Archive for the ‘Modals’ Category

A couple of years ago I used a very short PowerPoint presentation on The Eight Parts of Speech. I made the presentation available to my students so that those who were confused about nouns, verbs, etc. could refer to it. I then decided that an expanded interactive presentation might be more beneficial. I also did not want to be tied to the traditional categories used in grammar.

I have now “completed” the expanded interactive version; however, as you can see from the title of the presentation, after some exploration, I decided to organize the presentation in the old, traditional way. While the categorization is old and traditional, the presentation of the material is not. The presentation is an interactive PowerPoint that allows students to follow their curiostiy by clicking on buttons. The second page of the presentation is “home,” and from there students can click on the part of speech that they would like to learn more about. I have also included an index. The icon for the index is in the upper right hand corner. Buttons in the bottom middle of the pages allow students to go back to the sections within the presentation.

In the future, I plan to expand some of the sections of the presentation. For prepositions of orientation, in particular, I imagine that  photos demonstrating the meanings of the words would be very helpful.


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Many of my grammar students are not aware that when it comes to modals, some of the same words have very different uses. Can, for example, is used for ability and also for requests. Could is used for past tense ability, but it is also used for slightly more formal requests. In an effort to increase my students’ awareness of these different uses for the same words, I made an interactive chart. Viewing the chart allows them to see the modals and their many uses. They can then follow their curiosity by clicking on the check marks to see examples (with photos) of how the words are used.

I used this with my class last week. I asked them what modals were and then showed them the chart, pointing out the different uses for the same words. I then asked them what they would like to know more about, and we clicked to our hearts content. I will also connect this to the course management system that I used for the class, so they can use the chart and the examples when they study independently.

The chart (Modals) is a work in progress, so if you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate them.


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