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Teaching Indefinite and Definite Articles

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"Does it matter if things have been proved or proven? I ask this as a grammatical question, not a philosophical one about the nature of evidence. Does it matter if one uses proved or proven as the past participle of the verb prove?" - Anne Curzan

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Is trying to figure out your grammar lesson plan like trying to solve a murder mystery? Maybe it is!

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Velsie Pate, Grammar Teaching, Article Review

Swasey Washington, Patricia, and Aquiles Iglesias. "Tense Shifting In Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners." Communication Disorders Quarterly 36.3 (2015): 152-161. ERIC. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Abstract Summary
“Tense Shifting in Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners” explores the frequency of tense shifting in bilingual kindergarten to third grade ELL students.  The article notes that many studies have been done on older ELL children and ones have been done about monolingual students and so it turns its focus to the younger bilingual students.  The article takes into consideration how regular and irregular verbs influence this tense fluctuation and looks at how L1 language may foreshadow L2 learning of improper tense use.  In the end, the article concludes that grade level does not affect the prevalence of tense shifting and the problem mainly occurs in ELLs learning English.

The study focuses on tense shifting in the narrative arena.  The study explores if students in the fore mentioned category are “developmental delay”.  To examine more that one side, the article looks at monolingual vs. bilingual tense shifting and the effect of regular verbs versus irregular verbs.  These are all students in California and Texas transitional bilingual (gradually from Spanish to English) classrooms.  Participants are broken up into three groups depending on how well the students performed in each language.
Students were told a “pre-scripted” picture book story and then given the picture book and asked to retell the story. At first, the narrator presents the story in Spanish.  A week later the story is narrated in English.  
One of the interesting bits of information in the article is that three year olds, in general tend to tense shift more, according to the research, but by age 5 the shifting reduces, and by 9, monolingual “children choose a (narrative) dominant tense”. (153  Washington)

The most interesting part about the student was to learn what specific languages tend to use present tense (in narration) and which use past tense.  In summary, English speakers (past), Hebrew (past), Spanish (present), German (present), Turkish (present tense/”or M. Past).  

Having an understanding of how L1 language affects tense shifting if most helpful in an IEP English language course.  

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Online Grammar Resources

ESL Interactive Grammar Games 
This website has a variety of online games, especially to build vocabulary and reinforce grammar skills.  Some of the games are web-based board games, and others are single player.   It is mostly for beginner-intermediate level ESL.  Games are organized by grammar topic.  

6 Super ESL Games for Grammar Review
This website has several games that could be played in class to review grammar.  The games, themselves, are not online, but the webpage has links for worksheets, articles, and seasonal materials that could also be very helpful for the classroom.

English Grammar:  Online Exercises
This link contains several online grammar quizzes that could be very useful when reviewing grammar topics such as tense, articles, passive voice, etc.   Included on the page are links to lesson plans, grammar rules, and other tools.

English Grammar Reference and Exercises
This website has a well-organized listing of grammar rules and exercises.  Additionally, it includes readings, tips for writing, vocabulary, test taking, business English, and fun & games.

Englishleap Exercises
This website has a very well-organized and comprehensive list of exercises by grammar topic.  All of the exercises include 10 questions, and the exercise is self-scoring.  
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