Topic: Secondary

Sub-topics

Relevant for Secondary School teachers and students.

Tense in narrative: Activity 1

Activity 1: Tense consistency

Look at the following short passages. For each one, identify where the tense changes incorrectly, and then write a correct version which continues with the tense used at the start of the passage.

Texting language

In this lesson, students explore the features of texting language, from a linguistic perspective.

Goals

  • Discuss texting language from a linguistic perspective.
  • Define some key linguistic terms relevant to texting language.

Lesson Plan

Part 1

Texting language: Activity

Text 1 Text 2

Hey Gems,how ru?How was last nite?Hope u had a gd time..;)I herd the party was rele bad…ppl had an awful time!I guess I shud b glad I didn’t go afta all…tbXx

Free Msg; Our records indicate you may be entitled to £3750 for the accident you had. To apply free reply CLAIM to this message. To opt out text STOP

Variation and standards

In this lesson we ask students to think about variation in language - including reflections on their own language and the language around them.

Variation and standards: Activity

  • How is the way you speak English different from the way your parents speak English?
  • How is it different from the way your teachers speak English?
  • How is it different from the way the Queen speaks English?
  • How is it different from the English of the BBC?
  • How is it different from the English of Eastenders, Coronation Street, or Rastamouse?
  • How is it different from the English of Hollywood movies?

Verb endings

In this activity we will look at suffixes which change adjectives and nouns into verbs. This process is a part of derivational morphology

Verb identification

In this activity, students work through the criteria for identifying verbs.

Verb identification: Activity 1

Which words do you think are verbs?

Verb identification: Activity 2

He played cricket with Charlie.

Is played a verb?

  • Is it a doing word?
  • Can it show tense? Can you say Yesterday, I ____ed, for example?
  • Does it add -s to agree with a Subject like he or she, as in He ___s.
  • Can it take an -ing ending?

He played cricket with Charlie.

Is cricket a verb?

Verb images

This lesson asks students to think about tense and aspect, what they mean, and how else we can communicate those meanings.

Goals

  • Identify verb tense and aspect. 
  • Explain the meaning of verb tense and aspect. 
  • Use multimodal literacy skills to present information from words as pictures. 

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will be describing some pictures using language, and then drawing some pictures to describe language.

Verb images: Activity

The girls are rehearsing a song.

Several boys were playing football.

Sally has studied French for three years.

John has been studying French for one hour.

 

Verbs in fiction

In this lesson, students identify verbs in fictional extracts and discuss the value of choosing verbs carefully in their own writing.

Verbs in fiction: Activity

Word choice

Why do writers use some words and not others? This lesson looks at word choice options, both grammatical and semantic.

Word choice: Activity 1

What word would you place in the blank slot?

Word choice: Activity 2

Read this extract from a novel and think about the ways in which the writer has chosen specific words to convey his description.

My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables, and rats that scampered along the beams above my head. But I remember well enough the day of the horse sale. The terror of it stayed with me all my life.

From Michael Morpurgo, Warhorse

Word clouds in action

Goals

  • Examine a poem as a corpus, like a body of linguistic data.
  • Linguistically analyse the words used in a poem.
  • Create a word list based on a poem.
  • Present linguistic findings visually using Wordle.

Lesson Plan

Wordle is a simple corpus tool which allows you to paste in text and create a ‘word cloud’ that displays the frequency of words by their relative size in a cloud.

Word frequency

What are the most frequently used words in English? And could we do without them?

Word frequency: Activity

The 10 most common English words are:

the

of

and

a

in

to

it

is/was

I

for

Can you answer the following questions without using these 10 words?

World Englishes debate

This is a challenging lesson that can be a fantastic springboard for discussion with more able students. How do we decide whether regional, non-standard English is acceptable or not, and what role does context play?

World Englishes debate: Activity

In 1991, Professor Randolph Quirk and Professor Braj Kachru published articles in English Today debating the value of World Englishes.

Prof. Quirk argued that we must have a strong standard for English that does not allow for incorrect vocabulary or grammar.

Prof. Kachru argued that English must serve different purposes for millions of people around the world, and therefore, because a single standard is impossible, we must appreciate the variation in English worldwide.

Where do you stand?

Writing a story with prepositions

This lesson looks at how you might use your knowledge of prepositions and preposition phrases to write a short story aimed at children.

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