Activity: Actor v Carrier.

Here is a very simple activity I sometimes use with both elementary adult classes and young learners. It focuses attention on the basic difference between Actor-Goal and Carriers-Attribute.

First, on the whiteboard or a piece of paper, write the following:

  1. apples
  2. bananas
  3. peaches
  4. melons
  5. tomatoes
  6. grapes

Under this we could write:

  • Actor – Process – Goal (- Circumstance)

Students then roll a dice and makes sentences, such as 4. – I (Actor) like (Process) melons (Goal) or 2. – My dad eats bananas for breakfast. Write down each sentence as it is said and, after every student has rolled, look as a class at the Actors and how they are (mainly) human. Also look at the Processes (mainly material and some mental)

Once the students have practised this, we could then write:

  •  Carrier – Process – Attribute

This time, the students roll the dice and make sentences, such as 4. – Melons (Carrier) are (Process) sweet (Attribute) or 2. Bananas are yellow. Again, write down each sentence and look at the Carriers (fruit) and Processes (mainly “are” but others such as “look” and “taste” also possible).

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About eflfunc

I'm an EFL teacher in Japan and this is a blog to record some thoughts on using Systemic Functional Linguistics in the foreign language classroom.
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