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Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:28 pm
by LeahD
For adult learners of English…learning English abroad from a native speaker. These adults know basic English but are trying to improve their conversational ability. Do you think this is an easy, intermediate or advanced skill? Any favorite way to teach contractions?


Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:17 am
by eric_p_m
Dear LeahD,

Although foreign language learners have to take in receptive skills (listening and reading) before productive skills (speaking and writing) are able to be manifested, a communicative full-language approach should inundate every level of a foreign language teacher's curriculum. In my experience, I have witnessed middle school students in massively populated classrooms learn little more than feeble grammar explanations. In cultures where textbooks cater to upcoming collegiate examinations, students are misdirected towards the actual purpose of even learning language in the first place: communication. When converstation between the teacher and his or her students occurs outside the traditionally accepted enclosed walls constructing the physical classroom, instead of talking to pupils in their native language, the target language should be utilized as the medium of communication in and outside of the physical classroom if the true reason for language is to be learned.

Linguistic distinctions among basic, intermediate, and advanced proficiency levels just relate the ability of students to perform certain corresponding tasks within the limits of their current cognitive development. Conversation follows nonverbal communication but definitely preceeds composition, the most difficult of foreign language analytical activities. As soon as students rationalize that comprehension gives way to the need to efficiently communicate ideas, an undeniable urge to vocalize should take place within the heart of every foreign language learner.

As far as teaching contractions goes, I just point out that contractions are a natural phenomena that occur with accelerated speech patterns and are best understood with a combination of learning about the fields of grammar and phonetics. Advanced students will study the target language's evolution and through phonetics, learn about assimilation. Idealistically, discrimination between teachers that are native or non-native speakers should not exist since both should possess the same level in their chosen profession.


Eric Paul Monroe

Re: Contractions

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:59 pm
by asa.rand
I'm trying to find out the proper spelling for double contractions.

Usually, they are spelled like: she'dve

One site I found shows them spelled like: she'd've

Which one is correct? In this forum's editor, both versions are flagged and the correction suggestions don't even try to look at them as double contractions.

Right-clicking the first one gives me the choices: she'd, she'll, shelver's, shelves's and dishevels.

Right-clicking the second version at least notices a second contraction.
It gives me the choices: she'd, she'll, could've and would've.

Speaking of could've and would've, does she'dve (or she'd've) also apply to should've?
(Should've isn't recognized by this editor either.)

Re: Contractions

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:06 pm
by Syl
There is a very good explanations in this site: ... ode20.html

The double contraction is, in fact, coloquial language, and not written. Hence, there's no proper spelling.

Syl's English Corner - Learn English and Have Fun

Re: Contractions

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:20 pm
by eric_p_m
Dear asa.rand,

This isn´t a writing problem. These forms are phonetic in nature due to rapid speech patterns, which is comon to all languages. As far as composition goes, keep in mind that contractions only happen with auxilary verbs. When a verb functions as the main verb of a sentence or phrase, it never manifests as a contraction because it receives the most stress in that sentence or phrase.

If you have doubt or want additional insight, drop by my on-line school and talk with me directly.


Eric Paul Monroe

Re: Contractions

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:26 am
by Joe
These pages may help:

Re: Contractions

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:49 am
by asa.rand
Thank all of you for your help on this. I've known for a long time that contractions are mostly used in speech. I have just wondered what the grammatical rules are concerning them. I believe I have all of the information I need now.