Site Search:
 

Banner

Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index Teacher Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Countable/uncountable nouns. Techniques to teach

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Adult Education
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
anitka



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 8:01 am    Post subject: Countable/uncountable nouns. Techniques to teach Reply with quote

Good morning,
I just wonder what techniques we can use to teach countable/uncountable nouns.
I have a student and we prepare with her to a written grammar test that she'll have to take to enter university, so we'll have to cover this topic.
I want to do it as creative as I can in other case I guess it's a bit boring, so what else can we do after doing different kinds of exercices that will show that some nouns are sometimes countable and so on...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gary B



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:02 pm    Post subject: Count-Non count nouns Reply with quote

Wha'z up?
I guess you can show your student real objects of things we count and things we don't count. For non-count you might bring in some sugar, salt, or just money. You can ask your student something like, "How can we count this sugar or salt? With money, you can explain we don't acutally count MONEY (which sounds odd), but we count money in terms of dollars, pounds, yen or whatever, but we don't say I have 10 monies.
Your situation about your student studying for a university exam illustrates my point of why I advocate the explicit teaching of grammar rules and structures along with the ideas I've mentioned above. I doubt that this exam will include any "fun" and "creative" activities for evaluation and your student's passing or failing this exam could make or break your student's future. I think the over emphaisis on the communicative approach in recent years has done a great dis-service to non-native speakers in situations such as your student's.
Chow for Now,
Just A Couple Of Ideas And Thoughts In Motown Gary B.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
anitka



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, how about teaching such words as machinery, confidence, evil, means and so on. Should I bring all of them to my class as well?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gary B



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 3:06 am    Post subject: Count-Non count nouns Reply with quote

Wha'z up?
I don't know, depends how far your willing to go. I mean I suppose you could try to bring in some pieces of machinery and have them try to count them as machines. All joking aside, you never specified how detailed you had to go into count and non-count nouns. The only thing you could do is explain that nouns can be classified as both an abstract count as well as abstract non-count nouns. You might model by saying I have several responsibilities and name them specifically and ask the students what responsibilities they have. You could do the same with evil. Say something like I think the 3 biggest evils in the world are....... and ask them what they think their biggest evils in the world are. I don't know, just some ideas. You might write these on the board as your explaining to them the difference between using the abstract noun such as evil both as a non-count noun and as a count noun and drawing a chart giving examples in each category and have them practice them in sentences.
Chow for Now,
Your Response Was Very Sarcastic But Then Again, You Were The One Looking For Advice From Motown Gary B.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
anitka



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact I asked not about how to explain, because we've already discussed that but how to practice more after explanations and doing drilling exercises.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gary B



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wha'z up?
Another suggestion would be to watch a lot of game shows since ESL/EFL instructors are now starting to be game show hosts and entertainers instead of ESL/EFL instructors. The only problem is you earn A hell of a lot more money as a game show host rather than an ESL/EFL instructor.
Chow for Now,
Only A Personal Observation In Motown Gary B.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
noonlite



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all:

What information about this test do you have? Although this will not generally be the best approach for a student's true acquisition of English, by being aware of what the test is testing for you can narrow and focus the scope of what you are doing to suit that. Also, be sure to include the format of the test in what you do so that the student will be able to apply what you teach correctly. I've had many experiences in the past where my students understood a grammar point and could practice it and demonstrate it in various activities -some very life-like or actual real life- yet fail on the test because they did not understand or where confused by the format. Get your hands on that test if at all possible.

Also, be aware of the general set of knowledge that surrounds count/non-count nouns. It's not just knowing the nouns, but the words that go together with them. When do you use some, any, a few, a little, etc. Typically standardized tests include these items as part of the count/non-count evaluation. Generally a graphic representation of count/noncount nouns and the quantifiers that can or can't be used with each has proven very effective and helpful in my experience. A useful exercise is a rapid substitution drill where students need to change the noun based on the quantifier (a few) or the quantifier based on the noun. "Mariko went to the store to buy a little/ fruit / a few cookies...." What can make these exercises fun is using real student names and situations that are humorous. The energy and enthusiasm and attitude of the instructor is also important.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Adult Education All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Teachers College, Columbia University: Train to Teach English Here or Abroad
SIT

This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group