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ERIC Number: ED031691
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Mar
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Concept of "General-Specific" to TESOL Problems with Particular Attention to the Teaching of "the/a" and "some/any".
Hok, Ruth
The author discusses the grouping of meaning concepts into a system of the general and the specific as a logical and effective way of approaching language phenomena. Miller's utilization theory provides a model for setting up categories; Mandler's hierarchical adjustment, a model for establishing hierarchical order. The author hypothesizes a "repositioning" or refocusing process for using the categories. The ability to reposition our thinking permits us "logically" to let non-count concepts take on countability (the people of the world, the peoples of the world). After repositioning has taken place, we can then view a concept macroscopically as a category unto itself, or microscopically as a unit within a category, or as separate from other categories. Rules governing the occurrence of "the / a" are reduced to: (1) Count nouns in the singular must use "the" or "a". (2) Non-count nouns and plural count nouns may use "the" or nothing. (3) The choice between "the,""a," and nothing depends on the speaker's position (the category he is working from) and his view. Within the non-specific category of "some" and "any" there are units whose relations in turn are that of general and specific. Lessons should indicate that in the affirmative sentence, we usually speak in terms of parts (I want some pencils) rather than in terms of the whole (I want any pencils). (AMM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper given at the Third Annual TESOL Convention, Chicago, Illinois, March 5-8, 1969.