Bruno Leys

It's the real thing! Using advertisements for noticing grammar

Audience focus: Teachers of adolescent learners, Teachers of adult learners, Business English teachers, Academic English teachers, Teacher trainers, Freelance teachers


Even though grammar may sometimes be considered as a necessary evil by both teachers and students, it still takes up a prominent position in many curricula.
In this talk I will show how we can explore grammar by making use of the language and visual context found in print ads and video commercials.
In the highly competitive industry of advertising, it is extremely important to come up with accessible and instantly recognizable language that appeals to a wide public.
This makes the language used in these text types highly appropriate for activities focusing on grammatical meaning and form.
The language in advertising is also crisp and quite memorable. As a result of this, learners can easily engage with such examples and the phrases may stick in their heads for a longer time than the average coursebook example.
I will briefly deal with the rationale behind this approach, but I will mainly focus on practical examples that illustrate how these texts can lead to language-awareness as well as contextual practice.
Participants will be invited to reflect on the practicality and usefulness of the presented ideas and share if and how they could apply these in their own teaching practice and context.


Bruno Leys has been an English teacher and teacher trainer for over 25 years. He currently works at VIVES University of Applied Sciences in Brugge.
He has published several EFL coursebook series: Breakaway, Takeaway, High Five and Fastbreak. He also writes articles, tweets and blogs about TEFL, provides in-service training sessions and is a speaker on conferences in Belgium and abroad.