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25th April 2016


Welcome back real friends! (Not false ones, I trust!) So, I hope you enjoyed the poem and worked out some of the funnies. ‘A law suit’ is not the gown that a Judge wears in court and the word they were looking for wasn’t ‘toupee’ but ‘wig’. I also believe the oil men were ‘drilling’ […]

By |March 11th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

A large deal… a big deal?

Looking back at last week’s blog and the example in the Cambridge Dictionary, it’s hardly surprising that learners sometimes find it all a bit challenging! However, if someone said ‘a strong frost’ to me, I think I’d know what they meant, wouldn’t I? Scott Thornbury in his ‘A to Z of EFL’ says that in […]

By |February 25th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

What does it mean?

Where did January go? Away with the snow, probably! The world looked so pretty for a few hours. So, back to business. February, and what does it mean to actually ‘know’ a word? To answer this question, I’ve taken the following definition from ‘The Primary National Strategy, 1779-2005DOC-EN’. It’s what I believe our children’s teachers […]

By |February 4th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


Greetings. Welcome back to the ETC blog. I hope you’ve been feeling yourself over the last week, if not totally yourself, maybe a bit self-ish. (Yes, you’ll have to read that opening a couple of times!) I was intending to look at the importance of ‘groups of words’ this week, but will save that for […]

By |January 28th, 2019|Uncategorised, John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Happy New Year

From everyone at ETC in Bournemouth, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Trees and trimmings have been put away and hopefully, Father Christmas had some nice things in the sack for you. So, where do we start in a brand new year? I believe I left you contemplating the eye-brow flash? Well I hope you did your homework […]

By |January 7th, 2019|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Merry Christmas

OK, welcome back ‘seasonal bloggers’ to ETC’s final blog of 2018. Let’s leave the tinsel and crackers for the moment and get back to the eye-brow flash. There are rumours that the Royal Family, pupils at expensive schools, politicians and statesmen were, I believe, taught not to move their eyebrows as it gave too much […]

By |December 17th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Big Eyes

Last week we considered the eye-brow flash and its implications on communication. Well, the theory goes something like this. Between English native speakers, the eye-brow flash is believed to be an indication of the trustworthiness of the speaker. It’s a subliminal message that, if not received, could make the non-recipient feel uncomfortable. Obviously, you can […]

By |December 10th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

The Eyebrow Flash

I bet you’ve been thinking about last week’s blog and the question tags, innit. Well, one of the most interesting features to accompany the body movements reinforcing the intonation patterns is known, very unscientifically, as ‘the eyebrow flash’. This is the automatic movement of the eyebrows used subconsciously to reinforce the main stress and the […]

By |December 3rd, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


I trust you’ve been moving your body to reflect your intonation patterns over the last week, I know I have! Anyway, back to question tags. In recent years, with the growth of ‘Global English’, question tags have proved quite challenging, to the extent that many of them have been replaced by the ubiquitous ‘innit’.

Originally […]

By |November 26th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


I hope you’ve been practising your intonation patterns since last week’s blog. So, this week I’d like to return to the subject of question tags. Depending on which intonation pattern the speaker chooses, we can read a lot into what has been said. “You work at ETC, don’t you?” (Rising intonation, possibly a ‘real question’, […]

By |November 19th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments