Three weeks ago, I taught a language awareness lesson to a P5 class to help them distinguish between the tricky adverbs (late, hard, well, high, far …, i.e., words which don’t look like adverbs but are in fact adverbs) and the tricky adjectives (lively, lovely, lonely, friendly, …, i.e., words which look like adverbs but are in fact adjectives), and to distinguish between verbs that go with an adverb (e.g., He runs quickly), and verbs that go with an adjective (e.g., He looks tired) I ended the lesson by inviting them to correct the sentences below, which are from a research corpus of errors made by S3 students. These P5 students could all spot and correct the mistakes.
Yesterday, when I met them again, I began the lesson by asking them to correct the sentences again. They could all do it with 100% accuracy.
. – she answered the questions quite good.
• – I want to be slowly
• – He talked angry.
• – She never gets angrily.
• – He sings very bad.
• – They looked sadly.
• – There was a loudly noise.
• – He kicked the ball hardly.
• – He arrived at the hall lately.
• – He felt unhappily.
Of course, the next step is to see whether they can use those adjectives and adverbs correctly in natural speech and writing. But at least for now, they are aware of the differences. This is already better than some secondary students who don’t seem to have a clue.
I’m getting more and more convinced that language awareness training is effective in bridging the gap between CLT and traditional grammar teaching.