Language Garden

Language Garden

Hello. My name’s David Warr. Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you are enjoying your time here. It is a collection of language plants that you can use in class and stories that I’ve gathered over the years.

For many years, I taught English, here in the UK, in Hungary, Italy and Portugal. In fact, it was while I was working for the British Council in Lisbon that I came up with the idea of language plants. I was doing some teacher training seminars, demonstrating to Portuguese teachers of English how to use Mind Maps with their learners.

I really like Mind Maps and other visual forms of presenting information. Personally, they help me learn better, and I enjoy learning much more when I use them. Mind Maps use key words, and structure these organically, the words radiating out from the centre.

At the same time as I was getting into Mind Maps, this was in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I was also reading about different theories of language and language teaching. It is my belief now that rather than viewing language as composed of words and grammar, two separate entities almost, these two systems should be understood as co-existing, with each word having its own grammar, a word grammar.

These two powerful theories, one about learning, one about language, combined together, resulted in language plants. I remember it well. I was drawing a Mind Map about tigers for these Portuguese teachers when I innocently remarked, well, we don’t need to draw lines connecting the words “sharp” “claws” and “teeth”, we can just write them nice and close to each other. And in that moment, my life changed. And this is the result. I hope you find language plants useful for you, as a learner or teacher, or both.

I am the director of Language Garden Ltd, which is devoted to making quality materials for learners.

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Language Garden