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Concourse 2

A short course in comparing languages: start here

start

This is the first page of a short (well, shortish) course concerned with learning about our students' languages and using that information to help both them as learners and us as teachers.
It is designed as a supplement to the in-service guide on language typology.


2

Two questions to answer

In some settings, the teacher shares a first language with the learners, in others the teacher is a fluent user of the learners' language(s).
In many settings, however, some at least of the learners' first language(s) may be wholly unknown to the teacher.

In all settings, knowledge, if only in theory, of how the learners' language(s) work is valuable because it helps us to answer these questions:

  • How does knowing about the ways our students’ languages are different from English help us to help them learn?
  • How does knowing how our students’ languages are similar to English help us to help them learn?

writing

Doing this mini-course

The activities are divided into short texts with some information and tasks to complete and the occasional exercise to test you as we go along.  At the end, there is an opportunity to test yourself to see how much you can remember.
There are 4 stages following this page but you don't have to do them at the same time.  You can stop, make a note of where you are and come back when you've had a break.  Up to you.
There is a menu at the foot of each page that you can use to navigate around the 4 stages, this page and the example lesson materials.  If this is your first visit, however, the advice is to follow the stages in order.

You can do this course alone or with colleagues with whom you can discuss your reactions to the tasks and exercises.  Whichever way you prefer, please have a pen and paper handy so that you can write not just think about your responses.

From time to time, you will get a task to do.  When that happens, please respond to the task before moving on.

Here's the first task.

think write This is a sign written by someone whose 1st language is not English (obviously?).
Question: Why was the mistake made?
Write down some reasons before you go on to the first stage of the activity proper.

skies

When you ready to go on to Stage 1, please click here.

Index Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 The lesson