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  1. #1
    JoannaD is offline Newbie
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    Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    I am currently working on a phd. in TESL and am doing research on techniques of teaching grammar. I will be experimenting using the integrative method ( more of a grammar discovery approach) vs. the communicative method in teaching grammar structures. My hang up at the moment is what grammar structures to include. I am a Spnish professor so am not aware of grammatical structures that tend to cause problems amon ESL learners. I am drawn to the present perfect. Is that a good structure to investigate or are there others that would make my research more useful. Any suggestions anyone might have I would greatly appreciate.

  2. #2
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    mara_ce is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    According to my experience, present perfect is one of the most difficult structures. Id say that present simple is difficult too, it takes a long time to get used to adding s after the third person. Once they have learned the tenses in general, they find it difficult to complete a text which includes present, past, future, conditionals and passive voice.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    JoannaD is offline Newbie
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    Re: Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    Thanks for the help. I am leaning toward either the present perfect or the present progressive vs. the simple present. Does that one seem to be a problem too? I am teaching one group communicatively and the other using the integrative method of explore, explanation, and expression proposed by Sysoyev.

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    Re: Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    Quote Originally Posted by JoannaD View Post
    I am currently working on a phd. in TESL and am doing research on techniques of teaching grammar. I will be experimenting using the integrative method ( more of a grammar discovery approach) vs. the communicative method in teaching grammar structures. My hang up at the moment is what grammar structures to include. I am a Spnish professor so am not aware of grammatical structures that tend to cause problems amon ESL learners. I am drawn to the present perfect. Is that a good structure to investigate or are there others that would make my research more useful. Any suggestions anyone might have I would greatly appreciate.
    I agree that the use of the present perfect would give you a good focus. It pops up here almost ever few days in one form or another (not just from Spanish speakers, of course).
    The use of 's' in the third person may be a more common problem, but no one posts here saying they don't understand it, and it possibly occurs less often in writing.

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    Re: Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The use of 's' in the third person may be a more common problem, but no one posts here saying they don't understand it, and it possibly occurs less often in writing.
    Im not saying that they dont understand it. They know the rules but when they have to apply them, they make mistakes. I always correct their homeworks and this type of mistakes are common:
    She doesnt works. / She watchs TV./ Does your parents work?
    Another problem is the use of adverbs in negative sentences. Of course, there are brillant students too. Their positive attitude towards the language counts.
    Ive seen that when they have to speak, they think more about what they are going to say, and correct themselves after saying something wrong.
    Something different happens with the present perfect. They dont know exactly when they have to use it.
    Finally, one day they overcome the problem with the present simple, but the present perfect takes more time.

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    Re: Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    Quote Originally Posted by mara_ce View Post
    Im not saying that they dont understand it. They know the rules but when they have to apply them, they make mistakes.
    That's what I meant. That's why they don't post here saying they don't understand it - because they do.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Common Grammatical Errors among ESL learners

    Many of the questions that people do ask here stem from being unsure about how to apply a rule in a particular set of circumstances, or about differences between variants, or simply where the rules they have been taught do match the realities of usage, like the 'rule' that recently requires the present perfect.

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