Reengineering English Language Teaching: Making the Shift towards ‘Real’ English

María Luisa Pérez Cañado


This article underscores the importance of keeping up to date with vocabulary which is currently employed in English-speaking countries. It argues that textbooks, dictionaries and even corpora are not the most reliable sources to do this, and puts forward a pedagogical proposal – grounded in the Lexical Approach and three pedagogical innovation projects – to incorporate ‘real’ English into the language classroom. After clarifying what is meant by such ‘real’ English expressions and providing a possible classification for them, it suggests diverse sources of ‘real’ English input – including telecollaboration, sitcoms and TV series, podcasts, Internet texts, and recent bestsellers –, and subsequently presents a set of tried-and-true activities to exploit them, activities which allow the incorporation of pedagogically innovative approaches into the ELT classroom. The ultimate aim is to link the classroom with what goes on beyond its confines and to make our students’ lexical competence approximate that of native English speakers.

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Copyright (c) 2009 María Luisa Pérez Cañado

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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