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Research topics NEEDED!

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Research topics NEEDED!

Unread postby BozFan » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:27 pm

Dear colleagues, I'm in terrible need of a few ideas on topics to assign my students to make a research in English grammar! Not mere reports, some basic investigation is required. Students aged 15-16, ESL intermediate level. Thank you.
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Re: Research topics NEEDED!

Unread postby Syl » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:45 am

Hi, BozFan!

Before I express my opinion, could you please tell me the purpose of the research? Is something in their curriculum or is it your own idea to do it? Please let me know.


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Re: Research topics NEEDED!

Unread postby BozFan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:52 am

Hi, Syl!
It's a whim of our country's education system: every year students have to write researches on any subject of the curriculum, and as I happen to teach ESL - hence, English is the subject. The problem is, it has to be some kind of 'serious' research with aims, subject, object, experiment and some practical result: a CD, a glossary, a set of grammar tests, anything practical. Point is, I've run out of all 'scientific-looking' topics and there's no time to carry out any deep research. So the purpose I'm afraid is mostly pageantry:( It has to look like a petty scientific work but be feasible for kids 15-16 years old.
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Re: Research topics NEEDED!

Unread postby Syl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:54 am

OK, BozFan, thank you for the reply.

The first idea that comes to my head - and besides the work being done with the help of different grammar books in libraries, it would be necessary for your students to have access to the internet - is a comparative study between English verbs (tenses, conjugation, declension, etc.), and other languages, which could be categorized, for example: Latin, Anglo-Saxon, European, Asian, whatever.

I don't know if this is possible to do, and if you have enough time, but you could first do a brainstorm with them, frontally, asking for different topics and writing them on the board. Then divide them into groups, each group would be responsible for a series of topics under the same category, example, how verbs are conjugated in Japanese, etc. If possible, it would be a blast to have them contact different teachers all over the world asking them to contact the respective pupils, with questions like what the difficulties are, and so on. I don't teach classes anymore otherwise I would be most pleased to help! In Hebrew (I live in Israel) there are only 4 tenses!!! and students really suffer when it comes to differentiate between Simple and Progressive tenses. Another difference: there isn't the verb "to be" in the Present Tense. In Portuguese (I'm a Brazilian) there is the respectful "voce" (you) and informal "tu" (also you) :-) , but no auxiliaries, as in English, French and Italian, for example.

The ideas have no end, trust your students, they can build up the whole project with your help, of course.

Good luck!!!

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Re: Research topics NEEDED!

Unread postby BozFan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:02 pm

Syl, you've been most helpful! Right, I'll take verbs, that's practice and research 2 in 1! I'm really grateful and a bit envious about such an ability to come up with fresh ideas:) Am I getting old?..
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Re: Research topics NEEDED!

Unread postby Syl » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:45 pm

:lol: That's a good one, Al! I'm sure you are getting a little bit tired (that's our syndrome) as English teachers! It's a pleasure and I am glad I could be of some help.


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Be careful with it

Unread postby Anthony » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:13 pm

It's been really a while since the last time I wrote here.
Listen, why to be careful with that? English students of English as a Second language get confused at the time of dealing with grammar, 'cause grammar is the most difficult at the time. In my opinion I guess that you need to get to the students with communicative functions and then without they notice it they'd get to the point or goal of the lesson. I explain myself. First start the lesson as usual but then after dealing with dialogues and other types of activities they are studying in that lesson, make a close up about everything studied in the activities before, for instance What do you think about this structure I'm writing on the board, Is it right? Isn't it? Why?. By doing so they are going to make their own deductions of the grammar dealt in class that day.
And the topics for outcoming researches needs starting from the homework assigned the lesson before. For instance as homework write them an exercise like this one. Make a research on present perfect tense, 'cause you need to go through the proccesses of knowledge start from unknown to the known. They will make a little survey or research on the content you need they study' cause next day they will sweep across it, and then everything would be fluent.
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