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  1. #1
    newbadthings is offline Newbie
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    Default TOEIC grammar (verbs) -- how to explain the "why?" when it comes to word choice

    So as it stands, my girlfriend is an ESL teacher to a group of Japanese students. It's not entirely new territory for her, but she's never had to deal with the issue of teaching grammar based on the TOEIC test. As an example from her textbook:

    The meeting room _____ 40 people.

    (A) gathers
    (B) carries
    (C) holds
    (D) waits
    To us native English speakers, or anyone already familiarised with the language, we know that the answer is C, "holds," because it fits in with the context and just "sounds right." But how do you explain that to a Japanese student? Surely you can't just tell them, "it's right because it sounds right." Even more confusing to me is that the rest of the options are verbs too, which should mean that the lexical structure of the sentence would still be sound, but incorrect since it isn't using the "right word."

    Therefore, what is the most effective of accepted way to approach this topic with ESL students?

    Thanks, all.

  2. #2
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: TOEIC grammar (verbs) -- how to explain the "why?" when it comes to word choice

    The best way is to discuss the vocabulary. Give (or have the students) give definitions, synonyms and antonyms, and examples in context.

    _______________
    The meeting room _____ 40 people.


    (A) gathers
    What does 'gather' mean?
    What's another word for gather?
    Can a room gather things?
    (B) carries
    What does it mean?
    Give an example: The bus carries 20 (from place to place = movement)
    Can a room carry 20 people? Why or why not. Explain.
    (C) holds
    a room is like a container; it can hold/contain people
    (D) waits
    a room cannot wait people

  3. #3
    newbadthings is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: TOEIC grammar (verbs) -- how to explain the "why?" when it comes to word choice

    Thanks a lot for yr input, lauralie2. That seems like a viable method. I've forwarded the thread along to her.

    Anyone else have any further advice, or is this kind of the de facto way to approach this topic?

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