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Grammar without meaning?

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Grammar without meaning?

Postby AjarnEric » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:20 am

I've just recently started work as an EFL teacher in Thailand. My co-worker is a Thai teacher focused on grammar. He has chosen to enforce the understanding of patterns (use of articles, nouns, etc in correct order) by having the students write sentences that are grammatically correct only.

I found this out by helping him mark homework, and it's led to sentences like:

"Myself is doing the dishes" rather than "I am doing the dishes".

Also it's led to loads of sentences which have no meaning in English as the grammar confuses the issue. His method is to get them to write 10 words under headings (noun, verb, article, etc) and then use only those words to teach grammar.

--

So...

Could someone do me a favour and either explain to me why this is OK, or if it's not (and I think it isn't) help me with some ideas for what he could do instead (written exercises for homework) and help me with how to explain to him that it's not a good idea to teach grammar sans meaning...

His argument is that it helps them practice use of articles and conjunctions and plurals...

Thanks
AjarnEric
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Re: Grammar without meaning?

Postby thlawrence » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:44 pm

You may request the Thai teacher to single out sentences like the one you have mentioned. Then he should tell the students what 'myself' is and how/where it should be used. He must illustrate it by way of simple comprehensible examples. When the student understands that it's a reflexive pronoun with which a sentence should not be begun, he/she (they) will realize the mistake and avoid repeating it. This, I think, can be the teacher's approach to each incorrect answer.
thlawrence
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