In How to Teach Pronunciation, Gerald Kelly tells us that ‘being able to drill properly is a basic and fundamental language teaching skill.” Scott Thornbury, in The New A-Z of ELT, defines drilling as ‘repetitive oral practice of a language item, whether a sound, a word, a phrase or a sentence structure.” In this talk, I’ll do my best to try and get you to agree with Gerald Kelly’s view of drilling.

I’ve always been a big fan (and a fierce advocate!) of drilling, and I’m constantly suggesting teachers use more drilling in their lessons when I hold training and feedback sessions. Then last week (17-21 May), I had the pleasure of attending IATEFL 2022, in Belfast, UK, and two of the talks I attended there made me want to add this workshop to the Boost series in the last minute: Substitution drills reinvented, by Kenneth Lackman; and Say it to hear it, by Mark Hancock. This workshop will therefore be somewhat inspired by their brilliant work.

In this talk we’ll discuss, among others:

  • What drilling is and discuss/observe different types;
  • How drilling can be used in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary practice;
  • Drilling in online lessons;
  • The importance of drilling/repetition to improve students’ listening skills.

And more!

For more information or if you have any questions, please write to me at To register, click here. To read about the whole series, click here.