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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2730
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nenna-978 wrote:
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

Don't commit seppuku just yet, Nenna LOL. We'll forget soon enough about your "huge" mistake. Wink Cool

IMHO one of the things that makes for a better teacher is simply having a slight ache or "fire in the belly" for linguistic understanding. The flame may diminish sometimes, but is soon rekindled.

For example, seeing the entry 'noun phrase accessibility hierachy' in Richard & Schmidt's Longman Dictionary or LT and AL yesterday reminded me that I made some notes once in a copy of The Grammar Book's relative clause sections. I unfortunately had to leave that particular copy in Japan, but bought a new copy, and now want to dig it out and start making notes again! Beats seppuku...sort of. Laughing Smile
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I've caused some controversy in relation to asking such "simple" questions. I wasn't taught any grammar at school and my school didn't excel in much and definitely not in languages. I do kind of agree regarding the native speaker vs non-native excelled learner part - it seems a bit of a gimmick really as just because some is a native does not make them anything special. I have had a similar discussion regarding British Sign Language which I use as part of my job - we have a deaf member of staff who has monopoly on teaching BSL as the exams board think that being deaf is part of what makes someone good at teaching BSL. I don't think this is the case as he has no understanding of how difficult some parts of BSL are and its difficult for him to explain it clearly to people as they don't speak it well enough as it is......

I've been through the rest of the questions and am struggling as the questions are meant to be confusing (some of them are even "fashionable" ways to speak) while the places I am looking for answers are trying to make tenses seem as easy as possible so they don't use anything similar to the complicated examples I have so I am struggling to spot where the mistakes is IYSWIM. The book I have is exceptionally useless in skating over everything!

I値l give you a ring when I値l arrive.
Correction - I値l give you a ring when I arrive.
Why - The first is future continuous while it needs to be present simple.

I've come accross the answer for the last one by accident - how do verbs relate to nouns?

Thanks
Aug


Last edited by Augustus on Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:19 am; edited 4 times in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I talked on the phone when Helen arrived.
I cant see a problem with this.


Would probably more accurately be
"I was talking on the phone when Helen arrived." for an event that occurred during another action.
Unless you've got some good reason to avoid dealing with Helen, you see Cool Laughing
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, Augustus, here you can be male, female, androgynous, or a guinea pig. It's all allowed, only noting that the hamster slot's already filled, obviously Laughing
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nenna-978



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

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augustus,
I owe you an apology and I will try to help you here. The given example is the most common mistake that non native speakers make. I just explain them that it's all about the verb sequences, and you can't mix the present and past tenses in one sentance. The verb TO BE is a linking verb by itself so there's nothing confusing when it says a verb related to the noun, don't bother yourself with those things, because it could only bring you the headache and you won't be motivated for further studing. Let yourself feel it, and try to explain the mistakes the way you see them, without using those academic explanations, leave it for later Cool . The simplier explanation, followed by many examples - the better understanding.
I am using this occasion to give my regards to Fluffyhamster, and ask him/her if he/she could try to write more simplier posts, because, hey, here are the non native speakers like me, who enjoy this forum, and FH gives great posts, but sometimes written in too academic style, and makes me embarrassed, because sometimes I need to read them two -three times so that I could understand them better Embarassed
Nenna
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nenna-978



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

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She痴 done it yesterday.
Correction - She did it yesterday.
Why - past perfect form but needs to be present perfect continuous


Well here you made mistakes. First this isn't the past perfect, it's the present perfect (have/has +p.participle). Why the mistake: yesterday is a time adverb used for the past tense and it indicates the completed action in the past( nothing to do with the present) and the present perfect is usually counted as the present form.

I am here since September.
Correction - I have been here since September.
Why - The sentence needs to include present perfect continuous in the form of Have rather than simple past am.

This am is not the past form of the verb To be, it's the present form, and have been is the present perfect simple, not continuous (have/has + been + present participle) you have corrected it well, but the explanation is not the way it should be.
The present perfect indicates an action which started in the past but is still in progress and is usually followed by the adverb since.

I値l give you a ring when I値l arrive.
Correction - I値l give you a ring when I arrive.
Why - The first is future continuous while it needs to be present simple.

WHY: this is the first conditional, not the future continuous, and it's formed by using the future in the main clause and the present simple in the if clause
will + if + present simple[/b]
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Augustus, to simplify nenna's input a bit

'continuous' or 'progressive' tenses always have -ing verbs

perfect tenses always include have or has

[quote]
Quote:
I値l give you a ring when I値l arrive.
Correction - I値l give you a ring when I arrive.


Use of 'will' for plans made on the spot (it's not a conditional in this case).
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9551
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnslat and Nenna make a valid point about the unfairness of hiring practices. However, employers will defend themselves by passing the buck to the market - i.e. the students who demand a native English speaker. This demand may be irrational, but we all suffer from it to some degree. Anyone want to pay for Russian lessons from a Spanish speaker? Learn Japanese from a Swahili speaker? Or vice versa?

And as for not knowing grammar - while I too am shocked by the generally poor level evinced by candidates for Celta type course ( not knowing what a verb is etc.) I try to temper my feelings with a little humility. I do not know everything either ( gasp! ) and have even learnt to see structures in a new light from talking with my classes over the years.

We need to remember that we are dealing with explicit grammar knowledge, and the need for it on a Celta course and in an EFL classroom. Yet how much of what we really know explicitly of even our own language is a huge question. A classic example could be in use of articles. If anybody really thinks they know how they truly work...
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You didn稚 tell me where is the coat.
Correction - You didn't tell me where the coat was.
Why - "Didn't" implies that it was in the past that that the individual wasn't informed of the coats whereabouts. Therefore the verb "to be" that is linked to the noun "coat" should be in it's past tense "was"


Another common learner error, but your correction is off. You need to explain the error of word order

Where is the coat? = Direct question
See the word order: qu word - where; auxiliary verb - is; noun
See how the aux verb comes BEFORE the noun? (Unlike most statements)

You didn't tell me where the coat is = Indirect question
The word order after the question word "where" goes back to normal
qu word - where; noun - the coat, verb - is
(Verb goes AFTER the noun)

A very simplified explanation, but that should do for CELTA level.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We need to remember that we are dealing with explicit grammar knowledge, and the need for it on a Celta course and in an EFL classroom. Yet how much of what we really know explicitly of even our own language is a huge question. A classic example could be in use of articles. If anybody really thinks they know how they truly work...


This is a key point. When you've got a class of 20 angelic Italian students looking to you for the explanation of why something is wrong, you need to be able to explain. Preferably concisely, and simply. You don't really have time to examine what you know naturally as a native English speaker.

Augustus: another approach that might be really useful is to have a look at an ELT coursebook - along with the teacher's book. See what is taught (and how it's named) and see what notes are given in the teacher's book for typical errors, and so on. Something mainstream like Cutting Edge would be good, and look at starter level up to about upper intermediate. The teacher's book is good for a) pointing out typical errors with the structure being taught; and b) ways of explaining the grammar.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've come accross the answer for the last one by accident - how do verbs relate to nouns?


I think you need a crash course in parts of speech!

Noun - a thing, a place, a person, a concept
Verb - an action, a state

So if I said "Augustus guinea pig" you've got two nouns, but nothing in between them that shows how they're related.

"Augustus is a guinea pig" you've got the verb "is" that shows a state of being.

"Augustus loves another guinea pig" you've got the verb "loves" that shows the relationship between Aug and another guinea pig.

"Augustus ate her baby guinea pig" (because, they do, I've heard), you've now got an action "ate" that shows what Aug did to her offspring.

A useful resource for parts of speech (and grammar in general) is "My grammar and I" by Caroline Taggart. It's a bit irritating, but quick and simple to read.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12684
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Augustus,

""Didn't" implies that it was in the past that that the individual wasn't informed of the coats whereabouts. Therefore the verb "to be" that is linked to the noun "coat" should be in it's past tense "was."

With regard to complex sentences - sentences with an independent clause (i.e. a sentence) and one (or more) dependent clauses (adjective, noun, or adverb clauses,) there are some "verb agreement" rules only when you have an adverb clause - and then, only when you have time words, such as "after," "when," "before," etc. (or if) beginning the clause.

If the complex sentence has an adjective clause or a noun clause (as "You didn't tell me where the coast is" does; the noun clause "where the coat is" is the direct object of the verb "tell") well, just about anything goes with respect to the tenses needed in the sentence; it all depends on the context.

You didn't tell me where the coat was - this is a correct sentence, but you changed the tense from the (mistaken) example given (i.e. "You didn't tell me where is the coat") and, by changing the tense, you changed the meaning. This sentence indicates that in the past, you didn't tell me where the coat was IN THE PAST (it's not there any longer.)

But "You didn't tell me where the coat is - also a correct sentence - indicates that in the past, you didn't tell me where the coat STILL is.

As Teacher in Rome wrote, the mistake was in the word order, not in the tense.

Regards,
John
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nenna-978



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

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I didn't notice the word order in the above mentoned sentance, and yes you are right there was an indirect question, where the auxillary verb goes after the subject. I am dealing with the non native students, and it goes hard for them when it's about this kind of exercise, " WHERE IS THE COAT" - YOU DIDN' T TELL ME WHERE THE COAT WAS, and the example given in the CELTA application task shows the most common mistake made by the non native speakers, at least the ones as I am .

And yes, as TIR has already said, when you deal with the students making those types of mistakes, it's more appropriate to simplify the language you use in the classroom, especially when it comes to the grammar.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
it's more appropriate to simplify the language you use in the classroom, especially when it comes to the grammar.


I'm all for simplification!

I know that sometimes grammar can be complicated, but I like to boil grammar down to its bare bones, because

a) I'm often teaching it / explaining it to people in a language which isn't their first language (i.e. I'll use English to explain to Italians). If I went on at too great a length, I'd risk confusing them more than necessary. Or boring them. Either way, not the desired outcome.

b) my own brain works from simple to complex, not the other way round. It's easier for me to build up simple principles, then make them more elaborate or complex once the simple stuff is in place. If you give me a big, detailed picture at first, I'm likely to freak out.

c) simple to complex works for students too, I think. If there's a real problem with a new area of grammar, for example, you can go back to basics and test understanding bit by bit. So in the example above, you could do all sorts of review activities with direct question word order, with nice little diagrams on the board. Then show how the aux verb moves around for indirect qu, again with plenty of examples. Do one tense first, then move on to other tenses to show the pattern.

d) Patterns are a big part of English grammar, I find. Sometimes it helps to have a few "absolute" rules to refer back to. Yes, I know that you get exceptions to the rule, but students don't generally need to know all these (or indeed will be unduly penalised by them in exams such as the ESOL Cambridge ones) until they're at a high enough level to start dealing with them. For example, I never penalise PET level students in their speaking exam for getting the word order wrong for subject questions such as "Who does" vs "Who..." The fact they're aiming for a question form is a minor triumph in its own right, so I let that sort of thing go.

(Sloppy standards, I know, Sasha! Will reserve my place in the grammar gulag now!)
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12684
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if you're teaching indirect questions (and all that implies), I'd say the students must likely be at a pretty high level.

Definitely simplify - but it's also a good idea to use the right grammar / structure yourself when simplifying.

Regards,
John
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