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Bermes Power Point Project

  1. 1. English Grammar Difficulties <ul><li>From the Perspective of a Francophone. </li></ul><ul><li>Created By: Madeline Bermes </li></ul><ul><li>Ling 466 </li></ul><ul><li>July 20, 2011 </li></ul>
  2. 2. French <ul><li>Students that speak French as their native language have difficulties in mastering various forms found in English grammar due to the direct grammatical differences between the two languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Five particular areas of difficulty in English grammar are discussed in this presentation. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Five Areas of Grammatical Differences: <ul><li>1. Possessive Pronouns </li></ul><ul><li>2. Questions </li></ul><ul><li>3. Negation </li></ul><ul><li>4. Adverb Placement </li></ul><ul><li>5. Tense/Aspect </li></ul>
  4. 4. Possessive Pronouns <ul><li>In French, possessive pronouns agree in gender and number with the direct object. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>La fille aime son vélo. [The girl likes her(masculine) bike.] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vélo is masculine: le vélo. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore, the masculine possessive pronoun is used: son . </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Possessive Pronouns <ul><li>However, in English the possessive pronoun agrees with the subject of the sentence rather than the direct object. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The girl likes her bike. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ The girl’ is feminine so the feminine possessive pronoun is used: her . </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Learning the agreement of possessive pronouns in English is challenging for Francophones because in their native language, the agreement is based on a different part of the sentence. Therefore, learning to create agreement with the subject rather than the direct object goes against their natural instinct in regard to possessive pronouns. </li></ul>Possessive Pronouns
  7. 7. Questions <ul><li>In French, questions can be formed in one of four ways in the simple present . </li></ul><ul><li>For the following examples, consider this statement: Vous chantez. (You sing.) </li></ul><ul><li>1. Inversion. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chantez-vous? [Sing you?(Do you sing?)] </li></ul></ul>(Formation in the present simple is considered here.)
  8. 8. French Questions <ul><li>2. N’est-ce pas formation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vous chantez, n’est-ce pas? [You sing, right?] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Est-ce que formation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Est-ce que vous chantez? [Is it that you sing?] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Rising intonation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vous chantez? [(Do) You sing?] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice is used to signify a question. Similar to asking in English “Take a walk?” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. English Questions <ul><li>However, in English questions are formed by inserting the auxiliary ‘do’ in the simple present tense. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you sing? (From: You sing.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you dance? (From: You dance.) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. English Questions <ul><li>Additionally, the auxiliary must agree with the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you sing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does he sing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they sing? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do is used for every form except the third person singular which uses ‘does.’ </li></ul>
  11. 11. Questions <ul><li>For Francophones, forming questions in the simple present can be difficult due to the fact that in French the speaker is given all the tools to create a question in the statement. Whereas in English, one must insert a separate word and make sure that the auxiliary added agrees with the rest of the sentence. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Questions <ul><li>However, since French can have added auxiliaries used in question formation rather than inversion such as the est-ce que and n’est-ce pas forms, it may help to relate the ‘do’ auxiliary’s insertion with these forms to help the students to remember to add the auxiliary into the question. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Negation <ul><li>In French, negation is marked by ‘ne...pas.’ </li></ul><ul><li>For example, consider again the statement “Vous Chantez” [You sing.] </li></ul><ul><li>To form the negative form ‘ne..pas’ is inserted: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vous ne chantez pas . [You sing not. (You don’t sing.)] </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. English Negation <ul><li>However, in English the auxiliary ‘do’ is again added similar to what was seen in question formation. </li></ul><ul><li>Only this time, ‘do’ is paired with ‘not’ to form the negative. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You do not sing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You do not dance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, the auxiliary must agree with the subject: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He does not sing. </li></ul></ul></ul>(Formation in the present simple is considered here.)
  15. 15. Negation <ul><li>Forming the negative in English can be challenging for Francophones due to the fact that the additional auxiliary ‘do’ paired with ‘not’ need to be added to the sentence to make it negative. Additionally, the items added to the sentence appear together before the verb which contrasts with French negation where the ne...pas is found surrounding the verb. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, confusion may be found when contractions appear in the negative form in English- as they often do. Therefore, the appearance of “don’t” may cause confusion for ESL/EFL learners. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You do not sing. / You don’t sing. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Adverb Placement <ul><li>In French, the adverb is placed after the verb. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jean mange toujours. [Jean eats always.] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jean chante bien. [Jean sings well.] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jean lire lentement. [Jean reads slowly.] </li></ul></ul>S V Adv S V Adv S V Adv
  17. 17. English Adverbs <ul><li>In English, the adverb’s placement is more flexible. </li></ul><ul><li>DeCapua (2008) states, “Unlike nouns and adjectives, the position of [these] adverbs is flexible. . . In verb phrases, [these] adverbs can occur between the auxiliary verb (helping verb) and the main verb. Generally, the sentence position of an adverb depends on what the speaker wants to stress or emphasize.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The different positions that an adverb may occupy give way to the adverb modifying different parts of the sentence which can alter the interpretation. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. English Adverbs <ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sweetly , she recited the poem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>She sweetly recited the poem. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In each sentence, emphasis is different due to the position of the adverb. However, each sentence is grammatically correct. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For instance, in the first sentence sweetly seems to describe her demeanor and personality more than the way she articulated the poem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the second sentence, sweetly seems to refer to the actual articulation of the words in the poem. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Adverb Placement <ul><li>Due to the flexible placement of adverbs in English, a native French speaker may encounter problems regarding where to place an adverb. Since most explanations refer to the abstract idea of stress and emphasis from the different placements, as DeCapua (2008) does, the form may be hard to master by Francophone students. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Tense/Aspect <ul><li>According Ayoun and Salaberry (2008), “The purpose of tense is thus to order events along a time line—in other words, to situate events in reference to other events—whereas aspect reflects the speaker's internal perspective on a given situation.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Tense/Aspect <ul><li>Definite and Indefinite Past </li></ul><ul><li>In French, both the definite and indefinite past are conveyed by the use of the passé composé. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Il a écrit une lettre. [ He wrote a letter.] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of the passé composé expresses the definite (he sat down, wrote, and finished a letter on Tuesday at 3pm) and indefinite (he wrote a letter at some point, it may be unfinished, it is uncertain when) past aspects. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Tense/Aspect <ul><li>In English, there is a difference in the way that the definite and indefinite past are conveyed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present Perfect [Indefinite] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple Past [Definite] </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Tense/Aspect <ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) I have walked through the park. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b) I walked through the park. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In sentence (a) the present perfect is used and an indefinite aspect is expressed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I was in the park and walked the paths, possibly numerous times, at some point or points in my life. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Tense/Aspect <ul><ul><li>b) I walked through the park. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In sentence (b) the simple past is used to express a definite aspect. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I went to the park, I started my walk on one path and I completed the walk, on Sunday afternoon. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Tense/Aspect <ul><li>Since the passé composé is used for the expression of both definite and indefinite aspects in French, an ESL/EFL student may have difficulties understanding when to use the present perfect or simple past. </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, since the passé composé is formed by an auxiliary (être or avoir) + past participle, students may tend to over use the present perfect due to its similarity in form. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Review <ul><li>For Francophones, there are areas in English grammar that are bound to cause confusion. The five areas addressed here were: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Possessive Pronouns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Negation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Adverb Placement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Tense/Aspect </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Review <ul><li>Once an instructor is aware of these difficult areas of English grammar, and understand why the challenges arise for Francophones, they can successfully address the forms in a way that brings light to the confusing areas and hopefully aide the students through learning English grammar. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Sources <ul><li>Jansma, K. (2011). Motifs: an introduction to french. Boston; Heinle Cengage Learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Kelton, k. (2011, February 02). Français interactif. Retrieved from: </li></ul><ul><li>DeCapua, A. (2008). Grammar for teachers: A guide to American English for native and non-native speakers. New York; Springer. </li></ul><ul><li>Ayoun, D. and Salaberry, M. R. (2008), Acquisition of English Tense-Aspect Morphology by Advanced French Instructed Learners. Language Learning, 58: 555–595. </li></ul>