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2.1.3.10 Written practice activities

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    • #8185

      communityadmin
      Keymaster

      Do an internet search for different examples of writing activities which practice comparative structures, using the search words: English grammar comparatives exercises.

      Copy the link and post it below with your ideas for other teachers. Write:

      • exactly what it practices and how it does so
      • how controlled it is
      • whether you like it
      • how might you exploit it further
    • #8219

      ELT OUP Comparative adjectives:
      https://elt.oup.com/student/solutions/preint/grammar/grammar_04_012e?cc=global&selLanguage=en

      This activity practices comparatives and superlatives. For example:

      Complete the sentences with the present simple form of the verbs in brackets.
      Use contractions where possible.

      1. My sister thinks she’s __________ (intelligent) than me, but I don’t agree!
      2. Avatar is probably __________  (bad) film I’ve seen!
      3. score
      • It is very controlled and can be completed without understanding the meaning.
      • It’s ok for beginners or as an introduction to focus on form, get immediate feedback online, and try again.
      • Cultural references may or may not be familiar to learners depending on country, generation, interest, etc.

      (1) Each sentence can be used as a conversation starter (but may need adapting to suit local common knowledge and context).

      Some fun stock phrases can be introduced and practiced, too, for example:

      Absolutely!
      Definitely!
      No way!
      Are you kidding?
      (I’ve) no idea!
      I haven’t a clue!
      Good question!
      Google it!

      (2) Short dialogues might also be performed as a skit.

      (3) Students might also change the prompts and use other adjectives. They could also write similar exercises for each other.

       

      • #8290

        Rhett Burton
        Participant

        It seems that we have the same general consensus about these online task.
        I like how skits could make the practice a lot more meaningful. I like skits because they can make things impactful (memorable). I have always liked doing skits but have always wanted to have control over the delivery because I had (still do) have a hard time memorizing the patterns.

      • #8301

        Strips of paper with the first few words of a line can help students complete skits and reduce memory load.

        Getting students to write their dialogue on the board then erase one line at a time can also help, at least short-term memory. BUT like you, I’m more conscious these days (especially since doing a few acting jobs) of how difficult it is to deliver lines well if we’re still trying to recall them!

        However, getting students to storyboard their skits at the beginning has probably been the most effective, along with having them make their own recordings BECAUSE they usually turn it into a fluency activity naturally because they want to produce a good final version.

    • #8288

      Rhett Burton
      Participant

      https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/comparative-adjectives-exercise-1.htmlThe task in the link is a great task that focuses on forms. It is extremely controlled, which would make it very effective for self-study homework (if the students are aware of the vocabulary/patterns). I like it for what it is, but I would never use it because the context is beyond my students’ scope.

      How might I exploit it further?
      I would create a more meaningful task for each of the sentences for my students. Example 1: Dogs are more intelligent than rabbits.
      I would teach about dogs. I would talk about all the interesting jobs some dogs could do. I would see watch some videos about dog tricks. Then I would compare it to the rabbits. I would lead to students to the conclusion that dogs are more intelligent than rabbits.

      • #8302

        I really like the idea of bringing videos into the class and providing opportunities for students to draw their own conclusion. They might also then write their own sentences post video after brainstorming adjectives to describe each. For example:

        quiet -> Rabbits are quieter than dogs
        cute ->

        How might you expand on this to make it interactive, for example?

    • #8320

      Barbara Bujtás
      Participant

      https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/grammar-practice/comparatives-and-superlatives

      I chose the second GAME, you can find it as you scroll down.

      The exercise aims at practicing comparative and superlative structures by ordering the sentences they may reach an automaticity of the structure.

      It is very controlled.

      I don’t like it. The gamification element is quite rewarding, thus motivating. However, the sentences are out of context and random, totally meaningless. I’m not sure comparatives and superlatives should be handled together.

      I would stop after each sentence and personalize it.
      E.g.
      My phone is the most expensive thing I have.

      T: What about you? What is the most expensive thing you have?
      S: Laptop.
      T: Then say ‘my laptop is … ..? Can you say a whole sentence? (Showing up as many fingers as words in the sentence)
      S: My laptop is the most expensive thing I have.

    • #10095

      Masatoshi Shoji
      Participant

      Putting it all together. Do an internet search for different examples of writing activities which practice comparative structures, using the search words: English grammar comparatives exercises.

      Copy the link and post it on the Forum with your ideas for other teachers. Write:
      https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/adjectives-adverbs/adjectives/exercises

      exactly what it practices and how it does so
      Fill in the correct form of the words in brackets (comparative or superlative).

      My house is (big)
      bigger
      than yours.
      This flower is (beautiful)
      than that one.
      This is the (interesting)
      book I have ever read.
      Non-smokers usually live (long)
      than smokers.
      Which is the (dangerous)
      animal in the world?
      A holiday by the sea is (good)
      than a holiday in the mountains.
      It is strange but often a coke is (expensive)
      than a beer.
      Who is the (rich)
      woman on earth?
      The weather this summer is even (bad)
      than last summer.
      He was the (clever)
      thief of all.
      Mark wrong answers
      Replace wrong by correct answers
      Show all correct answers

      how controlled it is
      The sentences are fixed and the words are already provided.

      whether you like it
      This is a good exercise to transform the form of adjective.

      how might you exploit it further
      I can ask students to add their own examples.
      e.g. Compare your current university life with your past life by using “comparative” adjective.
      Students might give: My university life is busier than my past life.
      Or ask students to survey any data they might be interested in by using “comparative” or “superlative.”

      • #10101

        Thank you for sharing that good example for practicing comparatives and superlatives.

        I like how you have considered personalising and making it more meaningful for your university students. I often used SurveyMonkey with my uni students in Japan, every 4-5 weeks after we completed a project/topic. By the end of the semester first, several students also liked to use surveys to gather data for their own presentations, too!

    • #10096

      Masatoshi Shoji
      Participant

      My phone is the most expensive thing I have.

      T: What about you? What is the most expensive thing you have?

      This is a good example. Thank you.

    • #10146

      Masatoshi Shoji
      Participant

      What questions do you ask in your survey monkey questionnaire?

    • #10163

      The questions relate to (a) the aims and goals of the course and each cycle, (b) overall language learning aims, and (c) aspects of their learning that I want them to focus on and/or I want to get feedback on.

      For example, for students who completed the first 4-week cycle of a general English course where we focus on introductions, hobbies and interests, then compare HS vs university life, I might do the following:

      For questions 1-4, choose which word phrase best describes you:
      (a) True for me
      (b) Mostly true for me
      (c) Somewhat true for me
      (d) NOT true for me

      1. I can introduce myself to my classmates in English and talk about my hobbies/interests.
      (a) True for me (b) Mostly true for me (c) Somewhat true for me (d) NOT true for me

      2. I can ask my classmates questions about their hobbies/interests.
      (a) True for me (b) Mostly true for me (c) Somewhat true for me (d) NOT true for me

      3. I can compare my HS and university life (using comparatives and used to ~).
      (a) True for me (b) Mostly true for me (c) Somewhat true for me (d) NOT true for me

      4. I can ask my classmates about their university and HS life.
      (a) True for me (b) Mostly true for me (c) Somewhat true for me (d) NOT true for me

      I might also add questions to do with their overall learning, adding specific questions for learning online. For example:

      5. I know how to use Zoom for this class.

      6. I can ask my teacher/classmates for help.

      7. I have made new friends in this class.

      I also like to add some short answer questions (and always get at least 1 or 2 ‘surprising’ answers):

      8. What 3 things have you enjoyed most in this class?
      ____________________________________________________
      ____________________________________________________
      ____________________________________________________

      9. What has been most difficult or challenging for you?
      ____________________________________________________

      10. Write down 3 goals for this class next month AND what will you do to achieve them?
      ____________________________________________________
      ____________________________________________________
      ____________________________________________________

      What can I do to help you? Do you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for me?
      ____________________________________________________
      ____________________________________________________
      ____________________________________________________

      Initially, I used to make surveys just with questions but since 2011, I started adding in amusing, inspiring, and motivational pictures to break up each section and encourage students. It made them much more attractive and many students said they loved the pictures. Although the survey below was connected to a lesson on motivational strategies, it shows what I mean:
      https://forms.gle/mzfwkb3mkrPvqrYV7

      At the end of the survey, I also started to add a link to a short video related to the topic – like a reward and thank you 🙂

      In a 15-week semester, I have 3 cycles so there will be 3 surveys. The first is the HW for Lesson 4, for example, then I present their results little my little in Week 5, and use it for the basis for pair and group discussion tasks. This really helps me to understand and connect with my students, get them involved in the learning process, and see how their responses impact our classes going forward.

    • #10287

      Jessica Sohn
      Participant

      https://www.english-4u.de/en/grammar-exercises/comparison.htm

      This activity is a comparative exercise.
      It is to fill in the comparative form of the adjective of the first sentence.

      For example:
      1. Sue’s car isn’t very big. She wants a ______ car.
      2. This house isn’t very modern. I like _______ houses.
      3. You’re not very tall. Your brother is __________.

      *It is very controlled.
      *I’m okay with these kinds of exercises. I find them useful to some extent. I feel activities like this can help the learners practice, get similar with the grammatical forms. But, I would try to change the questions somehow to make it personal and more relevant to the learners. And maybe have them even write their own sentences about themselves depending on their level.

      • #10326

        Good find. Yes, it is just mechanical practice but as you say, it can be helpful for learners to simply focus on form.

        What questions, relating to form, can teachers ask to elicit some of the rules being tested?

        It’s worth noting, however, that the exercise can be completed without reading or understanding any of the sentences if learners can identify the adjective, e.g. modern -> more modern, good -> better, nice -> nicer.

        Saying/Writing sentences about themselves is a good way to help students personalise the exercise and make it more memorable. This would be a good linked skills activity.

    • #10314

      Rhett Burton
      Participant

      I do 90% of my online searches for content online via youtube.

      The video presents examples of ‘faster than,’ ‘better than’ and ‘more surprising than’ in a real-life visual context.
      The video is staged from natural usage to specific examples, to spelling rules.

      The first stage is less controlled than the second and third stages (which are highly controlled).

      I do not like this video for my level 1, 2 students because they would have to focus on too much out-of-situation context and language. The situation and the language used is too difficult.

      I find the content more advanced than what I would like for my level 3 students. They could recognize the keywords but they would have to learn too many rules at once. I would prefer it if the video had one structure and multiple examples.

      This content is perfect for my level 4 saunders because they would have learned all the words and use of comparison structures in specific contexts before watching this video.

      However, I don’t like how they use juggling as an example because I have never met a grade 1 to 3 students who can juggle.

      I think a task like riding a bike would be more age-appropriate.

      • #10327

        This is also a good find, Rhett. As per your EFL kids in Korea, my EFL primary kids in Japan would have found some of the vocabulary challenging. However, a lot of contextual clues are provided by the animation which is engaging and entertaining for them since kids love watching juggling, even if they can’t do it themselves, and they’d find the pie in the face funny.

        That said, I like your idea for riding a bike and this would reach my 5-6 year-olds more easily. On top of that, it’d offer them a more relevant model for productive use. So, as a task, I’d ask them to draw a picture of themselves and an older kid, each with bicycles, which they can then write about below it.

        And yes, you can see that they have tried t include the range of rules regarding spelling and form but with limited examples, probably to keep the video short, so we’d probably need to supplement/expand on it with our own students.

      • #10385

        scott gray
        Participant

        I think you are right that there are many other choices that would go better for kids than juggling. I can think run or swim with various animals could even involve some humor and science so it starts heading towards a more EMI(English as a Medium of Instruction) where it is not just language being taught. A sloth riding a motorcycle going faster than a cheetah, then an accident and the cheetah running much faster or such. And if they are more at the level of knowledge then I think the grammar in the video would be more of a match or at least doable for the students.

    • #10381

      scott gray
      Participant

      EXample exercise the blank is a drop-down box on the PC.
      1 My sister is two years than me.
      2 Cars are than bicycles.
      3 Rats are than mice.
      4 China is much than Britain.

      This box is where you would choose among three forms for the correct answer. I think it is very controlled. I do like them for review and some work but I wouldn’t want to use them like this in a class. Only in like speed dating type of situations or individual work with a prize for getting it done like being able to go on the PC and play a game or something. I am not a big fan of them as homework unless they are just a short review before they have to manipulate or add to it.

      For example: As a primer, write the answer as fast as you can. Then, change sister to someone you know and make the age correct to your target’s real-life age. Or, write the sentence out then add a clause to the end of the sentence that is true for you or someone you know.
      Then I can think that is would be useful. It definitely needs tweaks but if you get the right ones or the right student I do think they have their uses. I hated a lot of training I did for swimming. Running 5K before a couple of hours of swimming I really hated and at the time saw little use for, but now I can see the value I got from it. If they can understand or see how it will help them then yeah I think these can be useful or if like me they will just shut up and do it then yeah they could be usefl. That being said, most of the time you need to tweak it majorly for that to happen.

      • #10393

        Good examples, comments, and suggestions for exploiting the activity, Scott.

        One other key point you’ve highlighted is the need, sometimes, to explain the purpose of what we’re asking students to do, e.g. “Let’s practice making WH questions to ask about last weekend.”

    • #13126

      Naoko Amano
      Moderator

      https://agendaweb.org/exercises/grammar/comparison/comparative-superlative-adjectives

      This activity practices comparatives and superlatives.

      It is very controlled as students have to choose answers from the words already prepared.

      I like it because it is good and an easy exercise for the very basics of learning comparatives and superlatives. It is easy to understand the difference between them for students.

      I would change the name of person and animals. All the students in the classroom join and compare who is taller/ shorter and so on. It is a more effective way of learning.

      For the animals, students find the animal that they think it is the biggest/smallest and they will compare their answer with other students answer. Then they will know which animals are the biggest/smallest in the classroom.

    • #13784

      Naoko Amano
      Moderator

      What a great activity! Thank you for sharing the link.I definitely do this with my young students.

      Also, I looked through the link and i want to try some of them!

      • #13830

        Thanks. I’m happy to hear that! All the best and feel free to ask if you have any questions!

    • #15561

      Rhett Burton
      Participant

      This drag and drop content type has students talking about different types of sweets. You can rate from favorite to least favorite or just compare 2 times. The lack of text allows both teachers and students to make up their own language so that it could be used for anyone with a sweet tooth.

      https://learn.burtonenglishschool.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=h5p_embed&id=349&#8243

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Admin3.
      • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by communityadmin.
      • #15710

        Thanks for sharing your resource and initial ideas for using it flexibly. Can you give a couple of examples to demonstrate what it practices and how it does so, and then analyze how controlled it is and what age/levels you like to use them with?

        (By the way, what’s supposed to happen when I click the blue ‘CHECK’ button? Currently, I seem to get -1 and X for each, even if my order matches the picture.)

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