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Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

Written Assignment 2

Language Related Tasks

Rusiru Kalpagee Chitrasena


CELTA (Part-time) Trainee- The British Council, Colombo

18-05-2014

Contents
Section 1: Grammar
Table 1: When I arrived at the cinema, the film had started. (Intermediate)

Table 2: My grandfather would always have sweets in his pocket for us. (upper-intermediate)

Table 3: Its too heavy to lift. (pre-intermediate)

Table 4: Youre filthy dirty! What have you been doing? (intermediate)

Section 2: Vocabulary
Table 5: library vs. bookshop (elementary)

10

Table 6: He looked the word up in a dictionary. (pre-intermediate)

11

Table 7: She couldnt make ends meet with 3 children and so many bills. (advanced)

13

Bibliography

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Section 1: Grammar

Language:
When I arrived at the cinema, the film had started. ( Intermediate)
Meaning:

I arrived at the cinema. The film started before I arrived there.

When there are two past actions, the past perfect is used to refer to the earlier action.

Timeline:

CCQs:

How many past actions are there? (Two)

Did both actions happen at the same time? (No)

Did the film start after I arrived at the cinema? (No)

Did the film start before I arrived ? (Yes)

So, which action happened first? (The film started.)

Pronunciation features to highlight:


The film had started.
/hd/ or /d/
a) The weak form of had
b) Film and started are stressed. Had is unstressed.
c) The contraction of had in spoken form

Form to highlight:

Anticipated problems:

Solutions:

Some Sri Lankan students may overuse the


past perfect in situations where the past
1

simple is preferred.

Use CCQs and examples to highlight


situations where the past simple is
preferred in Standard English.

Bibliography:
Aitken, R. (1992). Teaching Tenses. 1st. ed. Surrey: Thomas Nelson and Sons.
Meyler, M. (2013). Teaching English in Sri Lanka: An introduction to the languages of Sri Lanka, and the
implications for learners and teachers of English. In: CELTA Handbook. Colombo: The British Council, pp
14-25.
Workman, G. (2006). Concept Questions and Timelines. 2nd. ed. S.I.: Chadburn Publishing.

The use of the past perfect as a distant past tense by some learners in the Indian-subcontinent ( Aitken,
1992:58) and the overuse of the past perfect by Sri Lankan learners to report something which the speaker did
not experience first-hand (Meyler, 2013).

Language:
My grandfather would always have sweets in his pocket for us. (upper-intermediate)
Meaning: In the past, my grandfather always had sweets in his pockets for us, but now he doesnt.
(Probably he is no longer alive.)
Timeline:

CCQs:

Did my grandfather carry sweets in his pocket in the past?


Does he carry sweets in his pockets now?
Did he carry sweets once or many times?

Pronunciation Features to highlight:

[w]
My grandfather would always have sweets in his pocket for us.
[wdlwez]

[hv]

a) The pronunciation of the labiodental approximant [w]


b) Consonant+ vowel linking (liaison) in [wdlwez]
c) The weak form of have
Form:

Anticipated Problems:

The students may get the TL confused with


the other uses of would (e.g. second
conditional, expression of politeness, and
etc.)

The students may not grasp the difference


in meaning when would is used with a
state verb. (e.g. He would know it.)

Solutions:

Use CCQs to show them that it refers to a


past habitual/regular action which doesnt
happen anymore.

Explain to the students that they cannot


use would with state verbs to refer to a
past habit.

Bibliography:
The British Council (2014). Language Awareness: Tenses, CELTA Input notes. The British Council,
Colombo on 05-05-2014.
Underhill, A. (1994). Sound Foundations. 1st. ed. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.

Language:
Its too heavy to lift. (pre-intermediate)
Meaning:
It cannot be lifted because of its weight. Too suggests that something has more of something than is
good, valuable or normal (Scrivener, 2010).
CCQs:

Is it heavy? (yes)
Is it very heavy? (yes)
Can we lift it? (No, we cant.)
Why cant we lift it? (Because its heavy.)

Pronunciation features to highlight:

Its too heavy to lift.


/tu/

/ t /

Distinguish between the pronunciation of too and the weak form of to.

The stresses are likely to be on too and lift, but heavy may also be stressed instead of too.
However, both too and the heavy will not be stressed at the same time.

Form:
too+ adjective + to-infinitive
Anticipated problems:
The students may overuse too instead of really/
very.

Solutions:

Show them that too is generally used in a


negative sense (i.e. when the qualify
described by the adjective is not good,
normal or valuable)

Bibliography:
Scrivener, J. (2010). Teaching English Grammar: What to Teach and How to Teach it. 1st. ed. Oxford:
Macmillan.

Language:
Youre filthy dirty! What have you been doing? (Intermediate)
Meaning:
This question uses the present perfect continuous to refer to the result of a recently stopped activity.
Contextualization (personalized story). E.g. I was digging a pit in my garden. I was sweating like a pig
and there is mud on my shirt. At the end of it, I looked filthy dirty. My neighbour sees me when I was just
going about to finish the work and says: Youre filthy dirty! What have you been doing?
CCQs:

Did he want to know why Im dirty? (Yes)


Did he talk about an action I started in the past? (yes)
Did he mean that my action stopped a long time ago? (No)
Did he mean that my action has just now stopped? (Yes.)
Did he talk about an action that I have continued until now? (Yes)
Can he still see the result of my action? (Yes)

Timeline:

Pronunciation Features to highlight:

/hv/
What have you been doing?
The weak form of have
Stress on what and doing
Falling intonation in WH-questions
Form:

Anticipated problems:

Students may avoid using two auxiliary


verbs
Students may get confused about the
difference between been and being

Solutions:

Record them clearly in the substitution


table, when focusing on form.
Use error correction for concept-checking.

Bibliography:
Aitken, R. (1992). Teaching Tenses. 1st. ed. Surrey: Thomas Nelson and Sons.
Underhill, A. (1994). Sound Foundations. 1st. ed. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.
Workman, G. (2006). Concept Questions and Timelines. 2nd. ed. S.I.: Chadburn Publishing.

Section 2: Vocabulary

Language:
Library vs. bookshop (elementary)
Meaning:
Library: a place with a lot of books that you can read or borrow (take away for some time)
Bookshop: a shop that sells books
Use pictures of a library and a bookshop to illustrate the difference.
CCQs:
Can we buy books in a library?
Can we take books away from a bookshop (i.e. borrow them) without paying?
Pronunciation features to highlight:
lib-ra-ry / labrri /
bookshop / bkp/
Form to highlight
Library: countable noun with an irregular plural form (ends with y) (library libraries)
Bookshop: countable compound noun written as one word.
Anticipated problems

Students may misspell the plural form of


library.

Solutions:

Highlight the plural form of library, when


focusing on form.

Bibliography:
Cambridge Dictionaries Online (2014). Essential British English Dictionary [online]. Available from:
<http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/essential-british-english/>. [Accessed 15-05-2014].

Language:
He looked the word up in a dictionary. (pre-intermediate)
Meaning:
Look something up: to look at a book or computer in order to find a piece of information
T will use a situational presentation to explain this phrasal verb. T will write an uncommon and possibly
complicated word that the students would not know. T will then ask a student whether he knows the
meaning. T will then give a dictionary to a student and ask: xxx, Why dont you look it up in the
dictionary?
CCQs:
Did he know the meaning of the word? (No)
What did he do to find out the meaning? (He looked it up in a dictionary.)
Pronunciation features to highlight:

He looked the word up in a dictionary.

When the object is a noun coming between the verb and the particle, the stress is generally on the
noun. (Underhill, 2005)

Form to highlight

Look up the word


Look the word up
Look it up
Look up it [Error]
Anticipated Problems:

The Students may get confused with the


form when the object is a pronoun (.e.g.
look up it)

Solution:

Highlight with an example that the pronoun


is inserted between the verb and the
particle.

Bibliography:
McCarthy, M. and O'dell, F. (2004). English Phrasal Verbs in Use. 1st. ed. Cambridge: 2004.
Underhill, A. (2005). Pronunciation and phrasal verbs. MED Magazine [online]. 34. Available from:
<http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/October2005/34-Phrasal-Verbs-Pron.htm#3>.
[Accessed 15-14-2014].

Language:
She couldnt make ends meet with 3 children and so many bills. (advanced)

Meaning:
To make ends meet (idiom) = to have just enough money to pay for the things you need
Contextualization: Poor Sarah committed suicide last week. She couldnt make ends meet with 3
children and so many bills.
CCQs: Did she have a lot of money? (No)
Did she find it easy to raise three children?
Did she find it easy to pay so many bills?
Did she have enough money to pay for the other things she needed? (No)
Why did she commit suicide? (Because she couldnt make ends meet.)
Pronunciation features to highlight:
Careful pronunciation: /i kdnt mek endz mit w ri tldrn nd s meni blz/
Potential Simplification2; / iknt mekndzmit w ri tdrn n smenibz/
In rapid speech, make ends meet may be articulated as a simplified stream of speech by vowel
reduction and linking, i.e. as / mekndzmit/
Form:

idiom (fixed expression) 3

Anticipated Problems:

The students may try to insert words into the


fixed expression, e.g. make the ends meet

The students may take the meaning literally.

Solutions:

Highlight that idioms are fixed expressions.

Highlight that the meaning of an idiom is


generally not the same as the meaning of its
words.

Bibliography:
Thornbury, S. (2002). How to Teach Vocabulary. 1st. ed. Essex: Pearson Longman.
Underhill, A. (1994). Sound Foundations. 1st. ed. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.

As suggested by Underhill (1994), teachers should deal with the features of connected speech after students
have grasped the pronunciation of sounds and words in isolation. It may be appropriate to do so with advanced
level students.
3

The verb, make can be modified to indicate tense change.

(Word count: 1181 words)

Bibliography:
Aitken, R. (1992). Teaching Tenses. 1st. ed. Surrey: Thomas Nelson and Sons.
Cambridge Dictionaries Online (2014). Essential British English Dictionary [online]. Available from:
<http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/essential-british-english/>. [Accessed 15-05-2014].
McCarthy, M. and O'dell, F. (2004). English Phrasal Verbs in Use. 1st. ed. Cambridge: 2004.
Meyler, M. (2013). Teaching English in Sri Lanka: An introduction to the languages of Sri Lanka, and the
implications for learners and teachers of English. In: CELTA Handbook. Colombo: The British
Council, pp 14-25.
Scrivener, J. (2010). Teaching English Grammar: What to Teach and How to Teach it. 1st. ed. Oxford:
Macmillan.
The British Council (2014). Language Awareness: Tenses, CELTA Input notes. The British Council,
Colombo on 05-05-2014.
Thornbury, S. (2002). How to Teach Vocabulary. 1st. ed. Essex: Pearson Longman.
Underhill, A. (1994). Sound Foundations. 1st. ed. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann.
Underhill, A. (2005). Pronunciation and phrasal verbs. MED Magazine [online]. 34. Available from:
<http://www.macmillandictionaries.com/MED-Magazine/October2005/34-Phrasal-VerbsPron.htm#3>. [Accessed 15-14-2014].
Workman, G. (2006). Concept Questions and Timelines. 2nd. ed. S.I.: Chadburn Publishing.