English Auxiliaries are ESSENTIAL, NICE, and ORDERLY. Keep them simple and in good company! Part 3
So…how can we make it nice and simple for our students?
Make it visually attractive: Charts, tables & Colours
HELP- AND ALWAYS connect them to the other parts of the sentence!
For instance, for the lower levels:
STRUCTURES FOR YEAR 1 CSE:
|Question Word(s)||Auxiliary 1||Subject:
|What||is||your name||=auxiliary 1||————?|
|How old/ tall||are||you||=auxiliary 1||———– ?|
|What||is||the weather||=auxiliary 1||like in Florida in winter?|
|What languages||can||you/he/she||speak||—— ?|
|How often||does||it||rain||in equatorial climates?|
|How many brothers & sisters||do
|How long||will||it||take||to reverse global warming?|
|What||must||all nations||do||to mitigate its impact?|
|When||did||you||go||to New Zealand?|
And their possible answers:
|Answer to Question word||Rest:|
|My name||is||=auxiliary 1||Paloma/Victor/Sue/etc||—–|
|I||am||=auxiliary 1||twelve years old/
about 1.5 m/56.4“ tall
|it||is||=auxiliary 1||warm and sunny but windy||—–|
|I||can||speak||English and Spanish|
|It||——||rains||a lot, mainly in the rainy season|
|I||——||have||one brother and two sisters|
|It||will||take||several decades||to reverse
|All nations||must||work||together (work together)||to mitigate its
|We||—–||went||there last summer/ in 2019, etc.||———–|
|it||has||affected||humans in different ways||———–|
The idea is that we build a table with sample structures of the contents we are covering during the academic year, both for questions and their corresponding answers
Remember that verbs and verb patterns never occur in isolation but are part of those sentence structures.
Do not forget to focus on and practise stress, rhythm, and intonation patterns for the structures!
The tables can be displayed either on the classroom wall, in the virtual classroom, or anywhere visible and accessible to students.
Different students or groups might be in charge of updating the table, under teacher supervision.
The tables can be expanded as you progress with the sentence structures covered in the course:
|SHOW ALL POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS FOR HIGHER LEVELS:|
|Question Word||Auxiliary 1||Subject:
|Auxiliary 2||Auxiliary 3||Lexical
|What||can||he||have||been||doing||all this time?|
|Auxiliary 1||Auxiliary 2||Auxiliary 3||Lexical
|Answer to Question||Rest:|
|You||may/could||have||left||them||in the car|
The columns may be cut out in separate parts and students may be asked to put them in the right order.
A possible idea is to use cardboard sheets of different colours and have students copy the corresponding element on them. You may divide the class into 5-7 groups with each focusing on one element. This should be a quick activity and then, they shuffle the cards and see how many correct combinations they can provide.
You may, of course, use apps such as https://wordwall.net/ but we should not overlook the great value of performing kinesthetic activities such as re-arranging the parts.
And why not challenge them to produce other similar cards with different lexis and similar
It ALSO HELPS TO RELATE the whole verb phrase to its most likely COLLOCATION-COMBINATIONS:
- The lexical verb rules: it governs the auxiliaries that may or may not combine with it, and the subject/object/adjunct combinations it requires or allows.
- To check or work with collocations, we can suggest this OZDIC
- And we certainly recommend
- Finally, do not EVER forget that it is important to teach it in context for the appropriate functions and following the appropriate politeness principles!!!
Here’s a challenge
Think of a verb… any you are planning to use with/explain to your students…
Consider which auxiliaries -just the ones you have covered with that groupcan go with it.
Think of possible subjects/objects/ places/times/ ways/ etc. combinations related to what you have covered in class so far.
Ask your students to provide examples, make it/them relevant, engaging and challenging…
See what happens… and I’d love to hear about the experiences