Grammar McNuggets – Friend Or Foe?
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Scott Thornbury coined the term “grammar McNuggets” in 2000 to refer to grammar being packaged into bite-sized chunks of language in preparation for teaching. Considering that fast food is generally not very high on any list of dietary recommendations, we can safely assume that Thornbury is not being complimentary in his usage of the term.
So what’s all this about then?
On the one hand it may seem like cutting up language into manageable chunks would benefit our learners. Rather than be overwhelmed by learning English as a whole, they can focus on learning a specific language structure, like the present perfect or the first conditional.
This does make sense, to a certain degree.
However, what Thornbury is trying to get at is that this is being done to grammar in particular at the expense of teaching and learning the language as a whole – in other words, grammar exists independently of other aspects of language like vocabulary and pronunciation.
Publishers especially like to package grammar like this because it makes putting together a syllabus for a book much easier. It provides teachers with a very clear idea of the progression of the course and it identifies specific structures to be taught in specific lessons – Today, we are going to look at modal verbs.
Teachers are lulled into a false sense of trust in the publishers, believing that things are as they are because adequate research has been done on the subject, when in fact coursebooks are not really based on research, or at least not the most up-to-date research. The fact that coursebooks can take years to produce surely also plays a part. Essentially this means that not only can the content of coursebooks seem a bit dated, but also the learning theory behind it.
The bottom line?
Coursebooks are a resource and should be utilised as such. Coursebooks are great sources of materials for our lessons but don’t feel obliged to do everything your coursebook tells you to, when it tells you to or the way it tells you to. Use it any way you wish. Pick and choose language points which are suitable and necessary for your learners and think of how you can merge your grammar teaching into language teaching.
Remember that our learners don’t learn grammar in a linear and discrete fashion, as suggested by coursebooks. Grammar McNuggets are useful for our teaching purposes but not so much for learning purposes, so utilising them needs to be done with our eyes open to the possibilities they give us and the restrictions they pose on us.
Indulging in the use of McNuggets should be done the same way you would indulge in fast food: not every day and only when you’ve run out of other options.
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LAST UPDATED: 5th July 2022
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- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
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Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
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- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.