305.  Subject: Re: Grammar ElementsOne of our teachers is taking an SEI class, the book she is using suggests that grammar elements be taught in the following sequence; 1. prepositions and prepositional phrases 2. present tense of verb "to be" / person and number 3. adjectives 4. present tense / subject - verb agreement 5. past tense 6. future tense.  -- Is there a reason for this?

ANSWER:

THANKS for visiting our Web Sites and for your interesting question.  My answer follows:

Frankly, no reason at all!!!  

I have no idea why begin with Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases.   Possibly because Prepositions deal with, among many things, space relationships and, thus, the space relationships Prepositions label can be SEEN, observed, and may be easily understood without the need for translation.  Observation helps me understand "on the table," or "at the door," etc.  

The verb TO BE signals "equals" or A = B, for example, "John is smart" / "John = smart."    That may be the reason for introducing TO BE and adjectives.

 Usually, in most grammar textbooks verbs are introduced in the sequence PRESENT, then PAST, then FUTURE, so TRADITION may be the reason for following the same sequence in the book you mention.  

There is really NO rhyme or reason for any particular sequence of grammar topics, except, for example, the communication needs of the learners.   When I teach TEACHERS to speak another language, I usually begin with the expression "Let's . . . . . . . (verb or action word)" as in "Let's write," "Let us listen," etc.   The next topic when my audience is TEACHERS usually is "Commands" such as "Read." or "Do your work,"  etc.   

Because TEACHERS (and nurses, for example) have some very specific commands they must give their clients --students or patients-- I prefer to meet the communication needs of the learners right away.   For teachers, naming the objects in a classroom, or knowing the technical terminology of the content area may be very important, thus I try to provide as many words as they may need right away to communicate within their field of expertise.   

But there is NO specific reason for any one particular sequence of grammatical topics.   I think what may be needed is a rationale, that is, a justification, in terms of the needs of the learners, as to which topics or vocabulary to introduce and in what sequence. 

Hope my answer helps you and your friend!!!!! 

 

 


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