EDUDEAF: Teaching Grammer

Key Words: Instructional Strategies, language, k- 12

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Subj: Re: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-20 11:16:32 EDT
From: ckrepel@POST.ITS.MCW.EDU (Candace Krepel)
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First of all, I think it is important to keep in mind that it is not just deaf kids who have trouble with grammar and manners. Hearing kids, and, yes, even adults, occasionally suffer from lapses. My spouse, for example. He has always thought faster than he could write, and never really noticed when his verb didn't match his object. (His dutiful typist had excellent grammatical skills, so corrected his work for him. But that was long ago, when I was young and in love :*) After 24 yrs, still in love, but not stupid enough to bail him out anymore!) He just got an update on his word processing program, and the thing that most excited him was the grammar-checking feature, that points out mismatch, passive voice, etc., as he is typing. Immediate feedback. Probably works for kids, too.

Candy Krepel

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Subj: Re: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-20 12:39:52 EDT
From: jwright@KNOX.NET (jean wright)
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Good question, Cathy,

I think that the most important areas have already been touched on: reading, reading and more reading, and 'real life' writing experiences. I think that there must also be a place for correcting kids, for waiting until they get it expressed correctly before responding, and for scrawling red ink all over papers. For a while, I think teachers were too focussed on content, and insufficiently focussed on grammatical correctness. (Part of that may be due to fear of wounding the fragile ego - a valid concern, especially if the child is already struggling with communication inequalities.) But I really think that if everyone's paper comes back red-inked, the kids are able to generalize and identify the learning areas.

Overheads, (transparencies) with error-filled sentences, corrected in class by the class may be helpful. I like to make these quite humorous, to hold attention. (Also a good vocab. builder)

'Correct the teacher's writing' may also be fun and learning-filled (Don't they love to catch you making a mistake?)

I also think the biggest part of it is in modelling - being willing to correct myself, when I make an error, and being willing to admit the areas where I have trouble understanding grammar. Ex. - My signing is not always correct in grammar or syntax. :-o Neither is their English. Okay, if I'm able to accept correction, they're more likely to do the same. (The other day, my rabbits ears were wiggling the wrong direction. Oh, woe! I felt dumb, but accepted the correction, and went on. Hopefully that models something I want to see my students do.)
Jean Wright
jwright@knox.net

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Subj: Re: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-20 13:01:44 EDT
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
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On Tue, 20 May 1997 09:22:53 -0400 jean wright said: > Overheads, (transparencies) with error-filled sentences, corrected in class by the class may be helpful. I like to make these quite humorous, to hold attention. (Also a good vocab. builder)>

Great post, Jean. Thanks for the practical ideas. In my room each day one child writes news/info on the board which everyone copies and edits for homework. Right now it is tied with a huge game board we have drawn on the bulletin board with the title The Race Is On. Students move a square for correctly editing targeted goals such as verb tense, subj/verb agreement, punctuation and noun markers. The kids love this.

I love the idea of doing models or examples and including humor! Perhaps we could take comics and change the captions etc.

One of my real needs right now is to determine what materials are available or sample ideas from you folks that I could make to hang around the room, provide to students in charts etc. which serve as a guide or visual reminders.

For example as a kid writes and comes upon a verb he is unsure of how to write he can look at X and determine from that which form, case, tense etc. to use.

Has anyone developed any such visuals? I have from Carson Dellosa several sets of posters and visuals on Writing, Punctuation etc. I NEED someting regarding verbs and other syntax types of issues.

Anyone made any of these? Have ideas of how to group or display such ideas?

Cathy

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Subj: Re: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-20 13:38:50 EDT
From: npopovic@supreme.cde.ca.gov (Nancy Popovich)
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Hi Cathy,

One of the viable educational tools I embrace is the Fitzgerald Key which I believe you could utilize as a visual guide to show the rules of grammar. Kids could easily the format in their writing process. Another process of my "ancient" bygone school days was to copy questions from the chalkboard and have the students read and write the answers in a complete sentence to the questions during their homework time. The next day, each of us wrote the answer to different questions on the chalkboard. Teachers then went over the answers and made some grammatical corrections. We students then made the corrections in our own papers. DAY IN and DAY OUT, yes, I mean every school day have the kids write, write, write! instead of giving out xeroxed copies of homework assignments. Could today's deaf kids really internalize written English doing closure, multiple choices, and true/false assignments?

In my school days, they had the Fitzgerald Key chart posted at the top of all the blackboards every classrooms. Lots of my former pre-lingual schoolmates learned to write quite well.

Enough said! I hope you find "the miracle cure" kits soon.

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Subj: Re: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-21 04:07:46 EDT
From: JAHARDISON@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU (Jeff Hardison)
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Apparently, theory and thoughts weren't what was being asked for. OK. Started at the wrong place. I have been struck lately by the work of Lev Vygotsky who did a lot of research into the ways in which children become literate and through what means ... stay with me I am not just giving more theory.

There is a book out called "Vygotsky and Education: Instructional Implications and Applications of Socio-Historical Psychology." No, this is not a psychobabble book. It provides the theoretical frame work within which kids cognitively grow as well as supply real world classroom applications.

It has completely changed my way of thinking about how learning happens and what should be employed to ensure learning does happen.

Ooops. The book is edited by Luis C. Moll and printed by Cambridge University Press, 1990. Hope this helps.

-Jeff

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Subj: Re: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-21 05:15:33 EDT
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
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To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF) >corrections in our own papers. DAY IN and DAY OUT, yes, I mean every school day have the kids write, write, write! instead of giving out xeroxed copies of homework assignments. Could today's deaf kids really internalize written English doing clozure, multiple choices, and true/false assignments? <

Thanks for the post. Yes, I agree the answer is WRITE WRITE WRITE!! However, it is critical for motivation and generalized learning (at least for my kids) that these writing assignments be as "real" as possible. The one daily language exercise we do IS drill. But, it at least gives the kids an opportunity to share news with the rest of the kids.

As the kids engage in real writing (letters, creating books, curricular projects, email, power point presentations, etc) I need a visual along the lines of the Fitzgerald Key. Gotta admit it really isn't my favorite (just a personal experience/thought).

I'll continue to work on the idea of how to communicate those grammar rules visually in an attractive, easy to use manner.

Frankly - that might be a FANTASTIC project to begin the year next year. Discuss some of the most pertinent rules and have kids design posters, cards, charts whatever which illustrate that rule. Then we could display these in the room for continued reference.

I'll have a new girl who is EXTREMELY artistic and has much difficulty with written English. This might just be a good way to help her learn some rules while expressing her artistic talents.

Cathy

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Subj: Grammar/Syntax
Date: 97-05-21 11:29:04 EDT
From: TWFlynn@AOL.COM (Tom Flynn)
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Cathy --

I teach college Deaf, so anything I say here will have to be adapted by you, because I'm not at all familiar with how things are done in grade school these days (it's been a long, LONG time since I was there).

My students seem to pick up the verb forms well enough when the verb forms are taught in isolation, but they have a very difficult time knowing when to use which tense. Drawing on a method that my college French teacher used, I started putting diagrams on the board, and the diagrams grew into drawings -- truly AWFUL drawings (which the students love to deride, but then they remember my truly awful art, so I must be making an impression). For example:

In teaching the future progressive tense ("I will be sleeping when you come home") I explained that there are really two actions being expressed here -- "you come home" (your action) and (my action) "sleeping." They didn't get it. So I drew a time line -- right now it's 8 PM, my wife calls to say that she has to work until 11 PM (mark both on the time line), I say (at 8 PM) "I will be sleeping when you come home." Mark 10 PM on the time line, draw a truly awful picture of me in bed. Mark 11:30 PM on the time line, at that point draw a truly awful picture of my wife walking in a door. Use an arrow from "me sleeping" to 11 PM to show that my action is continuing. They got it.

One of my students is also a gifted artist, of the cartoon variety. I'd love to have him draw a complete set of examples of the most important verb tenses, and possibly get some art-class credit for it, too. As you say, the visuals are SO important for the deaf kids.

In teaching the verb forms in isolation, I always anaogize with math formulas.

{BE} means the proper conjugated form. At first, the students who didn't feel proficient in math were nervous about this approach, but they got over it fairly quickly (no long division involved).

Also, our Writing Center has a handout (always available) which is a comprehensive list of irregular verbs. I gave one to each student and made a big deal out of telling them that this is their BEST FRIEND. Give your best friend a name. Keep your best friend with you all the time. Your best friend can help you with your writing assignments. If you have a question about a verb form, ask your best friend. Your best friend is like your Visa card -- don't write English without it. Now this particular handout has only three columns, Root, Past Tense, and Past Participle, but you could customize it to suit your own needs. Most ESL books have fairly comprehensive lists of a similar sort, usually in an appendix. Or have them make their own, adding to them progressively -- five verbs a week, whatever.

God knows it's a challenge to teach a hearing language to deaf kids, but there must be some effective ways to do it. Our job is find those ways. Good luck.

Tom F.

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Subj: Re: Vygotsky
Date: 97-05-21 09:04:49 EDT
From: juneem@BGNET.BGSU.EDU (June Elaine McCall)
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>OK. Started at the wrong place. I have been struck lately by the work of Lev Vygotsky who did a lot of research into the ways in which children become literate and through what means ... stay with me I am not just giving more theory.

Aahhhh the MAGIC words - CLASSROOM APPLICATIONS

It has completely changed my way of thinking about how learning happens and what should be employed to ensure learning does happen.

Have you had the opportunity to put any of the ideas into practice in a classroom with children?>

I just happen to have had a great teacher who at a university level, used Vygotsky's theories... By providing us with an activity, then asking a few leading questions and letting us take the topic to new heights..not always in the direction planned but always up... we were able to understand and put into practice the theories Vygotsky discusses.

****I believe one of the key successes to this class was the professors ability to become a learner with us and not a dictator or leader. She would ask us to think something through to the next level or occsionally look at something from a different perspective but she allowed the students to explore thoughts and problem solving on their own.****

This class flew by and we came out of it excited about "our new discoveries."

We also worked on writing in this manner, writing drafts in answer to a topic and then sharing with a partner who asked us more leading questions which helped us to clarify our meaning. Grammer was addressed in ways that asked for clairification not out right correction.

June McCall BGSU Ohio juneem@bgnet.bgsu.edu

Uploaded by: BJ Lawrence/ Kent state University/ Deafed Major