The Classroom

This exchange is more interesting as the speakers have tried to experiment a bit. The utterance: This tea or this tea? ‘ and: This tea ‘are, from a purely formal grammatical point of view, not strictly correct. The students’ gestures were such as to make ‘that’ the correct determiner in the latter two cases. From a classroom English point of view, however, it is perfectly acceptable at this level, as the meaning is quite clear.

It also shows creative thought on the part of the students, as the only time they have encountered ‘this’ was in the question: ‘What’s this called in English?’. The ‘this / that’ distinction has not yet been made in class. The question: ‘and more?’ shows a real feeling for the language. Previous lessons had included the phrase: ‘and you?’ said on a rising intonation, in the following: ‘I’m very well, and you?’, ‘I live in London, and you?’. The word ‘more’ had not yet occurred formally in the classroom, so it is assumed that S3 had picked it up outside the classroom. As both of these attempts at experimentation were successful, ie they were completely understandable if not formally correct, the teacher did not correct the individuals concerned after the role play. Correction of such ‘mistakes’ may reduce the student’s confidence, and curtail further attempts at experimentation.

(A) New material Names of common shop goods. Names of shops selling these. Names of amounts (half a kilo, etc.). Names of packaging (a packet, a jar, etc.).

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