I'm pleased to announce a new page on 'Teacher Greg's Education Home'.
The motivation for it came from my desire to engage the many colleagues with whom I work, in a conversation about ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course of Study) and EAP (English for Academic Purposes) programs and how they operate at my institution. Like many workplaces, the pressures of just keeping on top of the teaching have meant that opportunities for genuine discussion, sharing and reflection have become rare, formal meetings have become ineffectual, and inefficiencies have naturally arisen as a result.
'TESOL forums' will be a chance to recover lost ground, to re-ignite the discussion, and to move forward in more practical ways. It will take some effort to 'sell' the idea and overcome the hesitation of others, but I'm taking the first steps while hoping this will lead them to continue the conversation.
Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history. -Joan Wallach Scott
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. -Maria Robinson
When reading a recent post by Karenne Sylvester called "Which came first: time or tenses?" (at http://kalinago.blogspot.com/2010/11/which-came-first-time-or-tenses.html) I thought it would be fun to see what sentences looked like without changing the form of the verb, but simply using modifiers or qualifiers to suggest the tense.
The table seen on the left (with some inspiration from http://www.athabascau.ca/courses/engl/155/support/verb_tenses.htm) is my attempt to answer that question.
What I'd like to know from readers is: when you look at these sentences, can you understand what is being said? In other words, ignoring the verb form, does the sentence communicate the intended time reference?
Having written them myself perhaps I'm too close to tell, but it seems to me that simply using the basic form of the verb (infinitive without the "to") does work. In each case the reader or listener, after getting over the initial shock, ought to be able to determine when the events were taking place relative to time.
When it comes to fluency and comprehension, it begs the question of whether we are sometimes too hard on our English learners who produce utterances like these, when we actually DO know what they mean.