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Likes doesn`t like question 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:10 pm
Posts: 10
Post Likes doesn`t like question
Firstly thanks Mark for an outstanding site. The best site on the web for an esl teacher by far. My life as an esl teacher has changed dramatically ever scince I stumbled onto this gem.

Now a question?
When I teach the fruits with he/she likes I have some confused kids on some cards, apple for eg. I teach "she likes apples" and the kids are lost because there is just one apple, when previously in a plurals lesson I taught 1 apple 2 apples. How do you suggest I teach this? How do you do it? The kids are 7 and 8 years old so a detailed grammar explaination is out of the question.

Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:19 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
Hard to say really, food is a difficult area to nail down with kids and even adults. We use the plural with some and singular with others. So, which to choose, which to choose ...

I like apples.
I like watermelon.

It has to do with whether we eat part of the fruit in a setting (watermelon) or the entire thing (apples.) Also, "all grammars leak", so rules don't always work which is hard to explain if you are explaining via 'rules.'

I personally don't place a lot of importantance on that with fruit. I model and repeat it over and over again. Some catch on and others don't. To explain the plural after 'like,' I use animals. That's a little easier for them to understand, because the pattern is a little more consistant.

S: I like a dog.
Mark: Really? one dog? the other dogs are bad?
_____Maybe you like dogs. All dogs.
S: Yes. I like dogs.

In Japanese there's no differentiating between singualr or plural for nouns. Atleast, the difference is not important. So, getting them to rewire their thought process to differentiate verbally between one and many takes some time.

Also, a mistake like that will continue for years. As long as they understand it, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It may iron itself out over time.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:42 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:33 am
Posts: 289
Location: Niigata
mesmark wrote:
English is hard.

Yeah, what he said... :smt073

Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:23 am

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Tohoku Japan
hhhmmm interesting ....

I like apples.
I like watermelon

for me the 1st one is you like the fruit, ie not just 1 apple but all apples in general (ie the real fruit, ... can touch it, not an abstract thing)

the 2nd one is the flavor? or taste? (at least for me)
so the flavor/taste is uncountable but the actual fruit (the real thing) is countable

maybe there are exceptions?
.... but as Mark said I wouldn't try to give a deep grammatical explanations to a young kid, but yes these issues come up from time to time
English is hard.

thats why they need teachers! if it was easy we might be out of a job?

anyway my 2c worth

Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:47 pm

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:10 pm
Posts: 10
Post Thanks
thanks Mark... I guess I run with it and teach it like you said... some kids pick up on it and again like you said it may iron out later if they didn`t pick up on it. Thanks again.

Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:47 pm

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:10 pm
Posts: 10
Post Another thought
I have decided to seperate the plural nouns from the uncountable ones. Should work a treat for teaching this type of thing. It will mean the topic will be food and I will have 2 sets of food cards. One full of plurals (pictures will display 2 of the countable food) and one set full of uncountables (rice etc...) I will teach them seperately but together (if that makes sense), then teach "I like, he likes, she likes" as a follow up on these two lessons. Sorry just thinking out loud.

Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:07 pm
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