Author Topic: Reading, Grammar, and Noticing  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline candrsn3

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Reading, Grammar, and Noticing
« on: April 11, 2018, 11:08:42 AM »
Teaching pronouns (subject, object, reflexive) to beginners can be tricky because they may come from a language without multiple pronoun cases. Helping learners wrap their minds around when to use which case is a hard-fought battle. One technique I've had success using is a "noticing" -type activity. In this activity, learners read a passage (from any "pronouns" grammar textbook chapter) and highlight subject pronouns (I, he) in red, object pronouns (me, him) in green, and reflexive pronouns (myself, himself) in blue as they go along. Because they probably do not know the grammatical terms (subject/object/reflexive) for these words, just list all of the pronouns of each kind in three separate columns or rows and make it clear which color is for each. Then, introduce the idea that sentences usually follow a Subject, Verb, Object order in English. Tell them to find the subject of each sentence (or subjects, if there is more than one clause). At this point, they will "notice" that each subject they found is RED. Next, tell them to find the object(s) of each sentence. In every case where the object is a person, they will notice that the object is GREEN or BLUE. Now, tell them to derive the rule, basically answering the question, "What determines if the object is GREEN or BLUE?" Students who guess correctly will say that the object is BLUE (reflexive pronoun) if the subject and the object are the SAME PERSON. If the subject and the object do not refer to the same person, the object will be GREEN (object pronoun).