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  1. #1
    nigele2 is offline Member
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    Academic english or common usage?

    "I'm having a heart attack" "I'll call an ambulance" "I'm going to call an ambulance"

    This was raised when I was teaching immediate future and thus using 'will'.

    I looked back at my TESOL course and it said "Will and going to can be areas of some confusion for our students and there are times when we as native speakers use them interchangably, which doesn't help particularly when teaching them."

    I'd welcome any thoughts on how this is usually handled. Do you go soft on it, enforce the rules "Do as I say and not as I do", avoid correction while encouraging the use of 'will', ......

    As I progress I can see I have different types of students: those looking to get a specific qualification, those who want to communicate in a working environment, and those who are doing it for fun.

    Any thoughts or suggested reading would be very much appreciated. Thanks in anticipation.


  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Academic english or common usage?

    Some would argue that will call is the natural form as it's a spontaneous future responding to something current, but I don't think it's so clear-cut and certainly would accept both forms. You could explain the logic behind the argument, but I think it's not fully accurate to say that going to is inadmissible. I don't see a case for expecting learners to do things that many native speakers don't simply because some people regard them as less appropriate. I would not teach If I were as the only correct form, but I would tell them that it is still preferred in some contexts, which seems balanced to me.

  3. #3
    nigele2 is offline Member
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    Re: Academic english or common usage?

    Many thanks guys.

    I think Tdol that " I don't see a case for expecting learners to do things that many native speakers don't" sums up my preference but of course I have to take into account those who will take exams.

    Piscean "
    The truth is, as you were told, " but sadly the course had already rigidly expressed and tested the rules

    But you've given me enough to move forward. And as I get more students, who are also following an academic course, I can hopefully gain a better idea of how they are being taught.

    Now back to re-reading that link Piscean as that is a lot to swallow in one go

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Academic english or common usage?

    If they are following an academic course, then it makes sense to get a grasp of more formal usage, which they will be expected to use.

  5. #5
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Academic english or common usage?

    Where's the present continuous in all of this?

    I feel terrible pain in my chest. I'm calling an ambulance right away!

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Academic english or common usage?

    And if you're having a heart attack, there might be more important things on your mind than future forms.

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