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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > 9 yo student has problems with sentence subject...help!!    

9 yo student has problems with sentence subject...help!!


9 yo student has problems with sentence subject...help!!
Hello everybody, first I wanna thank all of you for the wonderful website and materials that you share here! I �m a university student of English and I �m currently giving some private lessons, so I haven �t gathered a lot of teaching experience yet........now I come to my problem....I have currently a beginner child who seems to have some problems with negative and questions forms of the verb TO BE.
This is because he can �t distinguish the subject of a sentence...I �ve tried to cut sentences into jumbled up small paper sticks, so that he has to put them in order...but he just can �t...
I �m trying to figure out how to explain to him that the subject is who or what performs the action, and that he has to swap it with the auxiiliar in order to form a question.
Maybe I should just ask him to write the question and negative form of the verb again and again :-(

Thanks for your help :-)

1 Jan 2010      


in France, teachers are told to compare French and English when teaching grammar. you could try to use a simple image such as:
ask him to write a couple of sentences in Italian (Superman is a superhero, superman is strong and brave...), then ask him to build the sentence in English (cut all the words, and ask him to move the little papers... you see what I mean?)
As Italian and English are pretty similar in the structure of the sentence, it should be easy - i �m assuming that you teach in Italy...
then, work both in Italian and English, to make him understand how a sentence works: a suject: who the sentence talks about. a verb: BE gives details about the subject. and complements (adjectives...)
repeat that a few times with characters/people he likes, members of his family...
It worked quite well with a pupil of mine who had the same troubles!
Let me know by PM how it worked :)

1 Jan 2010     


Thanks a lot :-)

8 Jan 2010