Teaching Conditional Sentences through C-R Tasks

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A. Introduction
Conditional sentences are dedicated to expressing a possible situation and its consequences. Teaching of conditional sentences is a difficult point in secondary school English education. In mainland China, students begin the learning of the first and zero type of conditional sentences in the eighth grade, and learn the rest of second and third type of condition sentences in the eleventh grade. The long learning period of conditional sentence can reflect the great importance and difficulty of teaching this grammar. The complicacy of conditional sentences determines that its teaching requires specially designed method.
Based on the verb forms in a clause, conditional sentences can be categorized into four types (first conditional, second conditional, third conditional and zero conditional) (Collins Publisher, 2005, p367). Each type adopts a certain form to express a certain type of condition and its consequence. In general, the majority of students can master the first and second type of conditional sentences because the tense used in the first and second type of conditional sentences is direct and obvious. However, the second and third type of conditional sentence can cause a little confusion because it is hard for students to understand that the expression of “unlikely or impossible situation” adopts past or past perfect tense. This confusion might decrease students’ motivation of learning conditional sentences and once the motivation is lowered, the teaching becomes more challenging which could become a vicious circle. Thus, an effective teaching method is necessitous.
Without a reasonable and meticulous explanation, it is very easy for students to be confused. This paper aims to develop a practical method to red...

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