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  1. #1
    mvdberg112 is offline Newbie
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    Question How to teach how

    Problem: "How" has three general uses in English, only one is taught in most text books, as far as I can find. Does anybody know where to find it? Online material appreciated, but anything else is appreciated too.

    Extra information:
    1. "How" + adjective/determiner - e.g. "How many" "How old" are in most text books
    2. "How are you?" is in any textbook, but much less other uses of How + to be: "How was the film?" "How was the class?" "How is the new car?"
    3. "How do you make cake?" I could not find anywhere. How + to do + verb

    My problem: I have a number of students who start to speak English well, but multiple times over they did not understand my question "How did they teach you English in High school?" and also not "How were the classes in High school?"

    Question: where can I find material to teach these two specific uses of 'How'?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    mara_ce is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How to teach how

    Quote Originally Posted by mvdberg112 View Post
    My problem: I have a number of students who start to speak English well, but multiple times over they did not understand my question "How did they teach you English in High school?" and also not "How were the classes in High school?"
    Maybe your students should revise the simple past and question formation in general.
    Here are some related links:

    The Past Simple (or Simple Past) Tense
    Questions - Learn English Grammar - YouTube
    ESL EFL English Learning Help - Questions with How - Common Combinations for Questions with How

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How to teach how

    Quote Originally Posted by mvdberg112 View Post
    P3. "How do you make cake?" I could not find anywhere. How + to do + verb
    I have always taught this by example and follow up:
    "How do I switch on the light? I press this switch down."
    "How do I make a cup of tea? I put water in a kettle, .."
    How do you ..?."
    My problem: I have a number of students who start to speak English well, but multiple times over they did not understand my question "How did they teach you English in High school?" and also not "How were the classes in High school?"
    It may be that your students understand the first question, but simply find it difficult to answer, especially in a foreign language. What sort of answer do you expect to the second? If all you want is 'interesting/boring/etc', then you can model this quite simply.

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How to teach how

    Quote Originally Posted by mvdberg112 View Post
    Problem: "How" has three general uses in English, only one is taught in most text books, as far as I can find. Does anybody know where to find it? Online material appreciated, but anything else is appreciated too.

    Extra information:
    1. "How" + adjective/determiner - e.g. "How many" "How old" are in most text books
    2. "How are you?" is in any textbook, but much less other uses of How + to be: "How was the film?" "How was the class?" "How is the new car?"
    3. "How do you make cake?" I could not find anywhere. How + to do + verb

    My problem: I have a number of students who start to speak English well, but multiple times over they did not understand my question "How did they teach you English in High school?" and also not "How were the classes in High school?"

    Question: where can I find material to teach these two specific uses of 'How'?

    Thank you!
    I don't think this is necessarily a problem with understanding the use of "How". Surely there's a Dutch cognate you could give them. (Or wherever you are teaching - everyone has a "how" word.)
    I'm not sure that even I would know how to answer questions framed like this though. They are no doubt confused about what sort of answer you're expecting.
    Ask them something like "How do you switch on a computer?" and see if they have the same problem. If not, it's nothing to do with "how" as a word, but the concepts you're given them to explain.

    PS: and what 5jj said, as we crossed in posting.

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