeat 3, except with whether the stressed vowel sound is short, long, or diphthong. T models the stressed vowel sounds and SS repeat.

8. Repeat 3, except with schwa sounds circled. By the end of the session, your board might resemble something like this (with words from the topic of Music:)

Vocabulary Lesson Plan - Image 1

…and so on.

Tip:

  • Try not to spend too long doing the vocabulary session. Remember to put together a lesson that provides a balanced ‘meal’ – where different skills are practised and different student needs are met. For example, while one SS might be happy to work with vocabulary for the whole lesson, another SS might prefer free practice activities, and so on.


School in the Philippines uses English Banana’s Big Grammar Book for their free English Proficiency course

English Proficiency course at Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. - 2014

English Proficiency course at Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. – 2014

Meiji Geneta from Cavite Southern Emerald Academy in the Philippines emailed us recently to ask whether they could use English Banana material to run a free English course. We said yes – of course! – because all English Banana material is covered by our free licence to run courses – and all our free books are in the public domain.

Meiji wrote:

“I am from the Philippines and I have come across the English Banana website and I was very very amazed by the numerous worksheets that were made for students and teachers who are very much interested to widen their learning when it comes to the English Language. We have a school here in the Philippines and the name of the school is Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. It is a non-stock, non-profit school and we cater students in the Preschool and Elementary Department.

“Our school shares the same vision as you do because we also love to share the love for the English language. The Philippines is not a First English Country and being able to use your resources will be able help us teach the our students the english language better and in an organized manner. I believe that the resources you have put in your website are indeed very very helpful and will definitely help our students learn the very best the English Language can offer.

“We will be conducting a two week English Proficiency Class this May 19 to May 30, 2014. This will be offered to the students for free and they will be using the  1st Grammar Book of English Banana.com [Big Grammar Book]. We would like to inform the students and the parents that all resources used in this class came from English Banana.com and we would like to recognize you for this.

“Thank you so much sir for sharing with us the resources of English Banana.com to help teach children about the English Language. I am looking forward to have more English classes with our students soon and use English Banana’s resources.”

Their course was a resounding success (see pics below) and we were delighted that they chose English Banana’s Big Grammar Book for their course material. After all, why pay for expensive course books and ELT material when English Banana material is free to use?

English Proficiency course at Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. - 2014

English Proficiency course at Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. – 2014

English Proficiency course at Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. - 2014

English Proficiency course at Cavite Southern Emerald Academy, Inc. – 2014

 

 


You can now buy hard copies of 4 English Banana.com books!

We are really pleased to announce that we are now selling hard copies of 4 fabulous English Banana.com books:

Big Grammar Book, Big Activity Book, Big Resource Book, and Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1

Click here for full details!


We’re giving away 20 FREE hard-copy books: Big Grammar Book & Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1!

Free Hard-Copy English Banana Books!

Free Hard-Copy English Banana Books!

PLEASE NOTE: THIS OFFER HAS NOW ENDED. THANKS TO EVERYBODY WHO EMAILED US!

We’ve got 20 FREE English Banana.com books to give away – with FREE postage and package – courtesy of the good people at English Banana Trust! Glyn Purland, who is Chair of English Banana Trust, writes:

“To mark the end of the 10th year online of English Banana.com, the English Banana Trust is offering a number of the two most popular English Banana books, one per person, free of charge including postage and package. We hope that this will help you in your teaching and learning of the English language.”

There are 10 free copies of Big Grammar Book and 10 free copies of Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1. These books are real, not digital – you can flick through them! You can put them in your bag or on your bookshelf at home! You can photocopy them!

All you have to do to get your FREE book is to send us a message with:

* Your full name

* Your mailing address

* WHICH book you would prefer to receive

* A few words to say WHY you would like to receive a free English Banana.com book

This offer is open to teachers and students of English, and is available on a first come, first served basis – one free book per person. If you are not lucky enough to receive a free hard-copy book, please remember that you can still download both books (and many more!) free from English Banana.com.


English Banana free resources featured in The Guardian this week!

English Banana free resources featured in The Guardian

English Banana free resources featured in The Guardian

English Banana free resources are featured in The Guardian newspaper this week, as part of a special article for teachers entitled: “How to teach… English as a foreign language”. Emily Drabble reviews a range of English Banana books, including Big Grammar Book, the Talk a Lot series of books, and the new release You Are The Course Book 2. You can read the article here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/teacher-blog/2013/jun/18/teaching-resources-english-as-foreign-language