Monday, 31 August 2009

Subject-verb agreement, a never ending story

Time and time and time again throughout the school year I have to tell my students to check their written texts for subject-verb agreement. It seems like getting rid of these mistakes is almost impossible for some. Several times students have also come to me towards the end of the year and asked me what I actually mean when I say "concord mistakes. I know that we sometimes just have to spell things out to the students, but I must say I get a bit frustrated that they do not ask until the end of the year if they have not understood anything about this grammatical topic...

As an attempt to prevent this from happening this year, and in an attempt to try to teach them all what I mean by "concord" at an early stage, I start off this week's lesson by putting focus on the problem. My plan is to give the students a short introduction to the topic in which I tell some of the basic rules, and that they then work on various tasks individually. Since this will be the first day of English with their brand new computers, most of the activities are taken from a couple of web pages, NDLA and Exploring English. These pages and the activities they offer show me that I am not the only teacher fighting this problem in the classroom...

Picture from "Common English Grammar Mistakes"

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