Teaching Conditional Sentences to Chinese Students

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Part A 1. Introduction Teaching English If-conditional sentences to Chinese students is always a challenge for English teachers. English teachers are still continuously seeking for an effective method to make the language point more understandable for students. The probability approach put forward by Mei Wu (2012) provides a clear classification of conditional sentences. Based on her theory, conditional sentences can be mainly divided into four types. In terms of probability, type 1 is the factual conditionals (zero condition) which mean the event is definitely happen to meet the condition stated in the if-clause. Type2 is the predictive conditionals which refer to the event that has high possibility to happen in the future while type 3 is the hypothetical conditionals (second conditional) which used to describe the situation which has low probability to become true. Both type2 and type 3 use past tense to express different meaning. Then, past perfect tense is used in the situation which is impossible to take place in the past in type 4. (Wu, 2012) Based upon the interview, students are confusing about the tense in the second conditional sentence. What students have learnt in the previous class is that past tense only used to describe things took place in the past. Therefore, they find it difficult to understand why past tense verb should be used in the if-clause to express something happen in the present or future in imaginary situation. Moreover, we may easily observed that Chinese people seldom change tenses and modality in verb phrase to differentiate the conditional situation because there is only one verb tense in Chinese language. (Zhang, 2005:18) The purpose of this paper is to discuss the approaches to enhance the effect... ... middle of paper ... ...e EFL classroom. ELT journal, 52(4), 301-307 Gerngross, G & Puchta, H. (1992). Creative Grammar Practice: Getting Learners to Use Both Sides of the Brain. England: Longman Group UK Limited Long, M, H. & Doughty, C, J. ( Eds.).(2009). The Handbook of Language Teaching. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Nunan, D. (1997). Teaching Grammar in Context. ELT Journal, 52(2), 101-109 Nassaji, H., & Fotos, S. (2011). The role of context in focus on grammar: Teaching Grammar in Second Language Classroom (pp.121-134). New York and London: Routhdge Robert M. Dekeyser. ().What Makes Learning Second-Language Grammar Difficult? A review of issues. Wang, Q. (2006). A course in English language teaching. Beijing: Higher Education Press Wu, M. (2012). The Probability Approach to English If-conditional Sentences. Canadian Center of Science and Education, 5(5), 37-41. doi: 10.5539/ elt.v5n5p37

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