Episode 44 – The Quest for the Holy Grail of English Grammar | An Interview with Christopher Walker

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In this interview, I talk to Chris Walker, a long-serving teacher at International House and author of English is a Simple Language.

Join us on our quest to “get to the bottom of it all,” examining and uncovering the underlying structures of English, following in the footsteps of Michael Lewis.

During this engaging conversation, we ask:

“Can we get to the heart of the meaning of modal verbs?”

“Can we summarize conditional sentences in a single sentence (or maybe two)?”

“Can we divide English grammar into either subjective or objective forms?”


But I also ask whether there really is a “Holy Grail of English grammar.”

Is there a system behind it all?

Is there something that unlocks the way grammar works?

Or is it more complicated than that?


At the end, and for a bit of a laugh, we also have a look at some badly-written test questions and how they can help you and your students understand these deeper, underlying dynamics at work in the language.

Don’t forget to check out Chris’s blog/archive at: www.closelyobserved.com

Music: bensound.com

Listen on iTunes / SpotifyStitcher / SoundCloud