Based on the textbooks in Hong Kong, the students in Primary 5 get the first chance to learn conditional sentences. There are four types in all: Type 0 (any situation which is always true), Type 1(something is going to happen in the future), Type 2 (an imaginary situation which stands no chance of happening or even impossible) and Type 3 (a situation which might have happened in the past but which did not really happen) (Loo, 1996). As time goes by, students will get a better understanding about them in junior high school. Thus, it is not the first time that Miss Wong’s students get to know the target structures. However, some students find that it is hard to understand why we use simple past tense in if-clause to refer to an imaginary situation that is not a real past but impossibility.
What this paper will do is to find effective methods that can help students comprehend Type 2 conditional sentence better. Firstly, there will be a critique of Miss Wong’s teaching approach, and then you will see a detailed design of a grammar activity. Following it, a discussion and its theoretical rationale will be presented. Finally, a summary about the effective ways will be made.
A critique of Miss Wong’s teaching approach
Characteristics of Miss Wong’s teaching approach
As we can see from the interview, her approach follows this kind of sequence: explaining the grammar rules, doing exercises, checking the answers and elaborating the grammar rules again when students encounter difficulties. In short, the grammar instruction has been preformed as the three Ps— present, practice, and produce (Larsen-Freeman, 2009). As Miss Wong’s students, they are expected to master them by understanding the grammar rules without considering the c...
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