ERIC Number: ED228902
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
A Lexical Approach to Passive in ESL.
Dissatisfaction with the standard transformational grammar approach to teaching passive voice sentences gave rise to the method developed. It is based on the framework of a lexical-functional grammar, which claims that both active and passive sentences are base-generated, and that both active and passive verb forms occur in the lexicon. It would seem that if this theory is reasonable from the linguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives, it would be put to use in the English as a second language classroom. Because the theory sees the essence of passive as a change in the grammatical function assignments of a verb's predicate agreement, it is suggested that teaching should somehow focus on this point. After exercises on the comprehension of passives, production of the passive would be introduced. Initially, verbs frequently used in the passive should be taught as vocabulary. Then, several verbs would be taught in the specific ways in which they are used, along with examples. After several examples, students would be asked to make generalizations about the form of the verbs and the grammatical function of "do-ers" and "receivers of action" in active and passive sentences. Two objections that might be raised concern the practicality of applying formal grammar theory to classroom practice and the question of efficiency. (AMH)
Descriptors: Class Activities, English (Second Language), Generative Grammar, Language Usage, Psycholinguistics, Second Language Instruction, Sentence Structure, Verbs, Vocabulary
Not available separately; see FL 013 679.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (16th, Honolulu, HI, May 1-6, 1982).