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Grammar Issues
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 559
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Grammar Issues Reply with quote

Hey guys. I could use some suggestions. I have an adult class that is working on prepositions followed by gerunds. I am trying to think of a good activity for them to practice using them in conversation, but I can't seem to come up with anything. Anyone here have any good tips or ideas to share from those of you who have way more experience in this type of situation?

It's nice to learn grammar points, but is a bit problematic if they can't actually apply it.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a very minor point to have a whole lesson on.

A few come to mind.

What are you interested in? Or past tense for long ago.
...interested IN gardening, writing, taking pictures, etc.

What are you thinking about doing? Or past tense thought, for a specific point in one's life.
...thinking ABOUT buying a new car, baking a cake, starting an exercise program, etc.

what is this used for? Good to explain certain tools or body parts.
...used FOR peeling fruit, pulling out nails, pumping blood, etc.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 559
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for answering, Glenski. The way I do the lesson is the first half consisting of talking (my prompting it, anyway) and the seond half going over some point.

With this group, they really want to focus on grammar points, and this was one of the ones that they requested. I just want to have them practice using them as opposed to just learning the grammar and not applying it. So gerunds and prepositions and when to use them, etc., is what they were having issues with, I think, as they would make mistakes (with gerunds) like, "I go to shopping", for example. In all honesty, I'm trying to show them when to use gerunds and when to use the infinitive form of verbs. I decided to introduce prepositions too and how, for the most part, you always use the gerund-form of the verb if it comes after it, and how "to" is a bit trickier because you have to determine whether it's being used as a preposition or not.

Other things they want to learn how to use better/work on...
Relative pronouns
Should have/Should not have + verb (past participle)
Ought to have + verb (past participle)
Subject + be + (said to) + be (for example, "He is said to be the richest person in the world.)
In order to~
So as to~

Anyway, I know they need to find more reasons to speak more or more ways to speak while in class. Just trying to think of something to prompt more conversation out of them that will actually benefit them.

Personally, I feel I need to revamp and try another tactic anyway, since my boss stays on my case about how they don't talk enough in class, even though I'm doing what they asked for. "If they wanted to learn grammar, they could study from a book." ><

Edit: Without thinking, I typed "past tense", when I realized that for those situations, you'd use the past participle, not the past tense.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9030
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some games and activities for this language area in the Teacher's books for Cutting Edge and English File series.

Best of luck!
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
With this group, they really want to focus on grammar points, and this was one of the ones that they requested.
Who exactly are they?

Quote:
In all honesty, I'm trying to show them when to use gerunds and when to use the infinitive form of verbs.
You know, of course, that sometimes either will do, and that knowing sometimes is such a nuance that IMO it is pointless to trying to teach.

Quote:
Other things they want to learn how to use better/work on...
Relative pronouns
Should have/Should not have + verb (past participle)
Ought to have + verb (past participle)
Subject + be + (said to) + be (for example, "He is said to be the richest person in the world.)
In order to~
So as to~
IMO most of these are pretty trivial.

Quote:
Anyway, I know they need to find more reasons to speak more or more ways to speak while in class. Just trying to think of something to prompt more conversation out of them that will actually benefit them.
What is the purpose of them studying?

Quote:
Personally, I feel I need to revamp and try another tactic anyway, since my boss stays on my case about how they don't talk enough in class, even though I'm doing what they asked for.
Students don't always know what they need. You should just talk 20% of the time and give them all the rest to practice. Board games, info gap, surveys, opinion sessions, whatever their level can handle.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 890
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
Should have/Should not have + verb (past participle)


Ah!! That's a goodie! Very Happy

You can tell them your goldfish died because you didn't feed it and you failed a test because you didn't study and you forgot your mums brithday because you didnt remember it and a few other things like that. Afterwards it is quite easy to show the form. Then tell Ss to think of something they forgot to do and why then have says do the old "I told you you should have..." Cool
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 559
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski: I feel that they are pretty trivial too, but those are just a few examples. as for their purposes, one wants to work towards becoming a teacher and the other for the small group seems to just want to communicate with English speakers in general as well as travel, but as he put it, "I want to learn everything".

I guess since they're adults, I'm hesitant with games as I worry that I'll patronize them, but personally, I'd rather do something like games.
I'm personally ready to go to something else so they can do more speaking practice. I know they're capable of it, though. The male student is very enthusiastic to learn pretty much everything and does try his best to apply what he learns in class outside of it, whether it's with me or others. The other one...as he put it himself...is a bit lazy and isn't particularly a people person, even with Japanese. She wants to speak more, but seems to limit that to only class.

I wish I actually used a text at this school. I have to think of everything on my own and lack full structure. This is very difficult for me and I have a little over 5 months to go until this job is finished. >< I don't want to let anyone down in my last few months working here.

Cool Teacher: That's not a bad idea. Wish I'd thought of that. lol
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Abdullah the Enforcer



Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 42
Location: In a hole

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
Edit: Without thinking, I typed "past tense", when I realized that for those situations, you'd use the past participle, not the past tense.


Abdullah wonder, why do posters type this kind of post when they don't have to?

Abdullah think, just erase wrong word and write "past tense"!

Nothing surprise Abdullah now.

Abdullah has seen it all.

Now, Abdullah think that Dave site is some kind of confessional to mistake.

Abdullah absolve ssjup81 of sin of mistake.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
Glenski: I feel that they are pretty trivial too, but those are just a few examples. as for their purposes, one wants to work towards becoming a teacher and the other for the small group seems to just want to communicate with English speakers in general as well as travel, but as he put it, "I want to learn everything".
Wait. You have only 2 students? Kind of misleading. You referred to it as a class and group earlier, and only now do we learn it is only 2 people.

You are stuck more than you let on. These people seem to be nearly opposites, which will make it even harder to teach.

The old "I want to learn everything" approach sucks, plain and simple. That kind of student kills themselves and teachers with an unfocused drive. I suggest narrowing his needs as much as possible.

Quote:
guess since they're adults, I'm hesitant with games as I worry that I'll patronize them, but personally, I'd rather do something like games.
Don't call them games. They are activities or exercises.


Quote:
I'm personally ready to go to something else so they can do more speaking practice. I know they're capable of it, though. The male student is very enthusiastic to learn pretty much everything and does try his best to apply what he learns in class outside of it, whether it's with me or others. The other one...as he put it himself...is a bit lazy and isn't particularly a people person, even with Japanese. She wants to speak more, but seems to limit that to only class.
Tough pair to work off each other. Don't. Cater to the idea that both actually do want to learn, and if the lazy one doesn't perk up, it's their choice to drop. Keep the other one interested, tho. Show both how relevant the lessons are to life and their needs. Best you can do.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 559
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about that. Yes, this is a small school, so small "classes". The most I have to a class is maybe four or five. They used to have a third person, but he switched to Tuesday nights with other students. Still three for them.

Yeah, they are a bit opposite, but do get along very well (so they have that going for them a bit). That aside, though, the male student said that "the opposite of you (referring to me), is" the female student. Sometimes she's sociable, but she does want to speak more. So for tomorrow night's class, I am going to try something different with the pair of them. I want to do some type of speaking exercises and discussion, but I still can't make up my mind as to what. I really wish they followed an official text, so that I can come up with something a bit more structured or have more to work off of.

Oh, and yes, you are right. I really shouldn't refer to them as "games".

Oh, and as for the one who said, "everything", he's very focused on improving his English. He's very very very motivated to the fact that he puts himself out there to practice practically anything he's learned, whether it was from me or through something else, but yeah, the "everything" thing is vague. It's just like another student I have who said the same thing, which was highly frustrating (the one I mentioned earlier who used to be in the same class as the male and female student that we're currently discussing).

As for the female student, she's a nice person, but I can tell that she grows bored easily, so that always worries me. I just have to engage them in conversation more (that's what's being requested of me from my boss, because, as he puts it, "this is an English conversation school"), and as for the last thing you said there, I would do that, but the boss says otherwise. ^^

Either way, thanks for the advice. I hope I can think of something.

Planning for these classes are pretty challenging, but when it comes to that one, it feels pretty much impossible at times, even though both are good people. They always do their homework, that type of thing.

Anyway, I hope I can manage something.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
As for the female student, she's a nice person, but I can tell that she grows bored easily, so that always worries me.
Do you know the reason she's bored?

lesson too easy? too hard?
topic not relevant for her needs?
she is just tired from other stuff she did that day?

[quote] I just have to engage them in conversation more (that's what's being requested of me from my boss, because, as he puts it, "this is an English conversation school"), and as for the last thing you said there, I would do that, but the boss says otherwise. ^^/quote]Do you mean that your boss disagrees that lessons, even applying them with just conversation, does not have to be relevant to how they would actually apply English in the real world? If so, I think someone needs his head examined. Even HS kids nowadays are sick of the "teach to the test" approach. That is one reason they come to university disinterested and unmotivated to learn more English.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 559
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think she grows bored, because most times she's tired from work. Oh, and as for "games"...activities, she doesn't like them in a general sense, to my knowledge. Not much anyway, which is another reason why I've been hesitant to do activities of that nature with them.

I misread. What I kind of meant was that since both seem to want to learn more about proper ways to use grammar or want to apply ways to use grammar, so of course I spend time catering to that particular need. My boss was the one to say, "If they want to learn grammar they can learn it at home" or from the internet, etc., and that they should be "talking" whenever there.

Meh, I'm still lost on what to work on with those two specifically anymore to prompt more conversation out of them. I was thinking about having them read an article, and then come to class and discuss it or I write up scenarios where they have to read off of one another, but replace/substitute some of the dialogue with something they may have learned.

I do have Face 2 Face...the beginner text. Maybe I could get some ideas as to what to use from there as far as speaking activities go.
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bibbity_bob



Joined: 06 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Between some slags shouting and someone being bottled, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a great website called teachitworld which has a range of resources for English classes, activities, worksheets. If you sign up for the free membership then you can print off pdfs.

I've used it for years and it's great when you're not following a textbook. Should be helpful.
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ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 559
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks bibbity_bob for the suggestion. I forgot to thank you earlier. I'm trying to plan again, and am looking throughout the site you recommended. I'm working on expressing opinions. I didn't fully get into it, so this week will be my last time ever working on it. I'm trying to think of a way to build up on that.

Oh, maybe I could get some ideas as to what you guys would do with the other duo I have (used to be a trio).

One of the students (40s) of this small group is a nurse. She has good vocabulary, but her pronunciation isn't very good and she sometimes make grammar mistakes in her speaking and writing.

The other one (60s) is a former English teacher. She usually makes no mistakes. Her vocabulary is very good, she's self-aware of when she makes a grammar mistake and corrects herself on the spot, and enjoys talking.

They don't use a text either. Anyway, what I've been doing with them (which is getting boring, imo) is that I pick an article, have them take it home, read about it, gather their thoughts, and then bring the article back and we all discuss it, but they aren't getting much out of that, I'm sure. Before that, I planned out grammar lessons to help them practice...but my boss told me they disliked that, so I started doing the article thing. No complaints yet. The only thing I do go over, are certain words used in the article that they may or may not understand, or ones that I think they may have trouble with. I feel underwhelmed by this.

If in this situation, what would you all do with this pair? I feel that pair work and discussion would work best, personally...but...I dunno. I wish everyone was paired up by level or interest. For example, the nurse wants to do better with her English because of her job. The other just wants to keep her English fresh in her mind.

I guess what I'm curious of is how do you all manage to cater to the weaker student without possibly patronizing the stronger one?


Last edited by ssjup81 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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funkyging



Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there english is both conversational and they have computers, access to english books or a ipad etc you could do as book club kind of scenario. Find out what books there into and give them an assigned book ( the whole thing or set chapters depending on how often you have lessons)

You could easily do a whole lesson on a few chapters. cover grammer used in the book, new words that they would like to hear in conversation the list could go on!

But then again it all depends on there access to english material
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