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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Below you can see a very simple text for beginners which I made myself (it may be a stupid idea, but I am trying to make my own exercise using only the sounds and letters and some vocabulary about people my students have learned so far). Could you check the texts and say:
    1) Can "a kid" be sixteen?
    2) Does it sound "very cruel" of parents to make their child eat apples or read? Or is it OK?
    2) What would you improve in the texts to make them suitable for a textbook?


    A. Alex is a dentist. He is a talented dentist. He has a kid. Alex’s kid’s name is Benny. Benny is five. He likes sweets. Mag, Alex‘ wife, lets Benny eat many sweets. And Alex says it’s silly. He says Benny may get fat. He makes Benny eat apples. He believes kids need vitamins. He is a sensible man.

    B. Dick is a chemist. He is a gifted chemist. He has a kid. Dick’s kid’s name is Ted. Ted is sixteen. He reads little and he sleeps till eleven. Candice, Dick's wife, is kind. Candice lets Ted stay in bed till eleven. Candice says Ted is a sensitive teen while Dick says he is lazy. He wakes Dick at nine and makes him read.
    Last edited by englishhobby; 24-Jan-2014 at 12:12.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    1) Can "a kid" be sixteen? That very much depends on the age of the speaker, I guess.
    2) Does it sound "very cruel" of parents to make their child eat apples or read? Or is it OK? I infer that you don't have any children, or else you would not be asking.
    3 (I believe this is the right order number here) ) What would you improve in the texts to make them suitable for a textbook? I would personally speak of child/chilren instead of kid/kids, but that depends on whether you consider the register correct for this exercise.
    Hope this helps.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    I infer that you don't have any children, or else you would not be asking.
    I have a nine-year-old daughter and I do make her read using various methods (like promising her some time at the computer or telling her that if she doesn't read books she will grow up into a very stupid adult or just giving her the book and asking her to read it for me). I just want to know if I am using the expression "make sb do sth" correctly.
    On the whole, I'd like to know the opinion of native-speakers: Are these texts appropriate for a textbook or would you personally be surprised to find such texts in a textbook? What would you change?

    Charliedeut, I wrote "kids", not children, because I'm trying to use only the letters and sounds my students have learnt so far (it may not be a very good method, but this is my task at the moment). We haven't covered the sound [tʃ] yet.
    So does "kid" sound very odd for the neutral context of a textbook?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 24-Jan-2014 at 11:21.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #4

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    I have a nine-year-old daughter and I do make her read using various methods (like promising her some time at the computer or telling her that if she doesn't read books she will grow up into a very stupid adult or just giving her the book and asking her to read it for me)))). I just want to know if I am using the expression "make sb do sth" correctly.
    On the whole, I'd like to know the opinion of native-speakers: Are these texts appropriate for a textbook or would you personally be surprised to find such texts in a textbook? What would you change?

    Charliedeut, I wrote "kids", not children, because I'm trying to use only the letters and sounds my students have learnt so far (it may not be a very good method, but this is my task at the moment). We haven't covered the sound [tʃ] yet.
    So does "kid" sound very odd for the neutral context of a textbook?
    I would not use such a textbook. A "kid" is the offspring of a goat. It is an often used word for a child but if you are teaching language why not teach it correctly?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    I would use "Alex's", not "Alex' - although the name Alex ends with an "s" sound, there is no reason to omit the "s" after the possessive apostrophe.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I would not use such a textbook. A "kid" is the offspring of a goat. It is an often used word for a child but if you are teaching language why not teach it correctly?
    You're kidding right?

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    #7

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    You're kidding right?
    Why would you say that? A student should be taught the correct way whether it be in science, language or any other discipline. Can you imagine the reaction of an executive interviewing a person for a high-level position if the person being interviewed said that he had three "kids"? At the very least, a student should be taught that the correct word is "child" and that "kid" is a colloquial term to be used in informal conversations.

  6. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    It is not a very enlightened attitude to say "the correct way" exists, in any discipline. It would be more appropriate to allow the learner to develop a spoken dialect that is idiomatic and natural in some geolect, and do learn standard written English as the Americans or Brits or another large group do it as well. I understand you suggested this, but textbooks also teach spoken English.

    "Kid" is so very frequent in spoken English here, that it is not at all incorrect, even in formal situations, these days. Children is fine as well, but isn't really mandatory unless you are writing in an academic journal.

    Saying you have three kids is completely natural, even in a job interview.

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    I'm honestly shocked at the idea that "kid" is incorrect.
    Do you have any kids?
    It's hard on Julie when her husband travels for weeks at a time for business when they have three little kids at home.
    Are you and Jim planning to have kids?

    Very common, and very natural.

    I wish you didn't have both paragraphs be about irresponsible mothers and common-sense fathers.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Can "a kid" be sixteen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I wish you didn't have both paragraphs be about irresponsible mothers and common-sense fathers.
    I've only just noticed that. I could change the roles in one of the paragraphs. I had spent a few hours to create these "masterpieces". If the texts are not appropriate, I won't include them in my textbook, of course, even though I spent so much time on them. Besides using only certain sounds, I want to introduce some vocabulary on the topic "People and their Relationship" (also the words with those sounds the students have learnt). There are adjectives like "kind", "picky", "sensitive", "lazy" etc and verbs like get, wake, say, tell, any commonly used verbs, consisting of these sounds and letters. The first unit of the textbook won't be long, I myself am aware of the fact that students need to move on, so the next unit is going to be much easier for me to do as quite a few new sounds will be introduced. I can do without these texts, just leave the first unit as it is - with exercises on pronunciation and intonation, some very simple grammar rules and exercises etc., but I feel like adding a couple of very short texts with descriptions of people and their relationship at elementary level. If I could make them sound natural, I would be really happy. If this task is impossible to fulfill, I'll give it up.

    There are similar texts here (but they contain all sounds):

    Easy Reading for ESL Beginners (2)

    Perhaps, we could make a survey:

    From the point of view of their "naturalness", are the two texts in my initial post in your opinion a) awful; b) just not good; c)not bad d) good ... your choice...?

    From the point of view of their possible use in a textbook, are the two texts in my initial post in your opinion a) awful; b) just not good; c)not bad d) good ...your choice...?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 24-Jan-2014 at 14:53.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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