- Just wanted to tell everyone about an incident that occured here
at our university.
Yeaterday as Dave walked out of his class one of the Chinese
English teachers asked him to help her clarify a grammar question.
He went to the office and she showed him a new grammar book.
"My sister and I rode the ferris wheel everyday that the carnival
was in town."
Monica, the Chinese English teacher, said she couldn't understand
this sentence. She thought that the sentence was a run-on sentence.
Dave told her that it wasn't, that the sentence had 2 clauses,
etc. etc. Monica went on to show him several more examples in
the book (which is of course all in Chinese except for the example
sentences). Dave was appaled to find that most of the examples
were out and out wrong.
Eee gads!!!! English is hard enough to teach without the books
being out and out wrong (not just lacking context). How do we
fight this? There are so few of us and so many bad books.
I also have a question. How does everyone deal with the article
problem (a, an, and the)? I have students who when I have them
read a grammatically correct sentence will omit every single
article as they read. The first time this happened I about fell
over. I hate to be correcting the kids every time they make a
mistake (God knows it has taken long enough to get them to have
enough confidence to speak out).
Any ideas. I know that Chinese has no articles and that this
is what causes the difficuties.
- Nelson Bank asks if anyone else teaches syntactic collocation in their grammar units. Nelson, most folks no longer teach grammar units. While all languages have their grammar, most of us prefer to use inductive methods (having the students acquire the grammar through use), rather than deductive methods (having the student memorize rules by rote), since the latter is conterproductive if one hopes to communicate in the target language. One has only to note the more than a million Chinese who spent 12 years or more learning English the old way and who are completely unable to communicate in English.
Mert - Dr.M.L.Bland
- Hi All,
Following on from Merton's comments, there is an excellent DVD teaching disk on the market, the "Rosetta Stone" that teaches English by the inductive approach. The disk contains 200 lessons in both UK English and US English and has options for audio, visual and typing exercises for every lesson. It also has a special audio graph setup where the learner can use a microphone to pronounce the text and compare their graph with the native speaker to help with getting the "right" pronunciation.
(Incidently, the disk also contains lessons on Mandarin as well as 20 plus other languages.)
Merton Bland <mert_bland@...> wrote:
Nelson Bank asks if anyone else teaches syntactic collocation in their grammar units. Nelson, most folks no longer teach grammar units. While all languages have their grammar, most of us prefer to use inductive methods (having the students acquire the grammar through use), rather than deductive methods (having the student memorize rules by rote), since the latter is conterproductive if one hopes to communicate in the target language. One has only to note the more than a million Chinese who spent 12 years or more learning English the old way and who are completely unable to communicate in English.
Mert - Dr.M.L.Bland
>most folks no longer teach grammar unitsUm. Not quite. Grammar study by itself will achieve
not good results. Grammar study in the absence of
native-speaker instruction will not yield very good
results. Language study without a grammar unit will
yield sub-optimal results.
The question is, "How much grammar is optimal?" The
amount of grammar instruction will depend on teacher
proficiency, student receptiveness, and research on
the best mix of formal/intuitive teacher direction.
> >most folks no longer teach grammar unitsOne of the strong points of the Cambridge Interchange
> Um. Not quite. Grammar study by itself will
> not good results.
series IMO is that most of the units or chapters
include a small grammar lesson incorporated into the
theme of the unit.
If students actually write out the workbook exercises
they get some practice in using the grammatical
structures as well.
>One aspect of collocation that I think is useful tomention to students, especially as prepositions in
English are so often arbitrary, is that adjectives and
>verbs very often "take" certain prepositions.Yes, mine who now write 300 words with 3 errors, make those errors in
>I suggest that students memorize the prepositions
>when they memorize the verb or adjective (as vocabulary),
>Betty Azar's grammar texts have appendices
verb/prep, adj/prep and another /prep combo.
Their other common error is definite articles.
I use a Headway Advanced appendix (since I've got it).
I think Azar is online ? but I'm in the wrong programm, without my
bookmarks. There is some hugely dense American grammar I've seen
>The question is, "How much grammar is optimal?"Agreed. There has to be a distinction between old GT and new GO :-)
(grammar optimal) which will vary from class to class..
btw is Surete (the French police outfit) pronouned su ret ay, or su ret?
It pops up in Agatha Christie, Extensive Reading.
>Betty Azar's grammar texts have appendices that coverclose, but no banana.( my previous email)
>these types of [adjective + preposition] and [verb + preposition]
>combinations, but I'm sure they are available other
>places as well.
the site I was thinking of,
Mary Ansell, 2000.
prepositions are in chapter 26.
>"The material in this book may be used freely for any non-commercialpurpose, however no changes to the content may be made without the
express permission of the author. Questions, comments or corrections may
be sent to stirling@....
The contents of the book can be seen at a glance from the Table of
Contents, which contains links to all of the material covered. There is
also an Index.
Anyone who would like to download the material in order to use it more
conveniently is welcome to do so."
THe only trouble, there's too much !
- It's pronounced sur (with that French u that you have to pucker up for) tay.
btw is Surete (the French police outfit) pronouned su ret ay, or su ret? It pops up in Agatha Christie, Extensive Reading.
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