Chapter 2 learning about language structure


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Chapter 2 learning about language structure

  1. 1. Learning about Language Structure Chapter 2
  2. 2. Language Universals: Language is dynamic <ul><li>Vocabulary changes </li></ul><ul><li>New words come about </li></ul><ul><li>Pronunciation changes over time (do not pronounce [k] in know!) </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of the language changes over time </li></ul><ul><li>Word order became fixed in English </li></ul>
  3. 3. Language is COMPLEX! <ul><li>All languages equally complex; not primitive (Spanish is easier than German – HA) </li></ul><ul><li>Language is arbitrary </li></ul><ul><li>Language comes easy to humans – regardless of race, geography, economics, social class learns language </li></ul><ul><li>Language is open-ended – you can create an infinite number of sentences from limited system! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Phonology: Is it English? <ul><li>Correct pronunciation is one of the most difficult features of learning a L2 </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher Tip: overemphasis of correct pronunciation when learners are in early stages of learning English may hinder risk-taking. Helping with pronunciation through chants, songs and other ways is best </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the following are possible English words and which would be impossible because they do not fit into the English sound system? </li></ul><ul><li>Dschang, borogrove, j ëfandikoo, nde, takkies </li></ul><ul><li>Phonemes are sounds that make up words </li></ul><ul><li>Number of phonemes ranges from 20 to 50 with English rounding out around 34-45 depending on dialect (ok, we are on the higher end!) </li></ul>
  5. 5. English Sounds not in other languages <ul><li>Your ELL student may come from a background that uses very different sounds– the following sounds do not exist in these three languages! </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese: /b/ /ch/ /d/ /dg/ /g/ /oa/ /sh/ /s/ /th/ /v/ /z/ </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese: /dg/ /f/ /i/ /th/ /oo/ /v/ /schwa/ </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish: /dg/ /j/ /sh/ /th/ /z/ </li></ul><ul><li>Phonemic sequences are the acceptable melding together of sounds in a language in a certain order – we can say /sp/ for spring, speak, spank but in Spanish you could not start a work with /sp/ - this is why a Spanish speaker may say “Estephanie” “espeak” </li></ul><ul><li>Arabic speakers may say “barking lot” instead of “parking lot” because in Arabic no one hears a difference! </li></ul>
  6. 6. Morphology: words of language <ul><li>Smallest meaningful unit of language </li></ul><ul><li>Chocolates – chocolate + s (plural derivational morpheme) </li></ul><ul><li>Free and bound! – free stand alone (chocolate, the, a, eat) – bound must occur with others (often looked at as grammatical in the traditional sense) [-s, -ing, -est, -ceive] </li></ul><ul><li>Derivational/inflectional – first changes the part of speech (speak (v), speak + er (N), speak + ing (N)) and second makes sentences correct (he eat + s = eats instead of ungrammatical he eat) </li></ul><ul><li>Even a little knowledge that there are parts that produce new words (derivational) and grammatical pieces (inflectional) can help you when working with ELL students </li></ul>
  7. 7. Syntax <ul><li>Sentences are formed of word order. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The teacher asked the students to sit down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*Sit the students down the teacher asked. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We may think we teach this in school but children acquire syntax on their own </li></ul><ul><li>Syntax and grammar: not the same…there may be perfectly syntactically correct sentences in English but they may not be grammatical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I ain’t got no pencil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m fixing to go to the store </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Chinese Speakers learning English <ul><li>Verb tense: I see him yesterday (adverb tells when) </li></ul><ul><li>Subject/verb agreement: He see me (verbs do not change to show agreement -- He sees me </li></ul><ul><li>Word-order: I at home ate (PP come before verbs) </li></ul><ul><li>Plurals: They give me 3 dollar (3 indicates plural and that is all that is needed) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Semantics & Vocab Development <ul><li>English has lots of vocabulary – maybe 3 million – average adult uses 2000 a week! </li></ul><ul><li>Helping ELL students learn vocabulary is very important – think back on that video! </li></ul><ul><li>Use concept maps </li></ul><ul><li>Key word or topic notes </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking tree </li></ul><ul><li>Word hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>These may help to develop the semantic relationships </li></ul>
  10. 10. Nonverbal Communication <ul><li>Body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and proximity convey a LOT of meaning but are not verbal </li></ul><ul><li>Could cause challenges – parent/teacher conference may need to be aware that some parents may not feel comfortable with you sitting on the desk or moving closer to show student work </li></ul>
  11. 11. Gestures/Eye Contact <ul><li>American gestures may be misinterpreted and vice versa </li></ul><ul><li>Come here is signaled by palm upward; many cultures see this as disrespectful – something you do to call an animal </li></ul><ul><li>No (shaking head horizontally may be YES in another culture) </li></ul><ul><li>Classic eye contact problem! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Proximity <ul><li>Personal space requirements are different from place to place </li></ul><ul><li>South Americans may stand closer than Northern A. wish and NA stand closer than Scandinavians do (think about pairings!) </li></ul><ul><li>Violating personal space is often interpreted as aggressive behavior – what sort of implication might this have in the classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>Bumping into someone in the US usually gets an “excuse me” – in Arab culture you will not find this </li></ul>
  13. 13. Concepts of Time <ul><li>Northern American time usually punctual </li></ul><ul><li>Time is an object – saving time, using time wisely….. </li></ul><ul><li>When teacher sees student not on task – the student is “wasting time” </li></ul><ul><li>Different cultures think of time differently – arriving late for conferences or school – have to relate to families by helping them understand that appointments in US really are for the time stated! </li></ul><ul><li>Some teachers tell parents to come between certain hours to help with this difference. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Samples of ESL Production: What do you notice?
  15. 15. And another….