Grammar For Teachers

Grammar For Teachers

Grammar For Teachers Chapter 2 structure and form of w Morphology Section 1: Word Classes Words are the center of language. Learning grammar encompasses classification of words into groups or categories. Lets look at Discovery Activity 1 to see how much you know about the different word classes (or parts of speech), even if you are not always sure of the labels. Discovery Activity 1: Introduction to Parts of Speech Look at the following words. system in big

relevant obey communicate under shatter happy blizzard between warn weary confidentiality beside

rebellion 1. On a separate sheet of paper, make 4 columns. Label these columns Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D as you see below. 2. Without using a dictionary or any other reference tool, try to place the different words that you think belong together in the different columns. The first four words have already been done for you as a sample. 3. After you have categorized as many words together as you can, explain why you grouped them as you did. Group A Group B Group C Group D system in

big communicate confidentiality between relevant obey rebellion under weary Each of these four groups represents a word class. Even without shatter knowing each group, you should have been able to blizzardthe labels forbeside happy place the words in the list together with other words performing warn

the same function. Group A consists of nouns; Group B consists of prepositions; Group C of adjectives; and Group D of verbs. 4. Now take your paper and make two new columns, Group A and Group B. 5. Using the new list of words below, try to place the different words that you think belong together in the different columns. There are just two groups this time. As you group this new list of words, consider whether any of the words can belong to more than one group. Try to explain why or why not. harm remind queen poison announce cancer

style Group write A cup scream date Group B struggle Your grouping of the words in the second list should look like this: Group A harm cancer cup

scream date struggle queen poison style Group B harm remind cup scream date struggle poison announce style write

Here Groups A and B again represent different word classes. Group A represents words that are verbs and Group B words that are nouns. Some of the words fit into both groups; for example harm can be either a verb or a noun. You can harm (verb) someone or you can suffer harm (noun). Notice: The group or class to which a word belongs is not always obvious without context, context and sentence position are key to clarifying the function of a word or phrase in English because word order is highly fixed. Words need to be placed in a certain order. This helps us to understand their function and meaning. Form in English does not necessarily equal function; and, word order is fixed, meaning that words in English have to occur in a particular sequence.

Context and Function How are the sentence position of a word and its function related? The following sentences illustrate again the importance of context in assigning function and/or class. In both sentences you can see that the same word appearing in different contexts has a different function: (1) She made a wish on a star. (2) They wish to learn more about effective Context native and near-native speakers know researchlets practices. the function of a word without necessarily knowing how they know it or without knowing the labels for what they know. ESL/EFL learners, on the other hand, dont have this type of knowledge because they

Context is critical in determining meaning. Words without context can be difficult to understand. Therefore grammar taught without context may have little meaning for ESL/ EFL learners. The next Two Discovery Activities highlight the importance of context in understanding Discovery Activity 2: News Headlines Look at the newspaper headlines. Underline the words you find ambiguous, i.e. have more than one meaning. Explain what these different meanings are. 1 1.Kidnapped Child Found by Tree

2.British Left Waffles on Gibraltar 3.EMT Helps Raccoon Bite Victim 4.Kids Make Nutritious Snacks Discovery Activity 3: Context Look at the following pairs of sentences. Think about how context alters the function and meaning of the words in each pair. Consider how in English form is not equal to function. Use the questions below to help you. I. a) I practice my talk every morning. b) I talk every morning before the practice. I. a) I practice my talk every morning. b) I talk every morning before the practice. The purpose of this activity is to highlight the importance of context in understanding the meanings and functions of individual words.

Words that look the same may have different meanings and functions depending upon where they occur in a sentence. In Sentence (a), practice is an action word (verb) referring to what I (the subject) is doing. Talk refers to a thing (noun). In Sentence (b), the opposite is true. Talk is an action word (verb) referring to what I (the Parts of Speech or Lexical Categories English words fall into two main categories: form class words, which include the major word classes, and structure class words, which include the minor word classes. Form Word Classes

Structure Classes The major category Content or form Classes The minor category Structure Words words Prepositions Nouns

Pronouns Verbs Determiners Adjectives Conjunctions Adverbs Qualifiers Subsets Open Word Classes The major word or form classes are called open

classes because new words enter the language constantly. Examples include; emoticons, spam, microwave, etc. Closed Word Classes The second category, which consists of the minor or structure word class words, are referred to as closed word classes. They consist of small numbers of words that change very little over long periods of time and have been in the English language for centuries. They are fixed and invariant which means they do not have other forms. They occur only in a narrow range of possible positions within a sentence and they must always accompany content words. They must always precede a noun. They cannot follow

a noun. The job of these words is to establish logical relationships between the different parts of sentences. Despite the fixed number of structure words, they cause the most learner difficulties. Structure words are among the most common and frequently used English words. They include: prepositions, determiners, coordinator, and pronouns. Section 2: Morphology The smallest unit of meaning is called a morpheme. A morpheme can be a single word or other independently meaningful units Consider the word book. There is no smaller form of this word; It is a single morpheme. In comparison look at the words;

bookworm, bookish, and books. Theses can be broken into book + worm book + ish book + s Discovery Activity 6: Decoding Morphemes Look at the following words. 1. Break the words down into the smallest possible meaningful units. blizzard frighten teacher often truthful 2. When you have finished, think about whether or not it was easy to find the smallest possible meaningful units. What reasons can you give for your answer?

Bound and Free Morphemes There are two kinds of morphemes, bound and Freefree. morphemes are meaningful units that can stand alone. Examples include; blizzard, never, amaze, or grace Bound morphemes cannot occur alone and function only as parts of words. Examples include; Endings (suffixes) such as ful, ment, or er, or markers (inflections) such as s. Both prefixes and suffixes are bound morphemes called affixes. Several morphemes , both bound and free, can occur in the same word as in: undeniable un + Derivational and Inflectional Morphemes

Bound morphemes can be divided into two groups: derivational morphemes and inflectional morphemes. Derivational morphemes are lexical morphemes. They somehow either change the class a word belongs to or change the semantic meaning of a word. Derivational morphemes include prefixes and suffixes. A derivational suffix often, changes the part of speech of a word. Noun Adjective Verb Noun child childish

realize Sometimes a derivational suffix will only change the meaning of a word, but not the class: Adjective economic fellowship politic progression Adjective economical political Noun fellow Noun

progress Derivational prefixes only change the meaning of a word, never the class: Adjective forgettable Adjective unforgettable Verb appear Verb The most important point in teaching derivational morphology is to help learners to

recognize the more common affixes and their functions. Learning the meanings of derivational morphemes can be a powerful tool for developing ones vocabulary. Inflectional morphemes, in contrast to derivational morphemes, are a small closed set of eight grammatical morphemes. These eight add little or no content, but serve a grammatical function such as marking plural or tense. Inflectional morphemes change the form of a word without changing either the word category it belongs to or its meaning: cat cats walk walked The addition of s to the noun cats indicates that more than one cat is being referred to. The ed at the end of walk indicates a past action.

Morpheme Grammatical Function Attaches to Example -s plural noun desks, chairs, boxes

-s possessive noun the boys hat the cats tail -s third person singular verb present tense

she drives he talks it walks -ed regular past tense verb he talked -ed regular past participle

verb she has walked -ing present participle verb she is driving -er comparative adjective/

adverb taller, faster -est superlative adjective/ adverb tallest, fastest Inflectional morphemes are always the last morpheme of a word. They are always suffixes. Only one inflectional morpheme can be added to a word. The only exception to this is noun plural s plus possessive. In written

English, this is reflected by moving the apostrophe to after the s: (9) The boys book = a book belonging to one boy. (10) The boys book = a book belonging to more than one boy. Inflectional morphemes are essential for the correct production and understanding of grammatical or structural elements of utterances. The crucial difference between following pair of sentences, for instances, is reflected only by the additional of one inflectional morpheme. I walk to school. vs I walked to school. Do ELLs have trouble with these 8 inflectional endings? Learner difficulties Although English has relatively few inflectional morphemes, some of the most frequent learner errors are in the correct use of these inflections.

ELLs, for example, will frequently omit the third person singular s or the omit the past tense ed and produce sentences such as: *she like cats. *we walk home yesterday. Redundancy in Language The term redundancy refers to any feature that provides the same grammatical information that another one already provides. In other words, when more than one grammatical clue or marker is required to reveal grammatical information, it is called redundancy. Redundancy Examine the following two sentences. 1. Which of the two sentences is incorrect or ungrammatical in Standard American

English? 2. Underline those elements in the sentence you choose that make it ungrammatical. (a) Yesterday, two teachers expressed their feelings about Johns grade. (b) Yesterday, two teacher express their feeling about Johns grade. The second of the two sentences (marked with an *) is an ungrammatical Standard American English sentence. (a) Yesterday, two teachers expressed their feelings about Johns grade. (b) *Yesterday, two teacher express their feeling about Johns grade.

(b) Yesterday, two teacher express their feeling about Johns grade. * the nouns teacher and feeling have not received the plural inflection s * express- the lack of the past tense inflection ed causes the sentence to be grammatically incorrect. It does not meet the redundancy requirements of the English language. Why do I have to understand inflectional endings and what do they have to do with redundancy in terms of teaching ELLs? Learner difficulties For ELLs, the inflectional endings require at least some explicit language instruction. ELLs need explicit instruction regarding these forms

because they may not hear the inflectional endings. The sound of them is reduced.

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