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Reflecting on your language experiences
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reflecting on your language experiences Reply with quote

Hello,

I've come across a question on an application form asking me reflect on your own experience(s) of language learning. Describe and evaluate these experiences and suggest ways in which it (or they) could have been improved.

I'm not sure what they are looking for in this question really - partly that can I empathise with learners but otherwise I'm not sure.

Aug
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd assume they're asking you to relate how awful your French or Spanish or whatever language classes were when you were a schoolkid, and how much better Communicative Language Teaching or whatever your potential employer is pushing (the former of which you'll learn something about during the CELTA course) is compared to that.

Of course, if you('ve) actually manage(d) to learn a foreign language to a non-trivial level, whether by yourself or in classes somewhere, you could possibly tell them about that too, and what worked or seems to work for you, but try not to sound too much like e.g. a grammar freak (what with all the book recommendations in your other thread! Wink).


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great. I will try to keep that in mind when I complete that part of the application.

I've completed the entire three pages of application tasks but am struggling with one question ......

Correct the following typical mistakes; explain the mistake in terms of grammar.

Sarah drinks in the bar at the moment. - not sure how this is wrong


I am liking this course. -- should be enjoying or I enjoy but I dont know how to explain why its wrong.

Aug
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12294
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Augustus,

It should be "Sarah is drinking in the bar at the moment"

The present simple tense (Sarah drinks) usually indicates a usual action (e.g. Sarah drinks in the bar every night) whereas the present continuous /progressive tense indicates an action going on right now (i.e. "at the moment") or a "not usual" action.


I am liking - should be "I like this course." The problem here is that "like" is a "non- continuous" (or non-progressive) verb. It is not used in any of the continuous/progressive tenses, only in the simple tenses.

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I misread the 'Sarah' as 'Sasha' LOL. Makes a change for it to be a bar and not a park bench! Very Happy
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh... Fluffy, get it right - first is coming the bar drinking, and next is coming the park bench. Doesn't work the other way round. A very good example of a non-commutative property : )

To the OP, that is not a linguistic term: don't search for it!
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augustus wrote:


I am liking this course. -- should be enjoying or I enjoy but I dont know how to explain why its wrong.

Aug


As Johnslat has pointed out, there are some verbs which are only very rarely used in the continuous form ( ~ing). The technical term for them is 'state' verbs, or even 'stative' verbs. Should be easy to find in any grammar reference index.

The basic idea is that these verbs convey a state, an emotion, a characteristic, rather than an action or something dynamic. So we can say "Sasha is breaking bottles in the hall" because this is clearly a dynamic event which only exists for a limited time - it starts, and it stops. The action happens between two clear points in time. On the other hand, we say "Sasha adores vodka" because this is not really an action, but describes a feeling, or general characteristic. Also, it is always true! It does not stop and start. That is why we'd never say "Sasha is adoring vodka." It is not for a limited time - trust me!

Usually verbs to do with the senses, e.g. smell, see, hear, taste, do not usually take a continuous form. Neither do verbs connected to the heart, or brain, e.g. love, like, hate, adore, despise, think, believe, understand etc. Whenever you do see a continuous form for these verbs, the meaning has probably been changed significantly. Compare for example:

Sasha sees Tanya.

Sasha is seeing Tanya.


In the first, the sentence is describing the function of my eyes. In the second sentence, we learn that I have a romantic relationship with the lovely Tanya, and meet her off and on - quite possibly for just a limited time, as is the way of the average EFL professional, hic!

Hope that helps.


Best of luck to you
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1828

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I enjoyed reading Fluffy Hamster's cynical take on this, I think the point is to provoke insight into the needs of learners.
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your help.

I'm still struggling with the rest of the statements which I need to explain. I have The English Grammar in use - Raymond Murphy but the way they are explaining things in this case doesnt provide me enough detail to complete the exercise.

The statement I’m going to the cinema every Thursday.
I've said the correction is I’m going to go to the cinema every Thursday and the explanation is that the sentence is an intention for a future happening (to go to the cinema every Thursday) so the present continuous tense applies. However, there is no explanation in terms of tenses for I am doing/I am going to do compared to I am going to do something apart from to say that the first is the situation now and the second is a future happening.

Is it really as simple as that or should I invest in another book the task papers suggests

Michael Swan: ‘Practical English Usage’
Jeremy Harmer: ‘The Practice of English Language Teaching’
Adrian Underhill: ‘Sound Foundations’

I dont really have time now to mess about as they are pushing for the task to be returned.



Augustus
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd re-read John's reply, and then Sasha's last reply above, and would assume that the sought correction is "I go to the cinema every Thursday". Mind you, it is a bit difficult to say, as you haven't provided us with the task's instructions, and if there were time we could discuss what is perfectly acceptable about any of:

I go to the cinema every Thursday (it's Ladies' Night, so I get in for free if I don my transvestite gear).

I'm going to the cinema every Thursday (for the time being, "at the moment", until e.g. my DVD player is fixed).

I'm going to go to the cinema every Thursday from now on - I owe it to the readers of my movie reviews.

Note that your correction to "I'm going to go to the cinema every Thursday" isn't Present continuous but rather the 'be going to(-V/infinitive)' form. (Present continuous would simply be "I'm going to the cinema". That is, the 'going to' form has three verb forms within it - a form of be, a going, and a to-infinitive - while Present continuous has only two, a form of be plus the -ing form of any lexical verb, not just 'going'. The underlines above should help make things clearer). FWIW 'to the cinema' in each case is a prepositional phrase (consisting of preposition + noun phrase) expressing a place, a physical destination.

I'm not sure what Underhill's book would have to do with this task. You can however get a good idea of his approach and how to use his phonemic chart from the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kAPHyHd7Lo


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:38 am; edited 4 times in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9299
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go to the cinema every Thursday.

Present simple for habits.
I'm obviously at the cinema at this very moment, by the way Laughing

Ah, I see Fluffy's just beat me to it, with a more extensive explanation. He's not a Thursday cinema-goer, apparently Laughing
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12085
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

K.I.S.S.

Present Simple for repeated or habitual actions

Present Contious for what is hgappening NOW

BUT there are STATIVE verbs not commonly used in the Continuous

As for the form asking you to reflect on your own FL learning I hope and pray that deters monoglots from taking up EFLing ! A menace !
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12294
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot47,

Slight addendum:


Present Contious for what is happening NOW - and for "not usual" actions.

My car's in the shop, so I'm driving my wife's car this week. He's staying at a friend's house this month.

Of course, as in the case of the first example, the action doesn't even have to be going on right now.

Regards,
John
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1828

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you've got it but I would make it a little more explicit grammatically. There are two uses of 'going to', one specific to travel and one is the future tense (going to referring to planned action).

In some of your exercises, you may want to use more than one method of explanation. E.g. grammatical (using the terminology), functional (this is the what the sentence does) and maybe also illustrative examples of the different cases.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12294
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear coledavis,

When you wrote " . . . one specific to travel . . . " did you mean something like this:

A: Where are you going now?

B: I'm going to the mall

of course, the difference would be that sentence uses the preposition "to" rather than the infinitive "to"

Which can be a problem when you're using a word that's used about equally as either a noun or a verb

I'm going to work; he's going to sleep.

So, with those, if you want to indicate future time, you'd better use the "to go" infinitive:

I'm going to go to work; he's going to go to sleep.

Regards,
John
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