PhraseCat makes you think. In English.
Invite your students to enjoy an interactive grammar class online!
- 1100 fantastic phrases with pronunciation
- Flexible phrase browser
- Teacher, Student and Self-Taught views
- Use preset phrase sequences to easily enhance your lessons
- Create your own phrase sequences
- Professor can correct the students, and students can correct each other
- Maintain contact in video chat
PhraseCat in a nutshell
PhraseCat is an interactive online resource for teachers and tutors teaching English as a foreign language or a second language. Our educational platform contains a catalogue of English phrases that teachers can use to practise grammar patterns with their students. Self-taught students can practise interactively online themselves.
PhraseCat is an online representation of the modern approach to teaching foreign language, according to which grammar points are taught in the context of particular examples of their use. Each phrase included in our catalogue represents a specific English grammar point. Students have to complete a portion of the phrase. They can do so by using their creativity or by simply varying the answers provided by our Expert Bots.
Teachers can set up groups of students to work simultaneously on the same phrase (or sequence of phrases). Students can correct each other’s submissions and the teacher can correct the students’ submissions. Video/audio communication is available for the group participants to keep in touch.
There are three major ways to select phrases for teaching that can be nicknamed:
Prepare targeted sequences beforehand
Tame PhraseCat to serve your teaching plan.
Take time to browse through the phrases and nail down the ones that deal with mistakes that your students happen to make. Arrange them into sequences of the desired length, name the sequences and add notes if you wish.
Maybe you will even improve your teaching plan by including some of the grammar topics from the PhraseCat database.
Create an ad-hoc sequence on the spot
Use the Phrase Browser to search for the word or grammar aspect that you are teaching at this very moment.
Let us say you are going over the usage of ‘many’ and ‘more’. Type each of these words into the search field and add the found phrases to the current working sequence. Then start off the practice session.
Or imagine that you have just introduced a number of new adjectives to your students. Select ‘adjective’ as the principal word to add, optionally refine your search by selecting one or more difficulty levels. Then add the found phrases to the current working sequence and start off the practice session.
Make use of preset sequences
Preset sequences present all phrases of the level organised by increasing complexity. As the overall complexity increases, each sequence also starts with ‘drier’ and ends with less formal grammar. Sequences are grouped into blocks and each block likewise starts with rather ‘drilling’ sequences and finishes with more ‘fun’ sequences.
The sequence that you used last is shown in the student’s or the group’s pane, so the next time you can easily pick up where you left off.
PhraseCat is packed up with features
The major feature of the Teacher view is the phrase browser. Browse all the available phrases by their grammar aspect, search by word contained in the phrase, difficulty or the ‘gap word’ type. Create phrase sequences to suit your needs. Manage your students and student groups.
Once the sequence is selected and the students are organised, initiate the practice session and wait for the students to confirm their readiness. Turn on video or audio to see each other and speak with each other.
When everyone is ready, start the practice session. Discuss the grammar point at hand, submit your versions of the phrase and correct and upvote each other’s submissions. Get correct answers and inspiration from our Expert Bots Gram and Mar.
A word on prices
You can use all functionality of the platform for free except for one feature: in order to select phrases for starting a practice session for yourself (if you are a self-learner) or for your students (if you are a teacher) you need to purchase a licence. There are two types of licences:
- Learner’s Licence (€2.70 per month if prepaid for 6 months) allows you to select specific phrases and phrase sequences for yourself or study with a teacher who does not have a Teacher’s Licence.
- Teacher’s Licence (€5.40 per month if pre-paid for 6 months) allows you to use the platform to teach to any number of students, regardless of whether they have an active licence or not.
Before paying, you are welcome to try these extended features for 7 days.
Advantages of structure drilling with PhraseCat
Learning one grammar aspect at a time
Students learn one grammar point at a time and can immediately put their new knowledge into practice. Due to this they are not overwhelmed by grammar rules, but acquire them naturally, one by one.
Learning is more efficient because it engages creativity
Students are not told what to say. Students are only shown how to say it. They may build their phrases upon their own real-life situations, which makes memorisation much more efficient. It may seem like more work and effort, but after all they get to their goal of fluency in English much faster.
There is no study plan and no topics
Discovering one grammar point at a time lifts the burden of learners being obsessed with the whole study process and how much is still left to learn.
Students speak about things that are interesting to them
Because students complete each phrase in their own way, it is them who decide what to say. They can use any vocabulary and expressions that they already know and they speak about their own situation and attitudes, about things that relate to their own lives. As a result, students effectively consolidate their sentence structure skills.
Some tips for learning English with PhraseCat
Be creative, but do not overdo it
If the students’ knowledge of English is not very advanced yet, they should not try to invent new complicated phrases. It is enough if they just follow the pattern and use words that they already know, because the main aim of learning with PhraseCat is to memorise language structures through repetition.
On the other hand, students who already have a good command of English may construct complex phrases, even including subordinate clauses, as long as they fit into the given structure.
Pay attention to completing the phrase correctly
Students need to make sure that the added fragment properly matches the gap in the phrase. Sometimes there is a preposition, article or the infinitive marker ‘to’ that the student needs to repeat each time in order for the phrase to be correct. This is done to help students memorise these grammatical details through repetition.
Now that you know how to improve your teaching, it’s time to start a practice session!