The Grammar Gods Must be Crazy

To many, Betty Azar’s English Grammar coursebook series is the book for grammar instruction. People even know the books by their nicknames: blue, black, and gray. Betty Azar herself, a nice woman whom I briefly met once, is often considered a guru of grammar – a grammar god, if you will – by many. I have even heard some sing her and her books’ praise: “We get to teach with Azar!”. I don’t get it. If Azar is a god and her books the holy word, I am an atheist, and this post is iconoclastic. As you’ll see, I don’t like her books and I don’t believe in their method. But, the great irony is… I use Azar. I use it because it’s there – all 300+ pages of it. I was given it. My students were given it. I don’t like to waste paper. It is used as part of a discrete skills grammar class, a type of class that is very common in intensive English programs (this deserves a separate post). A book like this usually is the syllabus for such a class. But not for mine. This post is going to briefly outline how I take Azar’s book, which to me seems like a glorified workbook paraded as a coursebook, and turn what could be quite a boring and unprofitable class into one that I think meets students need, both functionally and grammatically. Continue reading and Listening Discrimination

Ever since I had learned about the PlayPhrase website last year, I had been trying to find ways to integrate it into my teaching. PlayPhrase is a cool multi-modal corpus-like website which allows you to type in a word or phrase and find short video clips from popular TV shows and movies that use that phrase. The clips play automatically and you hear only the sentence the phrase is found in. After the clip plays, the next clip automatically plays. According to their website:

The purpose of service is to learn English using TV series. We create video sequence from scenes that contain the word you search for.

It’s a cool website and easily addicting, but I struggled to find pedagogically valid ways to use it in class. Until today.

In my advanced grammar class, we have been working on talking about past times. Our grammar points have included simple past, present perfect, past perfect, used to and would + verb for past habits (I would eat ice cream every day after school.), and would + verb for past predictions (I thought I’d be late, so I hurried.). A lot of these tenses, when spoken, have confusing counterparts due to contraction. For example, she’s can be she is or she has. They’d can be they had or they would. In order to help students discriminate between the different forms, I thought doing an activity that got them to focus not only on the contractions but also on the surrounding grammatical clues or semantic information would help them. Then, I remembered PlayPhrase.

I decided to use PlayPhrase to play clips of the grammar in context and then have them decide which tense the clip represented. In pairs, students had a simple worksheet with four squares, one for Simple Past, Present Perfect, Past Perfect, and Would. When students heard the sentence, they had to choose the correct tense by either touch or slapping the corresponding score. The student who was first and correct receives a point. (We didn’t actually keep trace of the points). It’s a simple activity to have students listen closely while paying attention to time frames and grammatical clues in a sentence.

After each clip, I would ask follow-up questions about vocabulary, the meaning (e.g. whether different time frames made any real difference) and have students practice saying the sentences themselves (they especially enjoyed trying to use British English from clips of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Dr. Who).

Preparing this activity did not take long. I searched for various instances of has, ‘s, had, d and similar words. For the clips I thought would be suitable for class, I clicked on the # symbol to go to their Phrase Page. I then downloaded the clips (if you can’t download the clips, you can simply use the Phrase Page.). I then added each clip to its own slide in PowerPoint. I set the clip to play automatically for each slide and I also included the original sentence (hidden until clicked) for follow-up listenings/discussion.

You can find my example PowerPoint here (very basic, no bells and whistles) as well as my “slap” worksheet here.

The activity was challenging to say the least. Students had to deal with not only listening for the grammar, but for the grammar spoken at native speed with contractions, elisions, linking, stress, unstress, and pitch shift thrown in the mix – authentic English. Yes, they found it difficult, but they also found it useful and fun. I gave them the exact PowerPoint above and showed them how to use the site for their own practice.

PlayPhrase can be used as a cool tool to practice listening discrimination while using authentic speech. I used it to contrast past time frames, but it could be used for all sorts of contrasts, including different phonetic sounds, conditionals, stress and unstress, confusing tenses, etc.

Have you ever used PlayPhrase? How?




Research Bites: Explicit vs Implicit Grammar Instruction

[note: this post has been updated based on suggestions from Dr. Nina Spada, one of the authors of the study]

Grammar is a divisive word. If you admit you teach grammar, you could be shunned in certain ELT circles. And even for those circles that do accept grammar, the debate still rages about whether it should be taught directly (explicitly) as it has in the past, or indirectly (implicitly), more in line with more modern or “post-modern” methods.

While the debate won’t easily be put to rest, a lot of evidence has come out against implicit grammar instruction as ineffective or less effective than explicit instruction. If you are still on the fence, this 2010 meta-analysis by Nina Spada and Yasuyo Tomita should help you make up your mind.


Spada, N., & Tomita, Y. (2010). Interactions between type of instruction and type of language feature: A Meta‐Analysis. Language learning, 60(2), 263-308.

Twitter Summary

Explicit more effective than implicit grammar instruction #ResearchBites

Introduction and Definitions

Spada and Tomita analyzed a total of 41 separate studies (in 30 publications) between 1990 and 2006. 63% of these studies were based on implicit grammar instruction. The authors calculated effect sizes for each study and compared each group’s average effect size to come to a conclusion about which type of instruction was more effective, on what type of linguistic features, and for how long. The authors categorized studied by instruction type, complexity, and type of knowledge based on the following definitions:

  • Instruction Type
    • Explicit instruction was defined as any instruction that involved rule explanation, language contrasting, and metalinguistic feedback.
    • Implicit instruction was defined as instruction that did not involve rules or attending to any form.
  • Complexity
    • There are numerous ways to measure complexity. The authors chose linguistic complexity based on the number of transformations a particular form had to go through.
    • Simple language features were those forms that included one transformation rule and one or two transformations.
      • An example would be article usage, tenses, plurals, etc.
    • Complex language features were those that involved multiple transformations.
      • Question formation, passive voice
  • Outcome Measures
    • Declarative knowledge, i.e. knowledge of rules, is knowledge measured by controlled tasks such as metalinguistic judgments (judging whether a sentence is correct or not), multiple-choice tests, scrambled sentences, and “constrained constructed responses” that ask learners to produce an utterance.
    • Implicit knowledge, i.e. the spontaneous ability to use a grammatical form, was measured by free writing, oral picture descriptions, information gaps.


The results indicated that explicit instruction had was more effective for both simple and complex language features. In addition, explicit instruction led to both greater explicit* and implicit knowledge. Finally, explicit instruction was also more effective in the long term (as measured by delayed post tests). One result that surprised the authors: the largest effect size in this study was of explicit instruction of complex language features on implicit knowledge (measured by “free constructed response” tasks). Implicit instruction only showed a medium effect size (some effectiveness) for simple language features on free tasks.


The authors point to a few caveats about their findings:

  • It is hard to tell if measures of implicit knowledge are really measuring spontaneous production or automatized declarative knowledge.
  • If they had looked at complexity in a different way (e.g. pedagogical complexity – how difficult it is to teach a feature), the results may have turned out differently
  • The number of studies they included that had delayed post tests were low. More research needs to use delayed post tests.
  • As Geoff Jordan pointed out in the comments, the study does not take into consideration the context of the explicit feedback, meaning whether it was included as part of a typical coursebook’s presentation and practice exercises or done in some other way.
    • Dr. Spada responded to this in an email: “To clarify, most of the studies included in the meta-analysis included instructional activities and exercises that were developed by the researchers but if I recall correctly, some of them also included exercises from ELT textbooks.  In any case, whatever the source of the instructional materials they were all coded in the same way – i.e. whether the instruction involved rule explanation, language contrasting, and metalinguistic feedback or not.”

Practical Implications

This article matches quite nicely the post I made a few weeks back about the power of being explicit. Being explicit about learning and language is clearly more beneficial than hoping learners will discover these things on their own. And just because grammar is taught explicitly doesn’t mean it is support for grammar translation, rule lectures, or grammar McNuggets. Rule explanation can come up quite organically in any class, from PPP to Dogme. And, any type of grammar can be made meaningful or fun. Implicit grammar instruction takes longer than explicit instruction to have even a medium effect. So, in my view, don’t beat around the bush. Get straight to the rules and then move on to what’s really important: using the language. As Dr. Spada pointed out to me, “…explicit attention to language form does not exclude attention to meaning/communication/content other than language.  Furthermore, most of the research investigating the effects of instruction on L2 learning indicates that a combination of language-based and meaning-based instructions works better than an exclusive focus on either one.”

*Originally, I used the term “declarative knowledge”. However, Dr. Spada pointed out in an email that “declarative” is often contrasted with “procedural”. In the article, they used the term “explicit”: “While declarative knowledge is considered to be the same as explicit knowledge this is not the case with procedural and implicit knowledge.   So while you are technically correct that we measured learners’ progress in terms of their declarative L2 knowledge and their implicit knowledge, we used explicit & implicit as the contrasting constructs for L2 knowledge when discussing the findings.”

Getting in Bed with TED (Some ideas for using TED Talks)

I haven’t always been a fan of TED Talks. I’ve always watched them with a bit of apprehension, having never liked the compression of ideas into a few minutes, the scripted and overenthusiastic applause, or the elitist atmosphere of the speakers and talks. However, I have come around. I realized, first with surprise and then with admiration, that my students actually enjoy TED a lot more than I do. They apparently don’t have the cynicism that I do. So, while I still find some of the well-timed cheers and applause gag-worthy, I can now see the promise of TED, both in the dissemination of ideas (hence their tagline: “Ideas Worth Spreading”) and in the utility of this medium for my students.

TED Talks now form a solid core of my upper level listening courses because my students find the topics interesting, and because the videos are extremely exploitable, that is, they lend themselves to a lot of adaptation and adoption. So, I wanted to share some activities I have done and some ideas I have had for using TED Talks in the classroom.

First, a quick breakdown of why TED Talks are so exploitable:

  • They include a transcript
  • They often include multiple translations
  • You can download the video for offline viewing/editing
  • You can download only the audio for offline listening/editing
  • They represent enough topics to get anyone interested
  • They are relatively short, from between 5-20 minutes
  • Creative Commons license

Keep in mind that TED Talks may only be useful for intermediate and above learners, and usually for adolescents and up. So, not for really for everyone. But, for those of us who teach older and more proficient learners (especially in more academic environments), TED Talks offers a treasure trove of material which only requires a little creativity and imagination.


TEDxESL offers ESL lessons built around TED Talks. Most of the lessons are grammar and vocabulary heavy with some communicative tasks and activities, but they are a great place to start if you are looking for ways to exploit TED.


TED Talks serve as a great way to anchor any lesson, whether it is grammar, vocabulary, speaking, writing, etc. Anchoring a lesson means putting your lesson into an interesting, meaningful and relevant context. It builds interest, motivation, and helps to activate (or build) background knowledge. In other words, anchoring a lesson lays important groundwork for learning.

If you can find a connection between what you are teaching and a TED Talk, then the talk can serve as a great way to build background knowledge and interest in your topic. It could serve as a springboard for generating discussion, as context for several grammatical points of vocabulary, or as a muse for essay idea generation.

Grammar Study

The sky’s the limit when it comes to grammar. You can find most grammar points, simple and complex, used throughout the hundreds of hours TED Talks. The transcripts will really help with this. The question becomes which to focus on? My recommendation would be to find a highly interesting talk and pull out the grammar points that you think the students a) need to review, b) need to learn, or c) will struggle with. Another idea is to have students follow along with the transcript and underline any grammatical structures that cause confusion. Have them write the sentences on some slips of paper and give them to you. You now have a week’s worth of lessons and ideas. You could also use the translated subtitles to offer translation practice (for budding translators, or as another method of grammar learning) or compare the grammar and nuanced meaning of the two languages. Need to find grammar points fast? Try the TED Corpus Search Engine or analyze a script with AntConc!

Vocab / The Academic Word List

Just like grammar, there is a plethora of vocabulary that can be gleamed from TED Talks. You can focus on common words or words from the academic word list. I would copy and past the script into the Vocab Grabber and focus on less common words. And like grammar, you can also have students generate the lessons. Have them choose some words from the script. They can then look them up and teach them to their group members. Afterwards, they can write a dialogue or script using those words and perform their script for the class. They can also recycle this vocabulary into presentations or essays.

Audacity / Audio Editing

Because TED offers the audio-only version of any talk, these talks lend themselves to audio editing. Using Audacity, you can quickly pull out excerpts, speed up or slow down the audio, or create loops of specific words or sounds you want students to focus on.

Listening Journals

I am a big fan of listening journals – getting students to do both extensive and intensive listening practice while at the same time reflecting on their listening experiences. TED Talks make excellent sources for listening journals. I couple the extensive listening of TED Talks with gap-fills or transcription activities from the students’ favorite parts.


There are a lot of different speakers from all over the world on TED. You can help students explore and be exposed to different accents by listening to various TED speakers. Listen to a different one each week or get them to explore TED accents on their own. Here is a list of 25 videos featuring different accents

TED Corpus Search Engine

Yoichiro Hasebe, a professor of linguistics from Japan, has create the multi-lingual, multi-modal TED Corpus Search Engine, which allows you to search for words or phrases and see these words in their textual context as well as their aural/visual context (i.e. you can see the part of the TED talk they actually come from). In addition, you can select translations (taken from TED subtitles) which can be displayed alongside the text. There is probably a lot you can do with this, from analyzing lexical and grammatical items, noticing usage patterns, or hearing a word’s pronunciation in context.


Gap fills may seem like a traditional activity, but they have stuck around so long because they are effective at helping students work on their decoding skills. I get students to do gap-fills along with their listening journals, but there is no reason why they couldn’t do it in class, especially if you get students to reflect afterwards on why they misheard certain words. I typically make it so my gaps can be one or more words, which forces students to focus not just on single words but on multiple word utterances that may have gone through so elision or another connective process.

Likewise, TED Talks would be very useful for transcriptions and dictoglosses and I would definitely use these in any class that has a listening focus.


Any TED Talk could be used to help students with their pronunciation. These talks may serve as an excellent model from which students can practice individual words, thought groups, word stress, etc. I would choose a short excerpt (10-20 seconds, perhaps one they have completed for a gap-fill) and have students do a mimicry exercise where they try to record themselves saying the exact same thing in the exact same way as the speaker. I have had students actually record themselves first play the clip, hit pause, say their part, and repeat – but getting them to do the whole thing at once is better. This mimicry exercise is great because it gets them (hopefully) to not only pronounce their segmentals clearly, but has them practicing suprasegmentals such as word stress, elision, intonation, pauses, etc. In addition, it gets them to analyze their own pronunciation by comparing it to the model and judging whether or not it is similar/intelligible enough.


No EAP class would be complete without note-taking practice. TED, while straying from the format of the traditional academic lecture students may encounter, does give students a chance to listen and take-notes, hopefully following the Cornell method.

Academic Speaking Circles

This is an idea I have modified from Tyson Seburn’sAcademic Reading Circles“. In the original concept, students read an academic text and are given specific roles with which they to use to have a discussion following the reading. The roles include a leader (they gauge groups understanding, ask comprehension questions), a contextualizer (they research topics and concepts from the text), a visualizer (they find things from the text that could be visually represented), a connector (they ask questions to draw connections between the text other lessons, courses, or everyday life and experiences), and a highlighter (they focus on interesting linguistic structures like grammar and vocab).

Seburn’s Circles talk about a “text” and in ELT jargon, a “text” is not something read but it is a form of input. Clearly, TED Talks are a form of input and thus a form of text. Therefore, it would be very easy to adapt Seburn’s idea to Academic Discussion Circles based on a TED Talk (I am trying this out this term). Some modifications might be to alter or combine the role of visualizer (since TED often includes visuals) and add pronunciation features to what the highlighter should be looking for.

Presentation Skills

I have stopped getting my students to do presentations in my classes because 1) I don’t really feel it prepares them for the few classes they may have to give presentations in while at university and 2) I don’t feel like I have enough time to teach good presentation techniques. However, for those who do wish to teach these skills, TED offers a number of great speakers who students can watch, analyze, and model. Getting students to do a TED-style presentation would be very fun, very rewarding and most likely payoff down the line of students’ academic careers.

Mindsets and Meta

Fall, 2014: I had just learned about the fixed vs growth mindset and found a wonderful talk by this concept’s main researcher, Carol Dweck. I used this TED Talk not only to practice some listening at the beginning of the term, but also to establish the concept of fixed vs growth mindset. For some of my students, this was their last term before they would possibly enter university and they needed to make progress. Figuring out those who had a fixed mindset and instilling into them the idea of a growth was an important first week challenge. In the first week of class, we learned (or relearned) about the power of errors, mistakes, and failing – and that they could in fact achieve their goals and make their English grow. Throughout the term I constantly referred to the fixed/growth mindset and for some of my students, I could see that it really hit home.

TED could be an excellent source for this kind of metacognitive priming, and it could be using as a reference (and inspiration) point throughout a course. A colleague of mine told me about a gaol-setting video she had her students watch. When she saw students struggling, she would refer back to the video and get them to focus on a specific goal in order to overcome their struggles. This seemed to work well for her.

TED has many, many inspirational talks that can be tied directly into helping change a class’ mindset, perspective, or way of learning.

More Ideas


Grammar! That single word can pit teachers against teachers or turn any conference into a battle royale. The concepts revolving around grammar are so ridiculously divisive that it is impossible to not have some opinion on the matter. Some people scoff at the idea of teaching grammar and label it as “traditionalist,” as if that is a valid argument in itself. Others call it “ineffective,” yet do not have the evidence to back up this claim (as far as I know, the jury is still out). Like most disagreements, it is mostly seen in mutually exclusive binomial terms like explicit vs. implicit, direct vs. indirect, fluency vs accuracy, grammar syllabus vs. functional syllabus vs. no syllabus, contextualized vs. decontextualized, metalanguage-non-metalanguage, etc.

I recently learned about a teacher trainer who has been teaching student teachers that grammar is taboo and should never be taught. I’m sure this person is not the only one? What kind of dogma is this? And if you are preaching against some method or technique, it is certainly dogma as you are not presenting all perspectives and evidence, as well as experience, and letting teachers decide for themselves. If this kind of thing is happening all over, are we breeding teachers who are grammarphobic, afraid to even entertain the idea of working with grammar, either explicitly, implicitly, or as Thornbury writes: “exposure, use and feedback first, then some upfront grammar teaching to sort out the mess!”? Not only will these teachers no learn about the fundamental workings of the very subject they are teaching (because it is not important) they will not be able to help students who want to know why or how something works (except on some native intuition, which is not necessarily accurate).

Am I a grammarphile because I do teach with some grammar? No, and it’s because I don’t see grammar in grammarphobe / grammarphile constructs. I employ all manners of grammar teaching and non-teaching in contexts I deem appropriate because I am guided by insight, experience, and research not dogma.

I don’t teach grammar because:

  • sometimes fluency is more important;
  • it is often decontextualized;
  • grammar-based instruction is too narrowly focused on one specific language point when, in real communication, numerous language points come into play;
  • there are too many rules and too many exceptions to rules, so it is better to learn them through exposure rather than analysis;
  • students, especially beginners, want to communicate not learn rules;
  • we learn better through meaningful practice, which grammar instruction does not provide;
  • communication is the essence of language.

I do teach grammar because:

  • sometimes accuracy is more important;
  • sometimes things need to be looked at out of context;
  • in real communication, there are numerous language points that come into play, and directing students attention to salient ones is important to help them communicate;
  • there are complicated rules and exceptions that can’t always be picked up naturally;
  • students, especially beginners, need foundation grammar skills on which to build up all their language skills;
  • we learn better through deliberate and meaningful repetitive practice, which meaningful grammar drilling can provide;
  • grammar is the essence of language.

Do you teach grammar? Why or why not? How or how not?

Research Bites: Grammar Beyond the Sentence


Granger, S. (1999). Uses of tenses by advanced EFL learners: evidence from an error-tagged computer corpus. Language and Computers, 26, 191-202. [link]

Twitter Summary

Granger (’99) says that too much focus on sentence-level grammar may neg. affect grammar skills. #researchbites


Many learner tense errors may be the result of focusing too much on clauses and sentences rather than at the discourse level. This is likely due to teacher’s focusing on grammar at the sentence level.


In this study, Granger looked at two 75,000 word corpora made up of French university EFL students’ writings. The corpora had already been error tagged previously using the manual Computer-aided Error Analysis system. She analyzed the corpora for verb tense errors, looking for patterns of misuse or nonuse.


Granger found that these learners had most problems with certain pairs of tenses, often confusing the first with the second:

  • the present simple for the simple past <– this was the most prevalent kind of error
  • the present continuous for the present simple
  • the simple past for the present perfect
  • the simple present for the present perfect
  • the past perfect for the simple past

Granger claims that both sentence-level focus and L1-L2 interference are to blame for this. I will focus on the first claim: she noted that incorrect verb tenses were often correct when the sentence was taken out of context, but in context the tense was incorrect. In addition, over-reliance on time markers (e.g. for, since, ago) which automatically trigger a certain tense caused incorrect choices in the sentence’s context.

She claims this is likely “teaching-induced” and points to grammar guides stating rules without attending to important principles such as “tense continuity” (i.e. cohesion; pp. 5-6).

Practical Applications

Two practical applications stand-out: 1) don’t teach grammar at the sentence level and 2) don’t teach trigger words (e.g. for, yet, since, never) as hard and fast rules. She also states that, at the advanced level, tenses need to be taught contrastively.

Personal Reaction

Granger is a well known researcher in corpus linguistics and data-driven learning. What’s interesting here is she is suggesting that data-driven learning (in the form of KWIC concordances) may not be suitable for learning tenses because only a truncated context is shown. So, perhaps DDL is more useful for less cohesive or discourse-related linguistic items. Indeed, in my own research on adverbial connectors, DDL did not necessarily cause an increase in effective use of them.

Questions for Discussion

Regarding discourse-level grammar teaching, I have to admit I am guilty of focusing mostly on the sentence, and teaching trigger words too. So, what are some useful techniques, ideas, and activities for teaching grammar beyond the sentence level?

Depending on Word Order, English (or…Misplaced Modifiers)

I was close to giving up on the Twitter-verse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great PLN tool, one especially useful for teachers. It’s just that the sheer content is often overwhelming (and underwhelming), but every once and while you find a jewel and it keeps you tweeting a little longer. “The English Language On Word Order Depends” must have passed through numerous Twitter feeds before it landed in mine via Sandy Millin, and when it did find its way into a cacophony of tweets greeting me on screen, I was immediately drawn in by the title. And then the content.

In this brief article by Debra Lee Luskin, the importance of word order in English is illustrated with some excellent and hilarious examples, such as this one from Groucho Marx:

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”

This article couldn’t have come at a better time because I had just read a number of mistakes similar to these while grading my students’ work. I knew I had to teach this, and soon. The issue here is not so much word order (which is very broad) but dangling and misplaced modifiers. Misplaced modifiers occur when a modifying word or phrase (e.g. “in my pajamas”) is placed far away from the thing it is modifying (e.g. “I”, Groucho Marx). It is a dangling modifier if when a modifier does not have a clear target in the sentence. In either case, the entire meaning of the sentence becomes ambiguous, hilarious, or simply difficult to understand.

All students should be able to recognize and fix misplaced and dangling modifiers. So, I decided to make a brief and simple power point to illustrate (1) the importance of word order, (2) what a misplaced modifier is, (3) and how to fix it. Then, I created a group activity that gives each student practice recognizing and correcting misplaced modifiers in a fun manner. Finally, I pointed students to a number of resources on the web for learning about misplaced and dangling modifiers, including my favorite grammar website, Grammar Bytes.



  1. After going through the Power Point with students, break them into groups of four or five.
  2. Give each group their cut-up strips face down in a single pile.
  3. Set up the white board
    1. Divide the board into two. Label one side “Correct” and the other side “Incorrect”.
    2. For each team, place two pieces of blank paper onto the board, one on each labeled side.
    3. Label the papers with the team’s names or numbers.
  4. Explain the activity to the students
    1. When the activity begins, each student should take a strip.
    2. After reading the sentence, they must decide if it is correct or incorrect.
      • If it is correct, they should tape it to their team’s paper on the “Correct” side of the board.
      • If it is incorrect, they should fix it, and then tape it to their team’s paper on the “Incorrect” side of the board.
      • They should then sit down and take another strip.
    3. The first team to finish all strips will win three points (the second team wins two points, the third team wins one)
  5. After all teams have finished, remove the correct and incorrect papers from the board. Distribute them to a team other than the one indicated on the paper. You will have teams check each other’s work.
  6. Go over the correct answers, eliciting student-made corrections to incorrect sentences.
  7. For each sentence identified as correct, teams receive one point. For each sentence identified as incorrect and correctly fixed, teams recieve one point.
  8. The team with the most points wins. Shower them with praise, candy, roses, etc.

I hope you enjoy this activity. Feel free to modify it. Let me know how it goes in the comments!