Season 5 Episode 6: Alcohol

In the final episode of the season, Shaun and Lindsay discuss alcohol. We talk about why you never see a drink in a coursebook and discuss claims that alcohol helps language learning. Shaun tests Lindsay on drunken words and Lindsay tries to finally best Shaun in a TEFL fight.

“In the 70s and 80s studies were made on the effects of inhibition-reducing substances, such as alcohol and Valium, on pronunciation performance (Guiora et al 1972; 1980). The results were inconclusive, though there is strong intuitive support for the negative influence of inhibition on language learning. What was shown in one of the experiments was that the person administering the test made more of a difference on the scores than the tranquilliser. These results point to the encouraging hypothesis that human factors, rather than external chemical substances, can be most efficient in reducing inhibition.”

Other links:

Study Shows Just How Drunk You Should Be To Best Speak a Foreign Language

Word for being Drunk:

365 words for drunk

End of pod:
To celebrate the end of this season of TEFL Commute, we have a special giveaway for our listeners from the Extreme Language Teaching website, a website devoted to interesting and different materials co-created by our host Lindsay Clandfield. Now, 100 TEFL Commute listeners can get a free copy of the latest teaching adventure, a series of role-plays called The Island. To get your free copy, simply go to the website Find the link to the store page for the island, and enter the download code commute (all in lowercase letters) at checkout. That’s, find the store page for the Island and enter commute at checkout. Remember use all lowercase letters, and that this offer is valid for the first 100 listeners only. Enjoy the Island adventure.
“You’ve been listening to the TEFL Commute, an original podcast produced and presented by Lindsay Clandfield, Shaun Wilden and James Taylor. Don’t miss out on any episodes by subscribing to us on iTunes and by visiting us at

Script of Shaun’s fight
My argument will be brief, I’ve girdled my loins and feel that quite frankly Lindsay rather THAN basqueing in the glory of a good argument is somewhat embrasssing getting his knickers in a twist about something so small(s).

Of course it (corset) it might upset some people’s sensibilities to teach these words and they would rather see them as unmentionables in the classroom. But personally, I think it is a bit of a slip to deprive students of key words. There is already enough censorship going on within materials and I can’t see why we lock some language away in drawers, what is an English breakfast without bacon and what is a clothes lesson without undergarments. Teachers have a vested interest in ensuring our students are language prepared.

What happens on a business trip to the UK, a student suddenly get caught short(s) and find themselves having to go buy a new pair underwear

Ok it might not be appropriate to teach everything to very young students who might be more interested in teddies than y-fronts. But late, or even early bloomers will surely ask a teacher about such words, so how then does one avoid them or does a teacher plan a lesson shapewear clothes stop at shirts and trousers. Gee, such a lesson would leave us just stringing students a thong.

Being serious for a moment, underwear is a rich topic, many of the words are polysemous so easy to teach, they form part of the idiomatic make up of the language, they’re fun and as the last podcast episode shows its handy to know the difference being taking your pants off and taking your pants off and let’s not get started on where you wear you thongs. So let’s face it any suggestion of not teaching these words is simply pants.