Thursday, 12 July 2018

Working on grammar through extensive reading in Science


Our students are often asked to read for understanding and for pleasure. We encourage them to read in order to enrich their vocabulary but we can also ask them to read a text not only  for the   reasons mentioned above  but also to improve their grammar. 


I would like to share an example based on a Science text. My classroom proposal  is aimed at B1-B2 students depending on your teaching context. You can put  it into practice if you are teaching English or if you are an English teacher  working in coordination with a Science teacher who is developing the CLIL approach. In this case, the activity that focuses on language  would be carried out by the language teacher and the Science teacher would focus on Science concepts. 

The main purpose of this type of activity is to foster students' reflection on the features of Science texts so as to foster understanding. 

You can click here to download the text and you can find the classroom activity below the following  image: 



 A heatwave can fry the brain. Photograph: aryos/Getty Images




Classroom activity:

Today we are going to read a text to learn about a new research carried out by scientists but we are also going to read the same text to discover the grammar of it. Therefore, the first time you read the text, check that you understand the ideas in it by looking up the new words. The second time you read the text, work with your partner and pay attention to language use by answering the questions below:

1)  Find at least two comparative sentences.   Would you say their use is important for the type of text? Why?

2)   The text is written in the present tense and in the past tense but you can find at least   an example of the present perfect tense. Can you underline it and say why the writer uses it?

3)   Can you find any words or phrases that express probability?   Underline them and pay attention to the way they are used in this text. Do you think they are common in scientific texts?

4)  Lines 13-14: what do you notice about the use of the words “increase” and “decrease”? Have you learnt anything about the way they can be used?

5)   Lines 10-12: “not only … accurate”.  Do you understand this sentence? Is it the first time you see a sentence starting with “not only”? How could you paraphrase it and make it more simple for a friend of yours who does not understand it?

6)   A feature of scientific texts is the use of long sentences. Can you find one and divide it into two sentences to increase  understanding ?  

7)   The use of the passive voice is very common in scientific texts. Can you find at least three examples? Why do you think the passive voice is so common in Science?

8) Lines 24-33: look at the way “while” and “meanwhile” are used. Is it a different use from the one you knew?  Do you understand  their meaning in this context?  

 9) Lines 31-33: notice the use of "face" in "buyers are faced with far fewer decisions". Can you make a sentence of your own using "be faced with"?

10) The text says that "women are sick of AC standards being tailored around men". What are you sick of? 






I hope this proposal is useful to make your students improve their grammar and better understand Science texts by reflecting on language features of this type of text. Please, let me know what you think about it. 



Science text taken from : 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/11/heatwave-bad-decision-making-harvard-study


3 comments:

  1. Hey Great job did by you. You Know what? I read a lot of blog post and I never see content like this. I Love This Information You made about Working On Grammar Through Extensive.




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  2. Thank you very much for your comment. I developed this proposal to show that grammar can be taught in different ways. A very successful way is through eliciting it when students read different texts. I am happy you found it useful.

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  3. Great work done by you .Informative and problem-solving content that users can easily digest can work really great for almost all types of blogs. When a user find something informative on a blog, he/she is more likely to come back again in future to get something valuable from your side.





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