So I'm planning several improvements to this blog that take a little time to put into effect. Time I haven't found, and thus haven't been blogging but bokra inshallah :-)
So instead, I'm going to discuss grammar. As one learns in language pedagogy class, the grammar translation method is not an effective way of learning to speak language. Basically, explicit grammar knowledge (something like feminine nouns must take feminine adjectives) does not translate into using this knowledge implicitly and automatically in speech. Rather one needs to practice speaking while monitoring ones speech/having someone else monitor it for this type of agreement until it becomes automatic.
Thus, in teaching grammar, I rarely do traditional mechanical drills since the programs I teach in have a skills based approach. Nevertheless, in my heart of hearts, I love mechanical drills because I think they are great fun to do, like logic or mathematics. So, imagine my delight when we started today in class on the one grammar point that can be justifiably taught in a mechanical way because it is nearly always used in the context of explicit, rather than implicit knowledge, even by native speakers of the language (i3raab for those of you in the know). Yay!