If-Conditionals and Modality: Description and Pedagogy

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


    This talk combines results from corpus-based studies on the use of English if-conditionals in speech and writing by native speakers and learners of English – and compares their use with the typology of conditionals usually presented in ELT materials. More precisely, the talk examines the extent to which the ELT typology a) reflects actual language use, and b) influences learner use. The results point towards the inadequacy of the ELT typology of conditionals in describing both native-speaker and learner use, as the typology assumes a limited relation between form and semantic function, and reveals a restricted view of the semantic and pragmatic functions that conditionals can perform. The results support a typology of conditionals which recognises the strong link between conditionals and modality, takes account of all modality types, and prioritises meaning over formal criteria. The talk will also discuss the implications of the findings for a coherent pedagogical framework for teaching conditionals and modality to learners of English.
    Period4 Dec 2019
    Event titleTESOL Research Seminar
    Event typeSeminar
    LocationPreston, United KingdomShow on map


    • corpus linguistics
    • lexicogrammar
    • conditionals
    • modality
    • TESOL
    • language teaching
    • ELT
    • theory
    • pedagogy
    • language learning
    • learner language