Tag Archives: discourse

Field of discourse

Here is a recipe for Lemon Risotto from http://www.epicurious.com: We know this is a recipe, and not say a research report, partly through the field of discourse. Within the context of situation, field refers to: what is happening, to the … Continue reading

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Discourse function of “How are you?”

A bit further to my post on the XKCD comic, I’ve been spending time recently in class on the discourse function of “How are you?”. While it may seem like a small and basic point I think it actually gets … Continue reading

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Here’s a XKCD strip: It’s often said that you can’t ‘teach conversation’ yet I think this is only partly true. Of course it’s not possible to teach how to have a conversation, that comes naturally and unfolds as the situation and participants … Continue reading

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Metaphors of time and grammar

One of the most common EFL grammar lessons, especially at Beginner or Pre-Intermediate levels, is the ‘Present Continuous to Talk About Future Plans’ lesson. While this is an important usage for the present-in present and should be introduced at some … Continue reading

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Here’s a headline that was seen in the Mail today: “Barrister son of top judge who left wife for widow of divorce lawyer killed by police is fined for having cocaine and ecstasy” Whew.  

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Activity: Verbal group, discourse and Harry Potter

If we teach ‘the tenses’ separately, I think students might not get the interaction between them and how they are used in discourse for different effects. Here is an activity I’ve used with Upper Intermediate – Advanced students, though you could … Continue reading

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Verbal group 4: tense, discourse and trains.

When teaching the future tenses it’s very common to talk about ‘present tense as scheduled future’. For example, ‘The train leaves at 7.30′. Personally, however, I think this might be somewhat misleading. The present tense is the present tense. Importantly, … Continue reading

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Verbal group 3 – tense and discourse

Here is a picture of two people on a date: The language we use to represent the picture depends upon discourse choices. The picture may be represented as a series of completed events or, in other words, a story. In … Continue reading

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Activity: Polite requests and grammatical metaphor

We often try to introduce students, especially in higher Elementary and Pre-Intermediate levels,  to ‘Could you …’ type polite requests  but I’ve found that textbooks do not always explain quite adequately exactly WHY one form is more polite than another. … Continue reading

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Sports commentary and tense choice

Usually when teaching tenses for EFL classes we focus on time as the key element that differentiates each one. We compare simple and continuous in terms of ‘usually’ and ‘now’. Recently, however, I’ve been trying to take a more discourse … Continue reading

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