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Application task
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Application task Reply with quote

Hello,

Really need to get this right......

Functions of a sentence -

Would you marry him, if he asked you?
I have this as a enquiry for information.

Would you mind closing the door?
I have this as an instruction, even though its phrased as a question its not open as such...

Will you be here for the conference?
I have said closed question and am thinking may be the Would you marry him, is a open question?

Then they have gone onto ask that I offer two examples of questions
1)Complaining (about the weather)
I've said Its so cold today!
2) An offer to help (carrying something)
And Let me help you with that.

Aug
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, they're all questions, or at least question-forms on the surface. Establishing A~THE function may be a bit harder.

I'd say the question about marriage could be pure conjecture, idle speculation, fantasy even (note the "2nd conditional" form, which is at a "remote" remove from the more real/immediate form of the "1st conditional" (Will you marry him if he asks you?)). So any "informational" aspects of the exchange could be open to "doubt".

I'd call 'Would you mind closing the door?' more a request than an instruction (an instruction to me implies more imperative in form: Close the door, would you?).

'Will you be here for the conference?' is a Yes-No question (i.e. seeks something that has the function if not the form of conveying 'Yes' or 'No' in the answer). Admittedly that narrows the "possible answer" down a lot more than Wh- Qs, but I'm not sure I'd use "closed question" (it rings a bell though). The 'Would you marry him' question is also a Y-N one, but uses a remote modal form (would rather than will), as I said above.

The examples you've come up with for weather complaint and offer to help aren't question forms. Maybe 'Why is it always raining here?!' or 'What awful weather!', and 'Can I help you with that?' would do?
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again,

Thanks for you explanations - I have googled and come across a Wiki page which seems to define sentences clearly, edited to add - no it doesnt as when I looked elsewhere not all of them appeared in a different list. Is there a list of sentence functions explaining how each applies.

Can you help me with my homework?
Request for assistance - Interrogative question

I think I've informed you wrongly. The instructions for the task were

Now think of 2 different examples of sentences expressing the function of:
i. Complaining (about the weather)
ii. An offer to help (carrying something)

Can you see any problems?

I beginning to wonder what exactly they plan to teach on a CELTA/TESOL as I have done a great deal of studying just to make the application! This one in particular I have been working on since the beginning of November and I don't seem to be getting much further forward.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Aug


Last edited by Augustus on Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not so sure about that wiki page, Augustus. I mean, an "interrogative question" seems a bit of a duplication. "A question" or "Interrogative form" would be sufficient, surely.

What's a declarative sentence as supposed to a communicative sentence? Sorry, this doesn't make much sense to me.

It seems to me, though I might be wrong, that the people doing the CELTA want you to demonstrate that you know the purpose of various types of sentences - i.e. the function.

So when someone says "You must fill in the form" or "You must be exhausted", the function is different. You could say that in the first, the speaker is expressing obligation, while in the second, the speaker is expressing a sort of reasoned hypothesis. Perhaps it would be easier to step back from the task of applying grammatical labels to sentences (as in declarative, interrogative etc) and think about why - in what situations - someone would say that sentence - and what their desired outcome would be.

So "Close the door would you?" is a request for action (i.e. speaker hoping that someone will do something for him / her), while "Will you please stop the noise" could either be a request, but more likely an imperative. (Given that the person speaking is likely to be in a position of authority.)
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh, and that was my thousandth post!

Have a good weekend Augustus!
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!

I've gone over them again and corrected them. I'm worn out with application tasks ....
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think you need to nail down the form labels before you get around to worrying about the function ones (as the form labels are much more established and far less open to debate i.e. they can be more easily marked as wrong).* For example, "An imperative sentence typically contains no grammatical subject, but the implied subject is 'you'." (From the 'imperative' entry at http://folk.uio.no/hhasselg/terms.html . My italics. This is an excellent glossary, I'm sorry I didn't remember it before, for your earlier threads!).

Regarding TIR's separation of the two words in the phrase "interrogative question", personally I don't see the harm of the compound phrase given that declarative-form sentences may also have the function of querying e.g. 'Fluffyhamster said that? Really?!' (One can't really argue that this is some sort of ellipsis of 'Did...', as the 'said' is tensed. A fusion though, maybe, but that is perhaps too "deep", below the apparent surface, handwaving). Then, you have an example right there in 'Will you please stop the noise!' that is interrogative in form initially (auxiliary before subject) but hardly a genuine or prototypical question - note the exclamatory punctuation~intonation. (I'm not sure what one should call this - an interrogative-exclamatory command? LOL). Anyway, ultimately I don't think a CELTA trainer is going to pick you up on the redundancy (more like fail-safe!) or indeterminacy (form- versus function-wise) of the addition of 'question' to 'interrogative', but if they do you could innocently ask "What about declarative questions?", as I've suggested. Smile

TIR's comments about the modal 'must' however are spot-on. And I agree about the vagueness of 'communicative sentence' (well, duh! Sentences, as opposed to mere fragments or completely ungrammatical jumbles, cannot but be communicative, even "nonsensical" ones like Colorless green ideas sleep furiously LOL ("Bonus": http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000025.html )).


Quote:
I beginning to wonder what exactly they plan to teach on a CELTA/TESOL as I have done a great deal of studying just to make the application! This one in particular I have been working on since the beginning of November and I don't seem to be getting much further forward.

IMHO training centers should explicitly select and set a formal course in grammar (e.g. that Leech et al I alluded to on your book thread) months ahead, and make sure that people have actually been following it by setting some test(s) in addition to the book's exercises. It is far too hit-and-miss and potentially confusing to set just a selection of relatively informal questions, half of which aren't regarding form, and with even the form-based ones being potentially half-baked (e.g. that one with the to-infinitive underlined as a supposed part of speech). Welcome to the world of ELT, where the onus will always be on you ultimately! <Whip crack> Laughing Wink


*Functions only really came into the ELT picture big-time with the advent of notional-functional syllabuses in the 1970s, which helped fill out the communicative impulses stemming from the 60s, but even then a lot of it seems somewhat intuitive-speculative compared to the relative certainties of grammar terminology. To really nail function labels you might need to get into Conversation Analysis, maybe a bit of Systemic-Functional Grammar, stuff like that. But most grammars nowadays are pretty functionally-oriented, especially the COBUILD one I mentioned on your book thread. Plus the corpus work and lexicogrammatical angle (i.e. holistic, grammar and lexis together, fused) of SFG, COBUILD etc is helping to add real vocab meat to previously quite bare structural bones.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimey Fluffy!

I bow to your knowledge of grammar - certainly not going to pick holes in anything that you've said, except for the big one:

In more than 20 years of teaching English, a workaday knowledge of grammar + understanding of what people are trying to get across is sufficient for all the classes and students I've ever had. OK, I haven't taught linguistics students, but here we're talking about the sort of stuff that you need for CELTA.

The sort of questions Augustus has been getting are along the lines of "Why is 'I'm liking X' inaccurate?" Basic stuff, but the sort of things you're likely to get all the way up to CAE level. Beyond which you might need to be on more than nodding terms with terms like conjunctions, particles and so on. I say "you might be" because by this level, you're also going to be informed - and I hope confident - by your own native speaker knowledge, testing of what you know to be correct / not correct.

One thing to bear in mind with labels, is that various people / schools of thought have their own names for the same things. It can get confusing.

My head is spinning = present continuous / present progressive
(but never "gerund" or "verbal noun" - got that Augustus?)

Over and out = prepositional phrase??

Have a lovely weekend all!
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I can go on a bit, TIR, but grammar and language analysis isn't as simple as CELTA trainers would have us believe (especially when the induction system such as it seems so loathe, or not quite set up, to supply the necessary terms up front and in bold), and I am often more responding to the issues that get raised in the course of a post (i.e. where necessary going beyond what the OP has asked). And course tutors simply will not have the time to do more than mark a tick or a cross and scribble the odd comment. Thank goodness in a way for the internet, where questions can be asked and answered in any number of ways, and as many times as necessary, without too much risk of serious upset or failure. And one can of course always just skim or indeed entirely skip posts! Cool

I actually really try to keep jargon to a minimum and use what I hope are reasonably intuitive terms. (So we'll definitely leave gerunds...for now. Laughing Very Happy Though I hope that Aug will have read somewhere that basic Present progressive constructions are formed by be + the -ing participle (but hell, let's just call it the -ing form, so we can cover gerunds with it too, as is standard practice now in many books)). I think there is a common core of terms that any grammarian or indeed teacher should at least recognize, even if they end up preferring not to use some of those terms.

Anyway, I've posted what I think is a pretty clear and useful reply over on Aug's 'Reflecting...' thread, regarding why 'I go to the cinema every Thursday' would seem more suitable (out of context at least) than the less basic/more "marked" 'I'm going to the cinema every Thursday' LOL.
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nenna-978



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI,
Well I have been reading this forum for a long time and I am delighted to see how many experienced ESL Teachers there are. The thing is that I am not a native speaker, actually I am from the European country mostly known by the civil wars during the last twenty years, but I have been teaching English more than ten years now, so please ignore my typos and incorrect use of the phrasals, but how in the name of world a native speaker could ask questions like thess. Those verb tenses are being studied in the early stage of primary schools and most of my non-native, isolated pupils deal with those two present tenses easily making differences and do know when and how to use them.
I do know that we, the non-native speakers, have just a little, or no chance at all to get into some ESL teaching jobs in the Middle East, China, Japan and etc..., but I assume that this guy called Augustus, will easily land a teaching job just because he's, you know, native speaker.
I am sorry if I sound qruel, and I don't want to generalise things but this really makes me mad.
So Augustus, please try something else for your career, because this doesn't seems to fit you at all, and I really don't understand you guys who try to explan him the basic grammar rules, because what would he do later???? He can't take you into his classroom to assist him.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12873
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear nenna-978,

You make some good points - especially our not being able to be in the classroom with him/her.

And I agree - it's not fair that non-native speakers are at a serious disadvantage in landing good jobs, especially when they may be better teachers and have a better mastery of English than the native speakers who actually get those jobs.

Rather than being mad at us for answering - or even at Augustus for his poor mastery of English grammar - I'd say your anger should be more correctly directed at the employers who do that hiring.

It won't do any good, of course - but at least it'll be aimed in the right direction.

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nenna. Yes, in a way, some of Aug's questions may seem a bit too basic, but grammar instruction has generally been pretty neglected in UK schooling for generations now (see e.g. http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=99116 ), and foreign languages haven't been compulsory for a while (maybe a decade?). Add to that the "crash-course" and in many respects self-taught nature of the induction process during TEFL certs like the CELTA, and you might be better able to appreciate there could be quite a lot to get one's head around, especially if one were a total novice at grammar. Plus the explanations and examples may be lacking in certain books (e.g. aspect is rarely explained that well), but a prospective teacher won't know that until they've invested in the "wrong" ones (e.g. Aug had apparently a copy of Murphy's [student] practice grammars, perhaps on the recommendation of a cert reading or resources list, and to his or her credit found it wanting). I also think that there is a tendency (neither good nor bad, just natural) to treat one's own native language a bit more cerebrally than one would a foreign, which can make it hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes (in which case, killer examples rather than yet more explanation may be the best way forward). Ultimately it can be harder to take things on faith as a native speaker of a languiage than a foreign learner (that's been my experience with English versus Chinese, for example. That is, I think a lot more, maybe too much, about the former compared to the latter. Still, the bonus then is that a lot of the notions from the former can be carried over to or translated into the latter). The main point I want to make however is that it's never a complete breeze to write linguistically-sound and watertight functional explanations of forms, even when a reasonably experienced teacher. For example, anyone fancy having a quick stab at explaining when we use Present perfect? LOL

Anyway, the aim here is usually to help, not to hinder, so most posters try to answer questions (however simple they might appear) rather than criticize and withhold useful information.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Wed May 15, 2013 1:40 pm; edited 4 times in total
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nenna-978



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed
I am so sorry, I didn't want to insult any of you, and no, there's no anger, and if there is some it's surely not pointed at you. I just don't understand the employers and I do think that you are all great and quite patient with those newbies but I don't see the point of teaching English grammar to a native speaker who tries to land a good teaching job.
Sorry again Wink
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2731
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, Nenna. And here's a thought: maybe the jobs being landed aren't always THAT good LOL. (Not that I'm trying to justify an ostensibly qualified and actual working teacher slacking off any!). Anyway, let's not forget that it's still early days for Aug - he or she hasn't even done the cert yet! But once he/she has, that'll be more than many native so-called EFL teachers have under their belts.
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nenna-978



Joined: 01 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear FH
thanks for being so kind Very Happy
When I read your post I saw how huge mistake I'd made by criticizing Augustus, so I am taking this chance to apologize to him/her too.
He/she would probably be a good teacher if he/she tries hard , because the best teacher is the one who easily motivates his/her students , and after all there are always lesson plans to help us be prepared for the classroom and students can't see or feel our lack of grammar or vocabulary in my case
Wink
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