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  #11  
Old 04-27-2008, 10:48 PM
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ela newman ela newman is offline
 
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Yes, it is true that using discovery techniques can be time-consuming. And that is one of the reasons I don't use them all the time. In fact, I tend to reach for discovery-based lesson ideas while "expanding" on some grammar topic that students have been practicing. My first discovery-based lesson focused on teaching students the difference between using "so" and "such (a)"- this unit followed a series of lessons on simple past. It helped students add emphasis to the stories about their short but important experiences they were sharing.

I also think that discovery techniques may not work as effectively with beginners as they do with those students who are already familiar with some basic grammatical concepts and with a basic sentence structure. I rarely ask my beginners to discover a grammar rule, but now that I'm writing it, I'm actually thinking about forming plural nouns... It's a basic concept... If we were working with regular plural nouns only, would my students notice the "power" of "-(e)s"? They probably would. Well, so maybe there are fewer obstacles than I thought when I started writing this post?

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  #12  
Old 04-30-2008, 12:55 PM
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Default discovery for beginners

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Originally Posted by ela newman View Post
I also think that discovery techniques may not work as effectively with beginners as they do with those students who are already familiar with some basic grammatical concepts and with a basic sentence structure.

I know what you mean, but a lot depends on the education level of your beginners. If the beginners are language-conscious, that is, they've studied their own language and they understand that words have grammatical functions, you can still do some discovery with beginners. For example, underline all the subject pronouns or names of people in a brief paragraph. Circle the verb that goes with each noun and pronoun. What is on the end of some verbs? Why do some verbs have an -s and not others?

I've also had some success with breaking a sentence into individual slips with words and having students do various manipulation activities with the slips. Seeing the pattern and function of individual words in a sentence helps students come up with rules like adjectives before a noun, what kinds of words "and' can connect, no article before a city or person's name- basic stuff.

Then again, you have those beginners for whom the language is just white noise.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2008, 02:50 PM
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Yes, you are right. A lot does depend on how language-conscious they are. As I was imagining a discovery-based lesson for beginners learning to form plural nouns (regular), I thought about giving them a very simple list, such as:

1 cat 2 cats
1 house 7 houses
1 apple 5 apples
1 pen 4 pen__
1 flower 9 flower__
1 dog 10 ______
1 student 3 ______

I would just ask them to see if they continue the list. I think they might be able to see the pattern. Well, I can just put it in practice and see...

Ela
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2008, 07:32 PM
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Default Lesson plan for Reduced Clauses of Reason

Ela Newman has submitted another grammar discovery lesson plan -- this time on Reduced Clauses of Reason.

It's available under Classroom Materials/UUEG Teacher-Created Worksheets/ Chapter 18. I've also attached it to this message.

Very nice work, Ela!
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File Type: doc ReducedClausesofReason-1.doc (48.5 KB, 15 views)
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2008, 10:39 PM
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Grammar Guy Grammar Guy is offline
 
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Default Great Job, Ela!!

Hi. I really enjoyed looking at how your lesson uses the discovery method. As I read each section, I kept saying "YES!"

I have found this method to work the best. It's not only very satisfying to both teacher and students when that "Aha!" moment comes, but it also helps students to internalize what's going on and produce the grammar involved more easily on their own.

I also found the discovery method very useful in master's-level courses I've taught in TESOL programs at various universities. In fact, that' why I used this method when I wrote The ELT Grammar Book: A Teacher-Friendly Reference Guide. Universities that have adopted the book in their TESOL master's and undergraduate programs have told me that one of the features they like the most is this approach to allowing the reader to discover what's going on and write notes right there on the pages of the book to see if he has figured out what's going on. Then, further down on the page, the reader can check to see if his answer is right on the money or not.

As Maria pointed out, though, it can be a time-consuming way to teach, but its rewards I think far outweigh its drawbacks.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Ela. You're a real credit to our profession!
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2008, 06:03 PM
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ela newman ela newman is offline
 
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Thank you, Richard, for your support! I'm planning to post more materials once I get back from my vacations. I'm in Poland now and since I have a few friends here who are EFL teachers, I'm working with them to "test" the effectiveness of my materials here. I hope to get some feedback both from students and from teachers.

Again, thanks for your encouragement.

Ela
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  #17  
Old 05-21-2008, 11:27 PM
nicolse nicolse is offline
 
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Default Future Progressive/Mystery Lesson?

Dear Ela,

I know exactly what you mean when you speak of that wonderful Eureka moment!

In teaching the progressive of past and future, I have yet to get that. My ESL students find the progressive confusing and frustrating.

Focusing on the Present Progressive this week, having finished Past, I would love to hear of any suggestions you have ... to clarify when to use future progressive vs. future. And wonder if this area is also confusing for your students.

Look forward to hearing from you.
Susan



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Originally Posted by ela newman View Post
Sue,

I've created and used quite a few of those so if it turns out that they are actually "usable" by others, I'd love to share more lesson plans. I'm sure that they need some polishing, though, so I'd love to hear some constructive criticism from others.

Hope the conference is going well!

Ela
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