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4 posts, 3 voices , Tagged: checkpoint 5 checkpoint five
|wanderlust22 5 posts||
This may be a stupid question but thinking too much about English has made me question my own knowledge of my native language so I thought I'd see if anyone can help me out.
When teaching comparative adjectives to elementary learners, you would want to teach them the structure: Subj + is/are + comparative adj + than + ____ (E.g. Tom is taller than John). Then logically, the negative would be Subj + isn't/aren't + comparative adj + than + ____ (E.g. John isn't taller than Tom) but does that sound normal?
Would we as native speakers say "John isn't as tall as Tom"? and if so, in a comparative adjectives lesson, should I throw the "not as ___" structure in there as well or would that be too confusing for students? Would you just teach them the "___ isn't ____-er than ____" structure for the negative form?
If you've done this checkpoint with option 3 or if you know a bit about teaching comparative adjectives, i would appreciate your help! Any words of advice would be great!
|AlixM09 83 posts||
I don't know about the checkpoints but in reality these two do indeed go together, and also superlatives - the longest river in the world, etc. However, you need to introduce these structures onr by one, making sure they are fully understood before teaching the next, or it is confusing. Then. at the end, it's a good time for a general knowledge quiz! All three structures together, class in teams, then make their own questions for the other teams - that's what I always do.
|ianbtle123 2 posts||
Well done wanderlust, your question shows you've really thought about this issue more broadly. I have just done my own version of the question and came across an anomaly of my own - so I'm happy to share my insights. The thing to keep in mind here, I believe, is that as you have set down your target language at the top of the plan - stick to it! Teaching the students those forms to the point of competence is the issue at hand. Then having done, that you can test them on their comprehension and production of what you've taught. An acceptable structure other than the most basic one - Mt. Everest is the highest... is to move to the use of than in order to compare two or more things.
The KEY THING to remember about this question (before you go designing an entire unit around Comparative Adjectives!) is that the question deliberately restricted you to designing your learning experience for ELEMENTARY learners of whatever age you opt for. That fact is crucial to blitzing the question. There are many structures I'm sure that involve CompAdj's that lie well beyond the question as set. For that reason I decided not to sidetrack myself with the question of distance as it not only uses than but also the further/farther distinction that I'm sure a lot of native speakers would struggle to explain.
Hence though I may go with Mike can swim further than Simon and so to ... though Jim can swim the farthest. and It is further to Sydney than to Melbourne from where I live. I would argue this whole question of distance might be best left to another lesson where following review of the modes taught previously, you could consider how we talk about distance comparatively and noting the irregular form. You might come to the '...not as ... as' form during that lesson, considering these two to be exceptions or special cases that warrant closer attention AFTER looking at the basic form as given in the question set in the assignment. It is my guess that for student to be both conversationally fluent as well as fluent in writing these forms they have moved to pre-intermediate level. What we learn from all this, I believe is that even CompAdjs have a number of different forms, some of them more advanced than Elementary, some far more so. Such is the evolution of language. Our challenge is to find simple forms that will allow our elementary level students to comprehend and communicate - the rest comes in its own good time. Bear in mind the many years it took you and I to become so competent in our first language - English IS a complex language and its nuances are appreciated over years, rather than months.
Thanks for posting the question, it has really helped me reflect and hopefully my comments will also help you, and others.
NOTE AlixMO9 's response is a good one too, she's just more succinct than me!
Cheers, Ian B
|wanderlust22 5 posts||
I appreciate your comments. I managed to pass checkpoint 5 (on my 2nd attempt :P) so I'm quite happy about that but your comments were very interesting and your insights have given me something to think about when it comes to teaching not just comparative adjectives but teaching grammar as a whole to non-native speakers.