General grammar midterm exam

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General grammar midterm exam

  1. 1. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamer It is worth stating from the outset that learning a second or a foreign language is ofparamount importance in everybody’s life broadly speaking and in the educational progresstrack of learners and employed in particular. Personally speaking, learning a secondlanguage and/or a foreign one has always been a significant inspiring experience in my life asonce a learner, then later as a teacher then now as both. This mixture or combination of learning and teaching roles has enabled me to look atthe teaching and learning of a second language from different varied perspectives, thosefrom the learner’s eyes and the others from the teacher’s. it also helped me first considerthe difficulties critically and rationally I once had as a learner approaching learning a secondlanguage and then second to seek better ways to teach a second or a foreign language to mycurrent and future learners in a more professional and inspiring way, but this time as ateacher. Teachers always teach, yet, they do not teach the same way for the simple reasonthat they embed more or less certain different theories in a practical way in their teachingbased on their different personal experiences regarding learning and teaching a secondlanguage both as learners and teachers. Therefore, the fact that English grammar has its ownset of complicated rules and regulations makes it a tough language to master. A goodnumber of students struggle with these rules. These exacting and tricky rules and challengesmake it necessary for any teacher of English to have a formal training in teaching practicesand methods. It is not enough to have sufficient skills in listening and understanding thelanguage only. Even a native speaker of the English language requires a methodical andintensive training program to qualify as a good teacher of English as a foreign language. Inthis narrative paper, I will shed light on my experience in learning a second and a foreignlanguage including a discussion of certain English grammatical structures that I have studiedTEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  2. 2. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamerso far this year in comparison and contrast to English, French and Arabic languages that Ihave learnt at school. The focus will be mainly on these grammatical structures: adjectives,adverbs, determiners and negation. I will also give some room to reflect upon the teachingdemonstrations, lessons and activities I have seen so far and how effective they are tostudents in the Moroccan context. To begin with, adjectives in English seem to have simple structures and are easier tounderstand and use than it is the case in French and Arabic. While in English the sameadjective form can be used with masculine, feminine, singular and plural with no change inthe form, adjectives in French and Arabic are of more complex structure. An adjective mustagree in gender and number with the noun it modifies. French and Arabic adjectivestherefore have four forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural andfeminine plural. The masculine singular is also an adjectives basic form, which is listed indictionaries. The feminine singular is normally formed by adding -e to the basic form. In theexample below I will compare some adjectives from French with other adjectives in Englishregarding the difference in terms of the forms of adjectives: Examples: French English Un homme élégant* An elegant* man Une femme élegante* An elegant* woman Un bureau Lourd* A heavy* desk Une voiture lourde* A heavy* car *elegant and heavy have got the same form for both man (masculine) and woman (feminine) * élégant / lourd (masculine)/ élégante / lourde (feminine) have got different forms for referring to different genders.TEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  3. 3. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamer The plural of adjectives in French is normally formed by adding -s to the singular(masculine and feminine respectively). However, in English adjectives keep the same formwhether the noun they modify is singular or plural as you can see in the examples below: French English Singular Plural Singular PluralUn home riche des gens riches A rich man Rich menUne belle femme Des belles femmes A beautiful woman Beautiful women These complicated rules and structures make it often difficult and confusing forstudents learning French as a second language as the case in Morocco. They noticeably findout such a big difference between these two languages when they start learning English forthe first time. Personally speaking, I had hard time understanding and learning how tocorrectly use adjectives in French in different learning stages of my life from primary stage,through middle and high school stages to college stage. The thing I have never encounteredlearning adjectives in English. Most adjectives in French, when used attributively, appear after their nouns: le vinrouge ("the red wine"). A number of adjectives (often having to do with beauty, age, or size…etc) come before their nouns: une belle femme ("a beautiful woman"). However, someadjectives change position depending on their meaning, sometimes preceding their nounsand sometimes following them. To give an example, un homme grand means "a tall man",whereas un grand homme means "a great man". However if we have a look at Arabic, all adjectives occur after the noun. English: A beautiful car A handsome boyTEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  4. 4. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamer Sayaratun jamilatun waladun wassim Arabic: As far as adverbs are concerned, as in English, adverbs in French are used to modifyadjectives, other adverbs and verbs or clauses. Most adverbs are derived from an adjectiveby adding the suffix -ment to its feminine form (-ment is analogous to the English suffix -ly),though some adverbs are derived irregularly just like the case with irregular adverbs inEnglish. Let’s see more examples showing this similarity between English Adverbs and FrenchAdverbs: English FrenchPeter walks slowly Peter marche doucementTom speaks quickly (quick + ly) Tom parle rapidement (rapide + ment) Thus, from my personal perspective based on my personal learning backgroundregarding French as my second language and English as a foreign language, I think that theuse of adverbs in French is somehow easy and As for negation, I can shed light on some similarities and differences between Englishand French regarding this grammatical structure. Again here, negation in English seems to beplain and easier than negation in French which sounds complex. French usually expressesnegation in two parts, with the particle ne attached to the verb, and one or more negativewords that modify the verb. Negation encircles a conjugated verb with ne after the subjectand the negative adverb after the conjugated verb. However in English negation wordsusually occur after the subject and before the main verb. See the examples belowTEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  5. 5. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamer Examples: French Englishje ne sais pas I do not knowIl ne fume pas He does not smoke This difference makes some learners make mistakes by misusing certain grammaticalrules when they get grammatical interference from French to English. I have personallynoticed, throughout the 6 year of my teaching, lots of mistakes done by students. Some ofthose are shown in the following: I know not … / I have not … / I watched not… However, there are certain structures with negation words which are the same inboth languages, English and French like in the given examples below: French EnglishIl ne fume plus. He does not smoke anymoreNous navons vu personne. We did not see anybody Another similarity is that it is possible for rien and personne to be used as the subjectof a sentence, which moves them to the beginning of the sentence (before the ne) just likethe case in English:French EnglishRien nest certain. Nothing is certain.Personne nest arrivé. Nobody came. Another grammatical structure where differences are well manifested betweenEnglish and French are articles and determiners. In French, articles and determiners agree ingender and number with the noun they determine; this inflection is made in speech as wellas in writing. Perhaps for this reason, they are required in French much more often than inEnglish.TEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  6. 6. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamer French has three articles: definite, indefinite, and partitive. The difference betweenthe definite and indefinite articles is similar to that in English (definite: the; indefinite: a, an),except that the indefinite article has a plural form (~some). The partitive article is similar tothe indefinite article, but is used for uncountable nouns. Articles French Englishle, la, (definite) the (definite)un, une (Indefinite) a, an (Indefinite) In English articles be it definite or indefinite are used with both masculine andfeminine, however in French there is a distinction between masculine articles and feminineones. Le and un for masculine and la and une for feminine. This makes it again hard forlearners of French as a second language to use the appropriate article with certain words.This personally happens to me that I sometimes get confused whether to use masculine orfeminine article with a particular word. Yet, in English it is much easier to use definite andindefinite articles with words. English: the house, the car, the boy, the book, a man, a woman, French: La maison, la voiture, Le garçon, Le livre, un homme, une femme As regards the activities and techniques we have been exposed to during GeneralEnglish Grammar presentations so far, I believe all of them are interesting and motivating inthe sense that they all without exception tried to involve the learners in such a dynamic waywhich I personally lacked in most of English Grammar classes I had at high school. Most ofmy former teachers taught grammar as a set of rules to be understood, remembered andmastered throughout immediate practical exercises in the textbooks or workbooks or on theTEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  7. 7. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamerblackboard. I have not noticed much of contextualized situations where I and other formerlearners could practice the newly taught grammatical structures in a vivid, motivating andmeaningful way. Thus, the techniques and activities my classmates have demonstrated andconducted during the teaching of grammatical structures were rich, inspiring, effective andpractical. Role plays, scenarios, narrative short paragraphs, group activities, the use of powerpoint, videos, songs, …to name but a few were all helping in the hole understanding of thegrammatical structures. Besides, we as learners were much involved in the whole process ofthe activities which was crucial in grasping the structures. Furthermore, the incorporation ofICT in teaching was of great importance, help and motivation for all of us. It also saved muchof in-class time which we have seized for better reflections about our learning. However,before in the past, there was not much focus on the group activities. Most of exercises weredone either individually or sometime in pairs. Finally, I entirely believe that such activitiesare surely effective for teaching my students and also suitable for the English teaching inMorocco which has witnessed remarkable changes gearing toward more use of variedactivities along with authentic learning materials and ICT potentials and facilities to create anappropriate learning context for learners in order to be good communicators anddistinguished producers. All in all, teaching English grammar to learners of English as a second or foreignlanguage is not an easy task to do. Therefore, Teachers have to be prepared for the mostbizarre mistakes learners may come up with at any time, and need to know how to handlethese delicate situations appropriately. Opting for suitable effective methods, techniquesand approaches is mandatory nowadays. Teachers know best their students and are calledTEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU
  8. 8. TEFL & ICT MA Program 2012 -2013English General Grammar Instructors: Dr. Mrs. Jennifer EvansMid. Term Exam Paper Dr. Youssef Tamerupon to make their best in making their classrooms a better space for authentic learning totake place. They should not forget that the ultimate goal after all is not just using certaingrammar mechanics to come up with correct sentences, but how well they can use thelanguage learnt as one entity for effective communication in real contexts.TEFL & ICT MA Program By Yassine AIT HAMMOU

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