Phrasal verbs and verb expressions. Verb expressions with "Come" and "Go"

The roles of the student, the teacher and the language researcher in understanding the motivation to learn another language. The importance of teaching phrasal verbs and prepositions. Guessing and explaining meanings of phrasal verbs "come" and "go".

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид дипломная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 10.09.2013
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Chapter I. "Maximizing student's interaction"

1.1 The communicative classroom

1.2 Using English in class

1.3 Communicative activities

Chapter II. "The ways of learning phrasal verbs"

2.1 The importance of teaching phrasal verbs

2.2 Phrasal verbs and prepositions

2.3 Guessing and explaining meanings of phrasal verbs "come" and "go"


Used literature


Vocabulary is the most important area in language learning. The importance of vocabulary changes and it depends on teaching aims. Nowadays, the ability of effective communication is the main aim of teaching, so teachers try to develop students' communicative competence and vocabulary are the key to it. Communication is strongly conditioned upon the level of vocabulary. When it is limited, it distorts or even sometimes it blocks up communication. With a wide vocabulary, a person can communicate effectively even though he or she may be very weak in grammatical knowledge. It means that teachers must pay a lot of attention to constant, regular work on enriching students' vocabulary. Very important and common feature of English language are phrasal verbs.

The topicality of my diploma work is: The current study hasn't any arguments in its address, because there is considerable interest today in the notion of motivation to learn a second or foreign language. Learning another language involved intelligence and verbal ability. Concepts like attitudes, motivation and anxiety were not considered to be important at all. Today, much of this has changed, and one sometimes gets the impression that affective variables are considered to be the only important ones.

The main purpose of the diploma paper work is to discuss the roles of the student, the teacher and the language researcher in understanding the motivation to learn another language. In order to guide this discussion, attention is directed towards the social-educational model of second language acquisition. Although this model considers the motivation to learn another language from the point of view of the student, it is clear that other contributors include the teacher as well as the student's and the student's background.

According to Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners a phrasal verb is a verb formed from two (sometimes three) parts; a verb and an adverb or preposition. Most are formed from a small number of common verbs (such as get, go, come, put and set) and a small number of adverbs and prepositions (such as away, out, off, up and in). The number of verbs that can form phrasal verbs in English is limitless. But the number of short adverbs: about, across, around, down, by, in, off, on, out, over, through, to, aside, away, back, together and prepositions: about, across, around, down , by, in, off, on, out, over, through, to, at, for, from, of, into that can accommodate this structure is much smaller. They include more or less the words in bold, most of which serve as both adverbs and prepositions.

The novelty is the using of the phrasal verbs in another way as possible. To make it more understandable for students.

Phrasal verbs are an important feature of English. Their importance lies in the fact that they form such a key part of everyday English. Not only are they used in spoken and informal English, but they are also a common aspect of written and even formal vernacular. Understanding and learning to use phrasal verbs, however, is often problematic and there are many reasons for this. The meaning of a phrasal verb, for example, often bears no relation to the meaning of either the verb or the particle which is used with it. This means that phrasal verbs can be difficult both to understand and to remember. Neither does it help that many phrasal verbs have several meanings, nor that their syntactic behavior is often unpredictable. Phrasal verbs have roots back in the earliest Old English writings, where verbs with short adverbs and prepositions were used in a very literal sense showing mostly the direction, place, or physical orientation of a noun in the sentence, such as in the following example: The boy walked out. (Direction); The boy stood by. (Place); The boy held his hand up. (Physical orientation). Like short adverbs, prepositions also indicated direction, place, or physical orientation; but they also specified a relationship between the verb and an object in the sentence: The thief climbed out the window. (Direction); The painter stood by the house. (Place); Hang it over the fire. (Physical orientation).

Over the centuries, the combinations of verbs with short adverbs and prepositions increased. Their meanings diversified by imperceptible degrees. Eventually, they came to be the most productive means for the creation of new verbs that exists in Modern English. To illustrate this diversification of meaning, below are presented some of the nuances that the short adverb out acquired over several centuries. In the ninth century, it had the literal meaning of moving toward the outside such as in walk out and ride out. But by the fourteenth century, out had added the idea of making something audible such as in cry out and call out. By the fifteenth century, it had added the idea of bringing something to extinction such as in die out and burn out. By the sixteenth century, it had added the idea of apportioning something to everyone such as in pass out and parcel out. And by the nineteenth century, it had acquired the idea of removing the contents of something such as in clean out and rinse out. What's more phrasal verbs can have different syntactic patterns. The possible syntactic patterns that accommodate phrasal verbs are varied, but the following five are considered basic: * Verb adverb (VA): wash up; * Verb adverb object (VAO): take off your hat; * Verb object adverb (VOA): take your hat off; * Verb preposition object (VPO): work on a project; * Verb adverb preposition object (VAPO): come up with a plan.

Difficulties in teaching phrasal verbs happen very often because they are the aspects of English that is not as straightforward to teach as other aspects are. Many teachers avoid or put off teaching phrasal verbs until students are at a higher advanced level.

The practical value of diploma work is to use phrasal verbs in classroom, to create very good communicative, useful activities with phrasal verbs.

In the first chapter we will deal with maximizing student's interaction in class. Here are given characteristics by Carl Rogers for creative and effective learning environment. The purpose of this chapter to inform teachers how to make student's talking time more effective. The next is communicative classroom. The purpose of this task to inform teachers for basic principles of communicative classroom. This theme provides the means for teachers to create the conditions in which learning can take place. Our purpose is to offer guidance, on how this might be achieved. The next theme is how to use English in class. Here we deal with two ways of learning English. The next theme is the communicative activities. Here we can look at what does the word communicative mean? There are some tips for using communicative activities. Here is given ways to create opportunities for simple communication in English lessons. It will help to motivate student in order to build and increase stock of vocabulary.

The next chapter is devoted to the ways of learning phrasal verbs. Here are given four types of phrasal verbs which will help you to understand and differ them. The next theme is devoted to the ways of teaching phrasal verbs. Here is given some tips for active teaching phrasal verbs. One of the ways of encouraging your students to learn more and make their language expressively colorful. The next theme presents what phrasal verbs are, how many meanings they have, verbs and their use in every day live. A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition. The next theme is guessing and explaining the meanings of phrasal verbs "come" and "go". Here are given strategies for better understanding and guessing the meanings of phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are devoted for development of vocabulary. The major of this work is to provide stock of vocabulary of a learner and make his or her vocabulary colorful, expressive.

The idea of these chapters is to help to think about issues that have been raised in each theme and also to help to personalize what you have read by relating it to each situation. There is a great opportunity to use them very practical.

Chapter I. Maximizing student's interaction in class

Everyone should remember the characteristics by Carl Rogers for creative and effective learning environment. Be as honestly yourself as you can be. Respect the learners. Work on seeing things from their perspective as well as your own. Encourage a friendly, relaxed learning environment. If there is trusting, positive, supportive rapport amongst the learners and between learners and teacher, and there is a much better chance of useful interaction happening.

Ask questions rather than giving explanations. When you want students to discuss something, ask "open" questions (eg. where, what, who, why…) rather than closed questions (eg; verb-subject questions that require nothing more than yes or no). For example, instead of "Is noise pollution a bad thing?" (Answer=yes or no) you could ask "What do you think about noise pollution? " Allow time for students to listen, think, process their answer and speak. Really listen to what they say. Let what they say really affect that you do next. Work on listening to the person, and the meanings, as well as to the language and the mistakes.

Allow thinking time without talking over it. Allow silence. Increase opportunities for student talking time. Use gestures to replace unnecessary teacher talk. Allow students to finish their own sentences. Make use of pairs and groups to maximize opportunities for students to speak. If possible, arrange so that students can see each other (eg; circles, squares and horseshoes rather than parallel rows).

Encourage interaction between students rather than only between student and teacher and teacher and student. Get students to ask questions, give explanations to each other than always to you. Encourage co-operation rather than competition. In many activities you may encourage students to copy ideas from others, or "cheats". Allow students to become more responsible for their own progress. Put them in situations where they need to make decisions for themselves. If a student is speaking too quietly for you to hear, walk further away, rather than closer to them! (This sound illogical- but if you can't hear them, then it's likely that other students can't either. Encourage the quiet speaker to speak louder so that the other can hear).

If you will follow all this rules, it will help you to encourage student's interaction in class. The language classroom is rich in language for learners, quite apart from the language that the learners and the teacher may suppose they are focusing on in the subject matter of the lesson.

Students learn a lot of their language from what they hear. Their teacher says the instructions, the discussions, the asides, the jokes, the chit-chat, the comments, ect. It would be unsatisfactory if the teacher dominated the lesson to the exclusion of participation from as many learners as possible.

The arguments for language learners usually grow from the idea that the teacher knows more of the target language and that by listening to her the learner is somehow absorbing a correct picture of the language, that by interacting with her the learner is learning to interact with a native speaker or an experienced user of the language, and that this is far more useful than talking to a poor user. Thus, by this arguments, time spent talking to another learner is not particularly useful time.

This is ok as far as it goes, but there are a number of challenges to such views. Some are to do with available time: if the teacher talks most of time, how much time will learners get to speak? If the only conversation practice learners get is one to one with the teacher they will get very little time to speak at all. In a class of twenty-five learners, how much time will the teacher have available to speak to individuals? Divide a one-hour lesson by twenty-five and you get just over two minutes each. That doesn't sound very much.

We could maximize learners speaking time at certain points of the lesson by putting them into pairs or small groups and getting them to talk to each other. This instead of two minutes speaking time in a whole lesson they all get a lot of speaking practice within a short space of time. The teacher could use this time effectively by discreetly monitoring what the students are saying, and using the information collected as a source of material for future feedback or other work.

1.1 Communicative classroom

Here are some of the basic principles that inform teaching:

Language is a tool for communication.

Learners need to practice using the language, in as realistic and authentic ways possible. Grammar study, gap fills, etc are only steps along the way to developing the ability to use language for real tasks. Classroom language is an important Source of input and practice.

Learners are individuals; they learn in different ways and have different needs.

We need to be aware of our individual student's needs, and cater to them as much as possible. We need to vary our ways of presenting and practicing language to appeal to different learning styles. There is no "right way" to learn, and we need to respect the different needs and wants of our students. We should try as much as possible to get to know our students as people, on a normal human level.

People learn best when they feel comfortable and relaxed.

We must try to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect in our groups. Learners should feel that their opinions are valued. Learners should feel that they can make mistakes without fear of ridicule; we should not emphasize or exploit the imbalance in the teacher-learner power relationship. Teachers and learners should be on a first name basis. Tasks should be challenging but achievable.

Learners should be involved in the learning process.

We should elicit learners input regarding course content. We should give them the opportunity to evaluate our lessons, and to let us know what they do and do not enjoy about them. We should as much as is possible react and respond to learners' input. Learners should be made aware of their progress and encouraged to set their own goals.

Learners need to learn how to learn.

We should expose learners to a variety of wavs to organize their learning. We should make our learners aware of the learning strategies they use, and expose them to other, possibly better, techniques.

Vocabulary is more important than grammar.

We should not focus on grammar at the expense of vocabulary. New vocabulary should be introduced in almost every lesson.

Fluency is more important than accuracy.

We should be selective in our correction of learners. We need to plan lessons that allow students to speak freely as well as speak with restrictions and correction. Learners should be made aware that ''getting the message across" is just as important as "getting the English right".

Learning is more important than teaching.

We should pay more attention to what the students are doing in a lesson, and less about what we are doing. Student talk is more useful than teacher talk. Learners should get the chance to answer questions. We should plan our lessons with an eye to what learners will be able to do that they couldn't do before.

Motivating all your students to speak English in class can be a challenging task for any EFL teachers. It is necessary to organize a communicative activity which achieves maximum participation of the learners. In order to overall my students English Language skills, I often use the Morning Discussion as a Communicative makes the class more active and the students can exchange their opinions and the main thing is everyone can participate. Learners need to practice using the language, in as realistic and authentic ways possible. Students learn best when they feel comfortable and relaxed. We must try to create an atmosphere of trust mutual respect in our groups.

Morning Discussion helps our students to share their opinions on different themes and encourage group mates to join the discussion. Different short stories and topics are selected for MD by themselves. Volunteer student selects short stories or an article presents them to the class, encouraging group mates to join and take an active part in the discussion. The discussion would take different forms. Sometimes it was an interview using the main topic with some key questions.

At other times it was Class Debate, students are divided into several mini-groups and each group is given a statement. They have to brainstorm reasons why it is true ready to defend their argument against their opponents.

Morning discussion requires the teachers to play multiple roles e.g. to be as negotiators and to give positive and detailed comments on the performance of both hosts and the participants. Teacher's next role is a manager, which gives instructions for students to get into groups and as counselor advices students how best to approach a task.

Morning Discussion improves students express ability and speaking skills and they enjoy it. They choose and select for discussion, which covered social, cultural, educational, ecological and emotional issues. Other topics which include science and technology, business English, events in other parts of the world, public relations, American History and geography, interesting facts, Kyrgyz culture and traditions and everyday lives.

Here is a list of some MD topics: The Role of the English Language in the 21st century; Computers and Human Brains; getting education in abroad; Problems of youth today; My Dream House; My Future Profession; if I were the President I would...; Educational System of G.Britain;

Compare English Meal with your National Meal; Compare two holidays; Compare two powerful people; People are the same everywhere; There can be no happiness without money; Medical care should be free for all people; Meeting Internet friends; Electronic Communications…ect.

Morning Discussion creates opportunities for students to communicate using a variety of strategies. We should expose learners to a variety of ways to organize their learning. We should pay more attention to what our students are doing at the lesson, and less about what we are doing. Student talk is more useful than teacher talk. Learners should get the chance to answer questions and share their opinions on different themes. Teacher must remember that it is not necessary to be at the front of the class, and takes one seat in the circle.

If we consider the teacher's role in a communicative classroom we must also come to the conclusion that the teacher is not in any sense attempting to teach conversation. Perhaps the teacher simply arouses interest in a topic, pre-teaches vocabulary, sets a task, monitors performance and gives feedback on the use of structure and lexis.

As to the term discussion class is more satisfactory as it gives a much more accurate idea of what happens during class time. It suggests that the class as a whole will be involved in the discussion of a single topic which is chosen by the learners or by teachers. Teacher uses open questions and increases opportunities for STT (Students Talking Time), as for the students, they ask questions, give explanations & definitions, in short they enjoy getting more opportunities to talk and having fun and relaxation.

It is through discussions that many teachers provide their learners with opportunities to improve their fluency skills, the swift recall of appropriate lexis the fluid formation of correct tenses and the main thing is the effective use of communication strategy.

The format and the structure of MD are not fixed, but rather developed by the students to suit the topic and their presentation preferences. Usually, after the teacher-student morning greetings, the student host would present the material she had prepared for discussion. As usual, before the discussion, some necessary words and phrases are presented, which were prepared by the students and teachers.

E.g. Topic "Educational system of Great Britain": an impressive complex of modern teaching and residential accommodation; the well equipped multimedia classrooms; the Queen's Building ; a swimming pool and fully equipped sports center; Oxford, the famous university city and seat of learning; the modern classrooms; the latest teaching methods; unique and motivating program up to date course books; to have access to E-mail and Internet facilities; an intensive computer course; full day Excursions; a homely atmosphere; the beautiful red brick mansion; the most prestigious university.

Words & phrases "Electronic Communications": electronic mail; transfer information; an entree to libraries, research institutions....etc; a universal community; Internet participants; to pass information back and forth; an electronic network; the Benefits of the Internet as a research and teaching tool; a personal computer; a connection to a central computer; to join electronic discussion forums; to send messages to the other side of the world; Internet connected; to develop Internet access for the public.

Topic "The Role of English in the 21st Century", Words and phrases: social, economic and demographic transition; the global and International economy; to be the world standard language; International development; to open joint-ventures and companies; the global spread of English; to have the official status; English usage in science; English usage in technology and commerce; to negotiate in English; the information revaluation; to get more native speakers; to pay more attention to international developments; to sell more products outside the US; to conform to a global market place; an economic modernization and industrial development.

The Communicative classrooms allow students to experience speaking English on their own. It shows them that they can speak and share opinions and understand English without written materials. The students can speak to whomever they wish, to students they know well or to those they may not often get a chance to speak with. They are working at their own place and at their own level of ability. They can take time to relax rest and think about what they are doing. Students soon begin to add and create to the topics for discussions their own oral language.

Our new language teaching goals to enable students to learn by using the language in meaningful, interactive situations. We must develop communicative activities ranging from controlled or guided practice to free production such as role-playing, simulations, quessing games, information-gap, critical thinking and problem-solving activities.

Teachers of English as a foreign language need to create and motivate a pleasant atmosphere in the classroom and awaken student's interests. As the MD, I have used the following activity, which makes all the students to be very active and feel comfortable and it gets them involved in thinking about the beautiful and costly things in life. At first some unknown words and phrases are explained and after a brief class discussion, the following poem "Passion for Life "by Mother Tereza has been presented.

"Passion for Life"

Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is a game, play it. Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is costly, care for it. Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is wealth, keep it. Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is mystery, know it. Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is love, enjoy it. Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is luck, make it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is a song, sing it. Life is life, fight for it.

Always we must remember that teaching is the most important job in the world, we are shaping the future and are a model for our students.

We want our students to be able to communicate with each other and people outside the classroom, in socially acceptable ways. A great attention should be paid to a student-centered classroom. Student-Talking Time, in which all the students interact with each other in pairs or mini-groups. It is very necessary to provide them a suitable environment and materials they need, they have to learn on their, own. The main idea of this article is Getting our students to talk in the target language and to create a learner-centered classroom, it means organizing a class so that students are more involved in the teaching and learning process and the teacher is less likely to dominate classroom or TTT (teacher talking time) is characterized by the teacher's speaking most of the time and leading activities.

As for teacher's role, she is an advisor, a facilitator and a manager, during communicative activities. The teacher moves from one group to another group offering advice and answering questions. As for the students are communicators. Communicative interaction encourages cooperative relationships among students.

They are actively engaged in negotiating meaning, in trying to make them understood. They learn to communicate by communicating. Students interact a great deal with one another. They do this in pairs and small groups, and they are given an opportunity to express and share their ideas and opinions. Role-plays are very important in the Communicative Approach because they give students an opportunity to practice communicating in different social contexts and in different social roles. Many classrooms were teacher-fronted, with immovable desks facing the front of the room, several years ago.

The teacher standing at the front of the class "teaching" and the students sitting in rows listening. In this classroom the teacher probably does most of the talking and is by far the most active person. Many of us are familiar with this kind of situation. If students are to engage in communicative language learning activities, they need to be able to see each other and the teacher needs space to move around the classroom to be able to interact with students and hear what they say. For example: circles, squares, and horse shoes rather than parallel rows.

In a circle or horseshoe, learners can make eye contact with everyone else in the group and thus interact much more naturally, and the teacher doesn't always need to be at the front of the class, for example: teacher takes one seat in the circle. Encourage interaction between students rather than only between student and teacher and teacher and student S-S, T-S.Encourage a friendly, relaxed learning environment. If there is a trusting, positive, supportive, rapport among the learners and teacher, then there is a much better chance of useful interaction happening. In the result of cooperative learning the students have the opportunity to interact with their group mates, they get more opportunities to talk, hear more English, to get a chance to be a leader, have more fun and relaxation, they learn to respect different ideas and opinions, have to really think in order to solve the problems, see other points of view, learn and enlarge their stock of vocabulary, get more information about different topics, improve their oral speech.

1.2 Using English in class

English is one of the most useful tool we have as humans. With it we could not think thoughts expressible to others, nor could we engage in the activities that commonly take place in the societies we build for ourselves. Most students tend to ignore the importance of listening comprehension skills, for their attention is fixed so completely on reading and writing that they fail to recognize the need for developing functional listening comprehension skills as a prerequisite.

According to related statistics, second-language learners, in order to learn the language, must first learn to understand the spoken language they hear.

Listening is regarded as a receptive skill, in that the listener is receiving messages from a speaker. The main resources received by students come from the teacher who may use English as a communicating skill for instructions. Thus, from the viewpoints of language learning and communicating in real-language situations, it benefits students in learning English for teachers to use English in class.

If the teacher uses English most of the time in class, it will give students more practice in listening and responding to spoken English. This will help them "pick up" words and expressions beyond the language of the textbooks. Besides, the language used, in the lesson itself, is often unnatural and artificial. The situations that occur in the classroom, however, give opportunities for real and natural English to be used. Also, if the teacher uses English to say real things to the class, it will give students the feeling that English is not just a language that belongs to the textbooks, but a real language used for communication. It is pretty certain, of course, that teachers should not use English all the time. There are many occasions obviously when it can be useful to use the students' own language. How much a teacher uses English depends on the level of the class and the teacher's own language ability.

There are two main ways, in which English can be used in class:

(1) It can be used in teaching the lesson itself: introducing a text, asking questions, giving examples, etc.

(2) It can be used for activities which surround the teaching, but which are not actually part of the teaching: checking attendance, chatting to students, controlling the class, etc.

At the beginning of a lesson, the teacher can spend a few minutes chatting to the class about the topics.

The teacher can talk and ask questions, but get the students to give only short responses, which would be a good technique for a large class or with low level students.

T: Did you enjoy the weekend?

Ss: Yes.

T: And I went to the movies with my friends. Did you go to the movies?

S1: Yes, I did.

T: Whom did you go with? (and so on)

The teacher can prompt every student to talk more about things they have done.

T: What did you do yesterday? Did you go out?

S1: Yes, I went to a party.

T: A party? That's good. A birthday party?

S1: Yes, my friend's birthday party.

T: OK, tell us what happened there. What did you do at the party?

(and so on)

The teacher can get students to talk and ask questions.

T: OK. Peter went to a party yesterday. Ask him some questions about it.

What do you want to know?

S1: How did you go to the party?

S2: Were there many people there?

S3: What did you eat? (and so on)

Using English to chat with students in this way creates not only an opportunity for real language practice but also an English atmosphere in the class. More importantly, it establishes contact with the class and helps students to feel relaxed and ready to learn.

During the class, a teacher has to say many things to organize the lesson, such as starting or stopping an activity, getting students to do or not to do things, etc. Much of this consists of simple commands and instructions, which are repeated lesson after lesson. Therefore, if the teacher says them in English, students will learn what they mean quickly. Following are some examples,

Stand up, please. Open/Close your book.

Sit down, please. Come here, please.

Repeat after me. Be quiet, please.

Listen carefully. Pay attention.

Who would like to clean the blackboard?

Could you please close the window?

Now practice the dialogue in pairs.

Raise your hand if you have any question.

Open your book and turn to page 72.

Using English in class is worthwhile if it can be done successfully and without too much difficulty. There are some occasions, however, when it is best to use the students' own language. An explanation in English could be very confusing, especially when the word is unfamiliar to students. It would be better to give examples in English and then to give a translation of the word. An advantage of using students' own language is that the situation or the lesson can be explained more quickly and easily, leaving more time for practice. As to using English in class, it provides useful listening practice and helps students by giving them some of the words they need. Most importantly, it is probably best to give explanations in clear and simple English, and repeat some parts in students' own language to make the meanings clear.

· Teachers have been encouraged by the Ministry of Education to use English in the secondary EFL classroom as much as possible. However, classroom English is important for students as well as teachers. Students can learn how to use English in functional situations in class: e.g. asking the teacher for help; saying that they don't understand; asking for repetition; checking for comprehension; working with a partner; etc. This course investigates how teachers can use English in class, and how they can encourage their students to use English in class.


· It is easy to forget that classroom procedures have to be verbalized in the classroom, whatever the methodology. Instructions have to be given, groups have to be formed, time limits have to be set, questions have to be asked, answers have to be confirmed, discipline has to be maintained, etc. The role of this interaction is one of the least understood aspects of teaching, though it is clearly crucial to the success of the learning environment.

· All teachers need specialized classroom competence and need training in this field. Foreign language teachers in particular require linguistic training aimed at the classroom situation, since they need to use the language being taught both as a goal of their teaching and as the prime medium of instruction and classroom management. Foreign language graduates are seldom prepared for the seemingly simple task of running a class in the L2.

· The classroom situation is a genuine social environment, which allows meaningful situational use of the language. This is real interaction.

Details: The course focuses on theoretical justifications and practical solutions: Why should we use English in class?

1. It helps the teacher to model the language and its use.

2. It gives meaning to the language.

3. It provides authentic learning situations.

4. It provides familiarity with common phrases.

5. Students can use the language in real situations.

6. Students gain confidence and motivation through successful communication.

7. Students learn the language by using the language.

8. It allows learners to control and evaluate their own successes.

9. It allows learners to respect the learning styles of other learners.

10. It encourages learners to learn from their peers.

11. It helps learners control the learning environment.

12. It encourages pair- and group-work.

13. It helps learner's access information and resources.

There will be many things to do, and many things to talk about. However, please remember that education is aimed at students, and the students are the most important people in this course and in every course. There will therefore be a continuous focus on learner training, self-assessment, goal setting, reflection and evaluation. This course is for you, and you will therefore be helping to make it and evaluate it!

1.3 Communicative activities

'Communicative' is a word which has dominated discussions of teaching methodology for many years. Although in a monolingual English language classroom, 'real communication' in English is impossible; in 'communicative methodology' we try to be 'more communicative'. That is to say, even though it may be impossible to achieve 'real communication', we should attempt to get closer to 'real communication' in our classrooms.

What does it mean?

Communicative methodology includes a number of different (and perhaps interconnecting) principles.

1. The primary aim of foreign language learning is communication with users of the foreign language.

2. Students study the foreign language as a system of communication.

3. Students learn and practice the foreign language through 'communicative activities'.

Communication as primary aim

In the past the 'primary aim' of language learning seemed to be mastery of the grammatical system. The only practical task was translation and that was usually translation of 'great literature' rather than letters to the bank manager. The methodology for teaching modern, 'living' languages was identical to the methodology for dead, classical languages like Latin and Ancient Greek. Today, we see our primary aim as teaching the practical use of English for communication with native speakers and others.

Learning English as a system of communication

Language contains many 'systems', one of which is the system of grammar. Mastery of grammar is still important but only as a means to successful communication.

How long have you been here? How long are you here for?

We are less concerned with the grammatical difference between these two questions than with their difference in meaning. We are less concerned with grammatical errors of form than with errors of meaning because these will lead to a breakdown in communication.

What are communicative activities?

In its purest form, a communicative activity is an activity in which there is: a desire to communicate; a communicative purpose; a focus on language content not language forms; a variety of language used; no teacher intervention; no control or simplification of the material. Let's examine each characteristic in turn.

1. A desire to communicate.

In a communicative activity there must be a reason to communicate. When someone asks a question, the person must wish to get some information or some other form of result. There must be either an 'information gap' or an 'opinion gap' or some other reason to communicate.

2. A communicative purpose.

When we ask students to describe their bedroom furniture to their partners, we are creating an artificial 'communicative purpose' and making the activity more artificial by asking them to do it in English.

We also create artificial 'information gaps' by giving different information to pairs of students so that they can have a reason to exchange information.

3. A focus on language content not language forms.

In real life, we do not ask about our friend's family in order to practice 'have got' forms. We ask the question because we are interested in the information. That is to say, we are interested in the language content and not in the language forms.

4. A variety of language is used.

In normal communication, we do not repeatedly use the same language forms. In fact, we usually try to avoid repetition. In many classroom activities we often try to create situations in which students will repeatedly use a limited number of language patterns. This is also artificial.

5. No teacher intervention.

When you are buying a ticket for The Lion King at the theatre, your teacher is not usually beside you to 'help' or 'correct' your English. Teacher intervention in classroom communicative activities adds to the artificiality.

6. No control or simplification of the material.

In the classroom, we often use graded or simplified materials as prompts for communicative activities. These will not be available in the real world.

How can we make classroom 'communicative activities' less artificial?

As we have seen, there is no real possibility of real communication in English in a monolingual classroom. Learners must 'pretend' that they need to communicate in English. However, we can reduce the artificiality by looking at the features mentioned above. We can easily reduce teacher intervention, we can use more authentic materials, we can encourage a wider variety of language use, and we can create more natural communicative purposes.

Activities to encourage English

Here are more ways to create opportunities for simple communication in English lessons:

· Start each lesson by asking students about their week, weekend or previous evening. Talk about yours in a natural way: "Did anyone see that funny film on TV last night?"

· Ask students about their area or information you may need to know. Simple requests for help, such as: "Does anyone know if there is a bank open on Saturday here?" Ask for suggestions for places to visit. Even with beginners, opportunities can arise: ask for the time, the date, how to get to places nearby etc.

· Ask for explanations in English whenever students are able. This stretches students.

· Involve students in board work, asking them to spell aloud a word you are writing, inviting younger learners to complete a summary, write a question or correct a mistake on the board.

· Avoid asking "Do you understand?" Try to get more comments with questions to check understanding: "Why is there an's on this verb?" or "Can you pronounce this word?"

· Get students to refer to an English-English dictionary (take your own if necessary). Play games involving definitions (e.g. Guessing a described object; animal, vegetable or mineral?; or What's my line? With job descriptions.) Do simple crosswords with clues.

· Play games where use of the mother tongue loses points for the team.

· Practice and encourage all common classroom requests: "Can I have another piece of paper?" or "May I go to the toilet, please?" - Students may not use English requests amongst themselves but insist they do with you.

Encouraging students can eventually pay-off. If they enjoy your lessons, their attitude to speaking English will improve over time.

Chapter 2. The ways of learning phrasal verbs

Everybody complains about phrasal verbs. It doesn't help that in books they're referred to as 'phrasal verbs' and 'multi-word verbs' and 'prepositional verbs' and whatever other name may be fashionable or grammatically correct at a particular time.

You know what they are, and so do I. They're verbs followed by what is sometimes called a 'particle'. This 'particle' is either a preposition or an adverb, or possibly one of each. Most people think it's a preposition. Personally I don't think it matters whether or not you know it's a preposition or an adverb. The word is a preposition by seeing which type the verb is. If I don't know immediately, then I don't expect people who are learning the language to know. It doesn't help you to remember the verb either.

So don't worry about prepositions and adverbs. Call them whatever you want. The most important thing is that you should understand as many phrasal verbs as possible and be able to use them. English people use them all the time.

Unfortunately there's no easy way of learning them.

There are four types of phrasal verbs. It might help you to know this, but equally it might not. If you find it confusing, don't worry too much. There are various ways of learning phrasal verbs, and knowing the specific type is not necessary. However, knowing what type a verb is can be useful for two reasons. Firstly, it shows you the grammatical construction, and secondly, some verbs can be more than one type and change meaning accordingly. The four types do not correspond to the uses I mentioned above. Each particular type can include verbs with literal and non-literal meanings.

1. These verbs don't have an object.

Examples: The plane took off two hours late.

He left his wife and children and went away.

There was a horrible smell in the fridge because the chicken had gone off.

All right, I don't know. I give up.

Because there's no object, you don't have to worry about where to put it! The main difficulty is when a verb can be more than one type. For example, a plane can take off (no object), but a person can take off a coat (with object). This second example would not be a 'Type 1' verb.

Another problem is when a verb can have more than one meaning but remain the same type. A chicken can go off, for example, which means it's old and bad and can't be eaten. But a person can go off, too, which means the same as go away.

2. These verbs have an object, and this object can go after the verb or between the two parts of the verb.


I must put up those shelves this weekend. I must put those shelves up this weekend. I must put them up this weekend. I must put up them this weekend.

He turned off the TV and went to bed. He turned the TV off and went to bed. He turned it off and went to bed. He turned off it and went to bed.

The council wants to knock down lots of old buildings. The council wants to knock lots of old buildings down. The council wants to knock them down. The council wants to knock down them.

When you don't use a pronoun, it doesn't really matter where you put the object. We generally put the object where it sounds better.

If the object is very long - it could include a relative clause, for example - it will probably sound better after the verb.

If you use a pronoun, you have to put it between the two words of the verb.

Type 3 verbs

These verbs have an object, but the object must go after the verb. It doesn't matter whether it's a pronoun or not.


My sister takes after my mother. My sister takes after her. My sister takes my mother after. My sister takes her after.

I'm looking for my credit card. Have you seen it? I'm looking for it. Have you seen it? I'm looking my credit card for. Have you seen it? I'm looking it for. Have you seen it?

Type 4 verbs

These are the same as Type 3 verbs, but they have three words instead of two. The object must go after the verb.


I'm looking forward to the holidays. I'm looking forward to them.

Do you get on with your neighbors? Do you get on with them?

Get on with your work! Get on with it!


There are a number of ways of learning phrasal verbs:

you can learn different meanings according to the main verb, for instance look up, look up to, look down, look down on, look into, etc.

you can learn different meanings according to the preposition or adverb, for instance let down, turn down, sit down, put down, write down, etc.

you can learn different verbs used for a particular subject or situation, for instance telephoning: put through, hold on, hang up, get through, cut off, speak up, etc.

you can learn the different meanings for one particular verb:

the new job didn't work out she's been working out in the gym all afternoon

I've worked it out and you owe me ?75

Personally, I think trying to learn verbs from a list is boring and quite difficult. It's better to learn them for different situations, then there's more chance that you'll remember them.

Even easier is to treat them as you treat any other vocabulary you learn. Don't think of them as a special subject that has to be learnt. They're only words! If you find a useful phrasal verb, learn it like you would learn the word for 'table' or 'ashtray' or anything else.

But make sure you write down the structure. It's useless to note down that turn off means apagar in Spanish if you don't know how to use it. The absolute minimum you need to note down is turn something off, because then you'll know where the object goes.

Even better would be to note down a couple of sentences using the verb so that you have a context to remember it in.

2.1 The ways of teaching phrasal verbs

Individually read the text and underline all the phrasal verbs, then re-write the article replacing each phrasal verb with a single-word verb.

In small groups write a short skit containing six phrasal verbs to act out in front of the whole class.

Or maybe it's just the funkiness of the language itself; wolf down, potter around, chill out, sex up. Whatever it is, and no matter how geeky it might sound, I have to say that phrasal verbs - I love `you!

How to do it - not!

There are definite 'do's and don'ts' for teaching phrasal verbs. Strangely, the most widely accepted 'don't' is the most common way most textbooks actually present and practice them. Grouping phrasal verbs according to the verb in the phrase is the big 'no'. Get on, get up, get over, get through, get round, get out, get by, get at, get in with, get out. Take on, take up, take through, take over, take down, take out, take in, take back, and take off. Break in, break out, break up, break off, and break through.

McCarthy, M., O'Dell, F. (2004) English Phrasal Verbs in Use, CUP.

Just looking at these lists makes my eyes sore; you probably didn't even bother to read all the phrasal verbs listed. For our students, presenting phrasal verbs grouped in this way is a learning nightmare. There's nothing for them to mentally latch onto. All the verbs are the same so the only difference between them is a small particle, which learners from many language backgrounds find difficult anyway. Meanings are easily mixed up and the learning experience quickly becomes negative.

How to approach phrasal verbs in the classroom

1. Phrasal verbs can be introduced at the same time as other lexical items, which are all connected to a particular theme or topic. Indeed, at beginner's level there's often no choice but to do it in this way. For example:

· Daily routines - wake up, get up, wash, eat breakfast, go to work

· Airport vocabulary - take off, land, check in, flight attendant, pilot, immigration

· Other vocabulary groupings such as synonyms - get over = recover, curious = inquisitive, stubborn = obstinate, break up = separate

In this way phrasal verbs are presented and practiced without drawing attention to them as a separate language feature.

2. Work specifically on phrasal verbs as a distinct language area is possible with students at pre-intermediate level and above. This can be done either with sets of phrasal verbs, which are unrelated in terms of meaning and topic and which do not share the same verb, or with sets of phrasal verbs, which are connected in terms of topic. For example

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