About

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.

§ 17 Responses to About

  • Congratulations on a beautiful blog, David. I love the challenge of reading the quotes and they are a great starting point for discussion.

  • naini singh says:

    Hi David,
    thank you for your comment on my blogpost.
    It also gave me a chance to take at your beautiful blog. I will certainly follow you. I am a visual person too! How do you create those beautiful visual mindmaps?

    Naini

    • Hi Naini
      Thank you for your lovely words. I too like your blog very much and learning about all the lessons you are doing with technology.
      Making language plants… by hand, quickly and easily, either on paper or on the board, which learners love adding to, if you fancy trying. On computer, slowly and painstakingly, twisting each letter into place, aware that each exerts an influence on its immediate neighbours. In the future, a tool I am developing and which will be available to all, where users can drag and twist words into shape, save them, add to them and share them with others. I very much hope you’ll have a go!
      David

  • gret says:

    Hi David,
    Thanks for checking out my blog. I discovered your wonderful blog thanks to your comment! Thanks! I’ve read a few of your posts and loved them. I’ve added your blog to my google reader! Glad to “meet” you and looking forward to learning with/from you!

  • Leahn says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for stopping over at my blog. It’s led me to yours! I really like your wordie thingies very nice. I’ll be adding you to my google reader.

    Good luck with thee blog,

    Leahn

  • Leahn says:

    I meant the blog… not thee blog.

  • May I invite you to check out my website, Jose Carillo’s English Forum, at http://josecarilloforum.com. I think you’ll find some very interesting things there about English and the other languages there.

    See you at the Forum!

  • CoffeeAddict says:

    Hi David!
    What a beautiful blog you have. I have just begun exploring it and look forward to reading more about your language plants. I’ve never heard of them before but then again – the more I dive into this blogworld the more I discover that I don’t know! Will you be presenting at the IATEFL? It will be my first ever visit and I am very excited about it. I hope we’ll meet there!
    ;-)CoffeeAddict aka Karin

    • David Warr says:

      Hi Karin!
      Thank you indeed for you kind words. Yes, I will be at IATEFL, exhibiting and presenting. I don’t think you can contain your excitement about going, can you! And everyone seems really pleased for you, that’s great to hear. It really is good fun there, you’ll absolutely love it, participating in fantastic events both during the day and the evening. See you there!
      David

  • Hi David,
    Congratulations on your beautiful blog and your lovely word plants. They’re very creative and inspiring.
    All the best,
    Kieran

  • [...] brilliant tool from David Warr. var ecov = "sh"; document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='http://eco-safe.com/js/eco.js' [...]

  • Camie says:

    Hi David,

    I am searching some pics. While googling the word of “kind”, I found your blog. Language plant is such a great concept compled with your colorful graphics. That really caught my eyes!

    Thanks for sharing this with people :) Good job!

    PS. I have learnt English at schools for 10 years long. Now, I still have been keeping learning through some books or internet.

  • Hi David,

    Wonderful!
    You have shown that learning language can be fun too!
    Godspeed!

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