These notes were taken from Michael Lewis' presentation entitled the same at the TESOLArabia 2001 conference.

1. "Are there any words you don't understand?"
But now we know .......
Phrases, not individual words, are the basic components of any natural text. The patterns of the language, which is both rule governed and arbitrary, are the core. e.g. the formation of the present perfect or impossible phrases such as "Merry Birthday " These 'Chunks' are the patterns of the language, students must be able to recognise them. Recent studies show that the 'invisibility of chunks' is one major block to student learning and that comprehension does not necessarily guarantee intake. Students can understand all the words but still not realise the meaning of the phrases and very often cannot even see that they don't understand the phrases.
Do we as teachers see that the students can't understand?
What language do we take from a text?
e.g. 'make a mistake' We rarely, if ever, take a word in isolation as it does not help us with the meaning of the text. So, we shouldn't take words out of a text for our students. We should have our students keep phrase books, not word lists. We should also realise that meeting something often does not mean you notice it. e.g. What's your best friend's car number plate? We don't need to know it, so we don't notice it. If you answered the question, think why you needed to know it. The need to know is what creates the ability to notice.
Is the intake needed for comprehension the same as the intake needed for acquisition?
Probably not, because we need to notice to acquire and learn.
So, we need to work on more chunks and include more words in each chunk. No chunk should have more than 7 words because of stort term memory.

2. Minimal Pairing
But now we know.......
They don't work. "Ship or Sheep" - it's depressing that a minimal pair book like this is still used. If we think about context, it is clear that if there's water around the word being unsed is "ship". If it's green everywhere, then the word will be "sheep". And our students and their listeners are clearly intelligent enough to know this. We should therefore aim at teaching students to learn pronunciation in phrases and to store words under stress patterns. It's easier to learn a tune (in chunks of 7) than a note, and therefore easier to learn groups of sounds rather than individual sounds. Think about drilling. e.g. When we ask students to complete, "I've lost my car -------" , we cannot ask them just to add the last word. If we rely on the patterns of langauge and 'Chunking' we must go back to the beginning and drill, "I've lost my car keys."
When reading, our learners are almost continually mis-chunking, so they are not noticing and hence not learning from the text. When a text is well read the text is 'chunked' to aid learners. Mis-chunking matters. If the language is incorrectly heard or read it means it cannot be stored or learnt. We can use computers nowadays to easily 'chunk' text for teaching purposes, so it can be read correctly with each chunk on a different line. Use OHT's so students are reading 'loudly' and you can hear the correct chunking of the text and other students can focus on the same while they follow.

3. "Now say it in a sentence"
But now we know.......
We have to look at CHUNKS and that sentence grammar is only one part of any grammar. Most spoken language does not use sentences. The most common word in the language is 'The', because it goes with any noun and 85% of English words are nouns. The second most common word in the language is 'of', because it is the key word used to make nouns phrases in English. Check any book and look at the uses of 'OF' especially in academic texts. Approximately 10% of the words on the page will be 'of', but does any teaching book deal with it?
It is also important to realise that different types of texts work in different ways.
"There's no such thing as a grammar of English". (Don Bither. TESOL 2000)
There are several Corpus Linguistics readily available online now. e.g. LSWE Corpus (40 million words) which looks at conversation, fiction, news and academic writingin a four way split that is used very differently to the Longman Grammar. This shows us that the use of model texts is essential, because the grammar of an economic text is significantly different to the grammar of a history essay. Use these on-line resources and get corpus data for free.

4. "My sister live in Madrid" - "NO, LIVES."
But now we know.......
This student utterance is almost right and correction doesn't work. Grammatical accuracy is the final achievement of a learner, and it is ALWAYS A LATE ACQUIRED SKILL. If you try and teach towards grammatical accuracy, you condemn your students to an intermediate plateau.
The difference in advanced students is that they have a much larger LEXICON - vocabulary of phrases.

5. "Look. I'm opening the door"
But now we know....
Authentic, often spoken, lexical examples are the most memorable.Why do we still invent examples? They're always lousy. e.g. "This morning I woke up" as a good example of the past tense. But NO ONE has said this except maybe Sleeping Beauty. Listen out for when we really use the language. e.g. "No, thank you. I'm driving". And this is an example of the present continuous for actions NOT used at the moment of speaking. Be aware of the language around you.

6. "Some for positive sentences and any for negatives and questions"
But now we know.....
Most EFL rules are untrue. Another example is 75% of passive phrases are not followed by 'by'. So, why do we give rules which are confusing and, at best, don't help.

7. Reduce Teacher Talking Time
But now we know........
You do not learn to speak by speaking. You learn by listening. We must work in the only profession where we are paid to speak English and then we say, "Don't speak!". It's ridiculous. Learn to keep quiet and then learn to talk. Teacher Training Courses, especially for non native teachers, need to include sessions on how to paraphrase and repeat something 2/3 times so students understand. e.g. I come from a large town --- well not so large, quite small really.

8. "I wish they'd talk more" - We must increase student talking time.
But now we know......
Noticing is more important then speaking. We need a specific focus on form rather than task or task outcome, and we must do it so students have the opportunity for reflection and processing.

9. "We've already done this"
But now we know......
It is better to do it again. Think of us telling a story. The first time, we turn experience into language. The second time, we improve our language use, and the third time we continue to improve the language.

10. I've presented it - now they have to practice it.
But now we know.....
What we teach is NOT what they learn. How do we know they've learnt it just because we've presented it. Until we start by thinking about language and learning, how can we think about teaching?
Learning, not teaching, is central for every good teacher.