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New aspects of language using a language is so much a part of our everyday lives that we do not realize just how complex an activity it is. Linguistics is the science responsible for investigating this activity. We take so much for granted. During this series some of the tools and methods used by linguists to study the complexities of language will be demonstrated the series is prepared and narrated by Dr. Frankel associate professor of English and Linguistics at George Peabody college for teachers continuing the focus on Applied Linguistics. A panel composed of Georgia teacher of ninth and tenth grade English Dick Bailey and Mike Ford graduate students in linguistics and Dr. Franco talk today about teaching high school students in a classroom. Excerpts were recorded during a ninth grade English class at Hillsborough high school. The only thing that we can look at in English structure
that is our regular pattern is the in the structure that it has now. We took the master the basics on a pattern and looked at them what. As we looked at them. The Master Thomas. Now. Now now and now I am. Then you went to your verb and you did. We don't have a liking for what we have far we have now and now you're going back to your other pattern thinking that with the various compromise that's what's going on you're not thinking. Now there are is the matter with. An object. If you
have an object complement to your verb it's going to vary. What are the two parts of your complements. What pattern is any one know. You're not going to get a new confusion so let me remind you you got your man for. Man bird Nam and then you have terrorized months of Anambra. Noun pattern. We're going to have a man with a direct object man and we have an amber indirect object direct. Madman pattern and then you have your. Objective complement which also is your noun verb noun noun fatter than I. Now how we have done on this particular day it is. Type this and transform it into another situation.
What just was obviously a classroom situation and in fact it was of a very high school. Judge you had was your class. Will you tell us a few words about the class play so that we get some feel for the people who are dissipating this class is made up of an advanced English one class its students at the higher ability Supposedly it is one of the two advance classes that made it heels for asking. Now I would like to know as a participant as to say a few words about their experience with high schools so that we can pull together our various experiences and when they talk about pulling them we really get at results which interest all of us. Mike when you say a few words about your past experience with high school kids from my past experience with high school teaching revolves around teaching seventh and eighth graders and also all four years of high school.
In two particular high school this was not in the national right. No it was in Minnesota and did you have any specific linguistic outlook at that time. No and I had time or never. I mean do you think that experience has really come after teaching us fans but I do with my high school teaching experience is limited to student teaching at Central High School here in Nashville and Wichita 9th and 10th grade I had experience with freshman English program on the college here. Well joining with take experience have that come after you started teaching or way you were taught before at the time of day the student teaching I had had no linguistic experience at all. I noticed as I was teaching that there would be certain classroom situations in which I felt a need for something a little deeper than Then the grammar that I had in the past and this is why I actually went into linguistics.
So what you're trying to do today as a follow up but we started our last program we have a whole series of programs dealing with a continuum of Applied Linguistics. The last time we looked into a classroom we listened in rather where teachers future teachers were being taught and making some of them with the insides which they will hopefully apply later on when they go to their classrooms. Today we want to talk to some teachers who do something with it work in their classrooms and see how they convey some of these ideas to their students. Future programs will touch upon similar topics as we go along. George Eliot tell us something about the relationship between what you're doing in the book material which you have had textbook is one that is based on what we label traditional grammar. How do you manage. I had my main traditional grammar how do you manage how do I manage. Yes well there is one chapter at the back of the book which is
labeled the linguistic approach. It is put there with big intentions that it can gag the teacher to use the new approach in a way that she or he would like to incorporate it within the rest of the textbook. I see Mike you smiling I think I know why. Will you tell us why am I wrong. I find it unusual that we distinguish between a grammar approach and a linguistics approach yet through grammar. Yeah yeah it sounds as if it were possible to study the language on one hand and then linguistics separately elsewhere instead of making linguistics a mess OT which applied to the study of language gives an insight that other methods don't give us in fact it. So to say I'll be oh it's almost what I usually say to my students. Linguistics is not a teaching method of linguistics as a method to give us insight into language and help us to get language insights across.
OK go on play is what I have actually done is act turned to this chapter in the back of the book which has the patterns as I have mentioned earlier with the class just has been listed there. What they have listed on one page. By means of the board and numerous groups of sentences take about a week to explain to the students are to show them to them they sing all the sentences before but they haven't recognized them as definite patterns. How do you explain to them that you have this kind of a contradiction between the two parts of the book. Do they know to that or do you simply gloss over it and try to forget it. That definitely So I want to argue with them when I try to be very honest with them and show them it is exactly what it is that it's at this textbook is like most of the textbooks they weren't sure had as you are which was going to be accepted. Yeah they were fighting to make it a completely new one. I have found one textbook that was brave enough to make this. A complete jump and I got a little bit about that when I use it for reference a great deal it's a book put out by the American book company its modern grammar and composition. It's based entirely from this new viewpoint it uses the new terminology which is
simply a new name for example all the things but instead of making everything so complicated it does a great deal of grouping which the students normally do anyway. They do it because they have this linguistic approach to grammar and value what they have done ordinarily is accepted right and they haven't one partner will far. Now let's go back to the U.S. We just listened to this was the beginning section from a summary on sentence what were you doing there. Give us some overview of what preceded the summary. This test that was referred to you know was the last test in a series our own approach to the Senate's pattered development which I had tried to bring in a corporate in this year study. It began last semester when we looked at the basics and its patterns which were mentioned in this test which was mentioned and you'll hear more about it later I'm sure. Here is a test on some ordination which is nothing more than a transformation our mains a combination of basics and its patterns. And of course what we're actually doing with patterns is showing that any Senate
structure if you follow it through far enough can be traced back this fact a success pattern is anything along these lines you're doing with your plastic. Well and at present I'm here still working with the traditional approach however occasionally I find it convenient to bring in some structural aspects on the lexical level the student is amazed at the number of lexical items that he has to remember that he has to analyze for himself and occasionally I will refer to some structural aspects to help him categorize lexical items. It's going to be quite difficult in the short time we have to discuss the use structure and I's ability of lexical items I think could be better stick to Graham and this discussion. Now that you have picked up some messing with sticks Mike how would you describe the value and validity of the attacking sentence pedants in this fashion. We seem to
have a few more details later. So you just heard the beginning of this class session it was broke. I think it's it's value is obvious from a number of points of view. Primarily I think because what it does is take an almost and I use this word with extreme caution and yet who do you grasp on the part of the students prior to the announcement that this is a new approach to grammar and simply says this is what you're doing unconsciously or consciously but not telling the teacher about it with sentence structure anyway. We're going to give it terms and we're going to talk about how you do it consciously now. I think from that point all along it has a great deal of value but additional inside has you in the games you think Judge I wish they would not have gained through that. Just when I think they've actually looked at the structure of stances many of them wrote sentences just like these before you know actually in seeing what they've done in writing looking at the structure of what they've built and having
put the two together has made a bigger difference five and because the same kind of sentences appear in their own writing which makes their writing have much more variety and haps them I think they transferred from one thing to another and we'll come back to that in a moment I would like to ask you just one question you have probably the first teacher teaching along these lines. Now these students had got to before is that correct. Yes they have. Have you had any comments from them about how they feel the difference how it influences their understanding of language. Yes I had a comment even today as one of the boys told me he says I understand what we had learned before. He never had much problem with direct tactics and and the like but he said Akon see this is much easier. And he says it seems even Clara looking at it from this viewpoint which of course as MP told him Well that is your answer to your question as to why we want to switch to it. OK thank you for the next section. What do you do to make one less important than the other. Several of
them are knighted. What do we use to connect the two. One of the possible subordinate is running a subordinate control of the one eyed conjunction is won what is another Alan. Yeah yeah yeah really. I didn't have. A hand what about about the problem in. One of the other ones that we found it would trip us up every time. John to bed now. Night and morning. Just exactly like you to probably I am. I would. Now be kind of subordinate Are you determined by a big. Us of our nation you know I am. One of the three possible ways you can
take a basic and hand pattern and subordinate it and make it part of a basic set pattern What can you do this. Look at our son and say what three ways we can do this. A subordinate conjunction as a subordinate. You mentioned a relative pronoun as a subordinate and you mentioned a relative adverb as a subordinate or when you have a subordinating conjunction. What. Kind of subordinate clause do you expect. Dammit and I have taken a basic sentence pattern. And made it within six minutes just like you would use one word haven't you. That's exactly what you know is a relative problem and what kind of. Cars do you usually expect to have mock. Would you please repeat the relative pronoun what kind of suborning do you expect to have.
Matter What do we expect instead first and then what you did. As teachers you know of course that linguistics can be applied to all levels of the language no matter whether you teach or Knology is a sound system or morphology word structure or syntax sentence structure. I think all English teachers agree that the teaching of syntax along linguistic side has been the most important bone of contention that different methods and people really rarely agree exactly which method to apply. Now we have just had an honest attempt to introduce some linguistic ordure into a sentence structure. Will you give us a few ideas. GA How you will get these ideal basic sentence and then compounding basic sentences across. What we usually did to start with of course by the time the students got to Hillsborough their ninth grade students. They have had most of what we would look at is the basic
sense constructions they've seen the different kind of direct tactics and so forth. So what I. Have them do of course is identified the patterns in other words just give names to the patterns of what they've seen before and realize that that's all that they have. Really what we're doing is just organizing the language that they sing from numerous different angles and putting it alland just boxes or slots in the cellar. And then of course we put them together to form compound sentences are way the same thing you use an example that one of them might have written that oftentimes will lift examples from some of their own work. And of course when they recognize that in the rest of class realizes that they have written it a little bit closer to home here in how far does this jive with things that you have been taught yourself. Do you feel that the way it has been given to you has helped you to do that. Did you have to improvise a lot in your own method. As far as my background you have to guess what you're getting. Yes I've had the mouse did it myself most of my background in linguistics has been information in the area which has been very valuable I have. Sat in on numerous courses taken.
Yes two or three courses and even tried to teach one to other teachers giving them some background but what you are actually doing would you say is the largely improvised. Yes of your own doing now. What interests me here while listening to this as the following and I guess our other two friends here will have noticed that I'm not going to ask them the moment you use the word basic sentence and you put sentences together into compound sentences and complex sentences but you never used the words transformation and that's intentional. Or do you feel that it's not really a transformational grammar you're doing how are you. Are you impressed by the A section we just heard. Well I think this is the basic question whether you're going to approach your grammar and simply say that this is what we have as a transformational grammar or whether we have some other kind of grammar at work here. Or rather with our own linguistic backgrounds as teachers we kind of improvise and combine what we know and then apply it in this particular.
Were you feeling then that one should be honest and say my approach is transformation and I'm trying to be consistent. Yes yes. How do you feel about the day. Well from hearing the thanks I got the impression that she was simply trying to avoid meeting me terms as a student of language to his he was hit with a barrage of terms rise and heat transfer process in which he must come out of his traditional terms into the new terms. The student who is grappling with the structure itself then has a double difficulty when he has to grant the grants the structure and then an addition learn the terminology so possibly she could be avoiding the terminology until a later date. I'm Meghnad you brought that up and have us going to as dodges that question and I would like you to comment on that and how do you feel it is possible to utilize a linguistic approach and still keep away from some of the special terminology you said awhile ago some linguists just relabel This is of course the road to home. That means you don't really
innovate anything you just give it another label but in general how do you feel how much of the jargon is needed and how much of it is really helpful. Well one reason that I have steered clear of the word transfer my year some accident and our the thin massive a little bit here is that I am a little bit shaky on it myself perhaps I do not have the material with which to show exactly what a transformation is. In fact you have been in my classroom. I only have one vote which I'm not complaining about but I cannot be too much drowning in riding in a race and if I have not in fact I wondered about that. You do much of your work very badly. You say well this is a compound and that's a complex sentence in how far would it be advantageous to do that visually to have trees on the border with known phrases and phrases openly seen and branching off from each other. Would that help to avoid confusion. For instance you asked a student what do you expect what kind of a phrase you expect and then you get all kinds of answers one is right the other is wrong. What a visual
aid. We have with the help of trees language free drawing on the board helping and not only on the board I have hope for and we are still going to get an overhead projector out there. Yes this type of work is the one to me is one of the best ways to take in transformation if you prefer your year transparencies ahead of time and can put them on and show them I think examples are the best way. And of course I think they can see rather than hear progress and I think writers are human they are half adult and had children as I like them often and I know how to listen so long. Yes my ass and other word about transfer my yes this word bothers them some how because it's akin to the word transition and transition is something else that is very difficult to teach a student which you hear as a hangover from all of you college professors because this is one of their major complaints to the English teachers the students cannot connect at Dia's This used to the sounds of the words have been hard for them as I had been drilling them in their head so I just tried to show them in hopes that they will see it is nothing more than a
combination of such as I have. You have caught me in the act of avoiding the word on purpose yes yes. Now you said they cannot connect ideas in this connection I would like to ask you another question. We can connect these ideas. That is the problem of the inductive teaching methods and the deduction. It is of course true that we are operating with Illingworth a system which is in our minds it's already there. You don't teach you students English. It is not the purpose of the English teacher to teach the students their language because they have known it much longer than the teacher can possibly remember what the English teacher's task is to introduce students systematically to what their language is like. To show that you know working so that they get some good idea of what English grammar is and what the peculiarities are. So that on one hand you're operating deductively Radley operating from a ready made system and we are working down
towards the individual items. On the other hand the method of teaching should be inductive as every teacher knows. How do we combine these apparently opposing views. How do you do it practically. How would you do it. Dick and Michael you have to say on that. Well I think that it's fairly obvious to me if you've got if you've got a group of students who obviously who know their language which these do because they're English speaking student the question is then simply to say to them of them now that we have the language of our disposal can we isolate or categorize some of the things within that language as opposed to another subject matter where you have to give them the material and then go on and talk about the categorization. What would you say well this is really what I do is try to take something that is familiar to them and I use the track to start on the simplest level level Achan fine so
that the slowest student can find someplace where he is at home which would be considered the simplest way out for example in a class I put a simple sentence up on the board of only two words which any every adult every student in the class could understand and could see the noun for a pattern it was a sentence that he not only say it he had written a sentence like well he could write. And then of course as you give them longer sentences they do are aware of what they already have they just simply look at it and can realize what idiots do you operate all with the terms known phrase and the president was not one of them. I usually try to distinguish between the sample learn the phrase and the class and the costs I think sometimes I need to realize that the how you group is used as one unit. Yes I think this is what I have worked far this of course is major restructuring this is when I run across a problem why can't we see one man in a particular unit Why can't we recognize it as a part of a pattern they say. And of course that is until they realize it is a part of a whole unit which doesn't affect the
pattern but is used as an adverb or an adjective. Yes the think I'm the only response thus far. I think it's extremely important that the student get the right introduction or orientation to the course. He sometimes comes into an English class and a disadvantage because he thinks the way I learn English and in this class is the way I'm going to speak it. Among my fellow students this is not always the case. The student may learn in the English class the ideal way to write the language and the way to speak the language in formal situations. But he needs to fully understand that in certain situations he might not be using the formal way of speaking the language. Let's listen to one of the section from the classroom situation with students with the same topic. The part time that you were asked to do was a second step of transfer could you in writing a paragraph completely of your own. Use of a
Ronchi a structure of English. I missed very scant on the run and didn't label it. Could your knowledge of looking at the structure of these various sentences be transferred to your writing. This is where we want to say it is in your writing and in your spanking. This is the reason for studying it or being aware of the structure being. Well that's a hard point which was just brought up and I'm surely going to have a heated argument about I'm looking forward to that. I'm just afraid that I'll listen has been of able to be with us all the time because we say keep fighting for a long time. In fact I'm also sorry that in a way I was students maybe disappointed that the talk about so many points of principle rather than questions of answers which they may have given. But here we have a very important point I want all of your opinions. Is it through with that the study of women is apt to make a student
a better speaker or a better writer becomes you because he becomes aware of structural phenomena. How do they influence each other. What is the entire relationship. Well George you said it. You better defend yourself. I almost feel like I'm on the firing squad. I I basically feel this is dreadful to be so they don't know it. I have had several years of experience that I think that I have seen this actually happen. I think in any situation where someone is actually aware of his structure that sometimes he is able maybe not back meaning to but your back simply because of his knowledge of the situation. These constructions are going to appear elsewhere more so. I want what I want in his writing than in his thinking. They might appear otherwise I'm simply because he's copying somebody else. Well Georgia believes in the conscious transfer Michael's violent coming. I just don't see first of all I just don't think we've got any evidence from the
scientific point of view to back up any kind of correlation between knowledge of grammar and a stupor a person's ability to write or speak better. I just don't think there's anything there so from now on we're conjecturing about the possibility of transfer had perhaps a decrease in fact experience. Well from a practical standpoint I haven't seen any direct correlation between grammar and composition. I would say however that I think there's more possibility for transfer problem from the grammar to the writing than from the grammar to the spanking I think yeah the speaking situation that the because of the psychological implications of the situation that the student simply wouldn't have time to to refer to the sense patterns that they don't become that automatic with it. Well you doing then I see my come on. Yeah but there's more than just grammaticality involved in writing a composition. I mean it's one thing to have a series of grammatical sentences as we know they're looking about the relation between REM and style and
that is one thing I think that is what you're concerned about yes but it's one thing to have grammatical sentences. It's another thing to have a good style which apparently is what we're we're talking what is your stab gone to exclaim magical correctness. No but you can reverse that statement. Not everything just grammatically was automatically good stuff. Oh well this is definitely your riders and of course I don't think it's simply a question of poetic license I mean that restricts the category. In this second discussion of Applied Linguistics. The focus was on teaching high school students in Georgia Haba teacher of ninth and tenth grade English Bailey and Mike Ford graduate students in linguistics. Dr. Frankel in the discussion in the classroom excerpts were recorded during a ninth
grade English class at Hillsborough high school next week. The emphasis on Applied Linguistics will continue with the topic teaching English as a foreign language. New aspects of languages are prepared and narrated by Dr. Frankel associate professor of English and Linguistics at George Peabody college for teachers and is produced in the studios of WP. This is Richard Waddell speaking. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
New aspects of language
Teaching High School Students
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Nashville Public Radio
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Producing Organization: Nashville Public Radio
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Chicago: “New aspects of language; Teaching High School Students,” 1968-10-21, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
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APA: New aspects of language; Teaching High School Students. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from