Thursday, January 22, 2015
By Tamara Jones
ESL Instructor, Howard Community College
Being able to adeptly use adjective clauses in speaking and writing is useful for upper level English learners. According to Folse, “adjective clauses – whether ‘full’ or ‘reduced’ – are very common in English” (Folse, 2009, page 193), so students need to be able to understand them when they see them or hear them. Moreover, advanced ESL and EFL students often struggle to bring complexity to their speaking and writing, and adjective clauses can be a great way to do this.
However, students often make these common mistakes when using adjective clauses (Folse, 2009).
- They may use the wrong relative pronoun. (The teacher which is from Canada is my grammar teacher.)
- They may leave out the relative pronoun entirely. (The teacher is from Canada is my grammar teacher.)
- They may include an object pronoun after the verb (The teacher who I like her is from Canada.).
- And they may forget they need to omit both the relative pronoun and the verb be in a reduction (The grammar book that written by Azar is great.).
Fortunately, there are some easy and fun ways to help students avoid these common adjective clause errors!
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