The Talking Heads were originally developed to introduce grammar charts on the CD-ROMs that accompany Understanding and Using English Grammar (blue book) and Fundamentals of English Grammar (black book). I wanted to find a way to speak directly to students who were using a computer program. To do this, I came up with the solution of creating grammar characters, animated cartoon characters named for aspects of English grammar. I affectionately call them Talking Heads.
Now the Talking Heads are available on MyEnglishLab: Azar, a dynamic and easy-to-use online learning and assessment program.
These characters are the closest I could come to getting inside a computer myself and talking directly to the learner. Creating these grammar characters is some of the most enjoyable writing I've ever done.
I wanted to bring fun and a human presence to the computer screen along with effective pedagogy.
The Talking Heads
In other words, the Talking Heads do, at least in part, what teachers naturally do when discussing grammar with their students.
Another purpose of the talking heads is to expose students to a variety of speaking styles in conversational English.
Those of you who are experienced teachers might find it interesting to see how I, as the author of the charts, would talk about the grammar to students; perhaps less experienced teachers might get some new ideas about how to approach grammar charts in their classes.
The voluminous practice material on MyEnglishLab: Azar isn't available here, but the Talking Heads are here for you to use in any way you find helpful. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy my characters — they run the gamut of human personalities.
The MyEnglishLab: Azar program is now available as a two-level online course. Easy to use and very affordable.