ANSWERING IN SENTENCES

In our ESL Curriculum we insist that all answers that theesl curriculum students give be in complete sentences.

esl curriculum The question of complete sentence answers arises from time to time, and we have had many discussions about it with different teachers in different parts of the world.

If you ask a student: “When you were in Paris, did you see the Eiffel Tower?” Obviously, the student can answer “Yes”, or “No”. Either of these answers could be considered to be correct. If, as a teacher, we were to ask you: “Is this a good way to teach ESL students?” the answer would have to be “No”.

Any beginner ESL student could be taught to say “Yes” or “No” at the appropriate time, without having the faintest idea what the question is about.

On the other hand, let’s look at what the student can learn if they answer: “Yes, when I was in Paris I saw the Eiffel Tower.”

By giving a complete sentence, the student learns the proper usage of the vocabulary words. The student can use most of the question in the answer, but it requires that they change the person from “you” to “I”. This also means switching the verb form. Practice with English language word order is also given. If the students repeat English sentences often enough, our English word order will start to come naturally to them. You can teach your students that if the question starts with “Did…” to always answer in the past tense. Finally, requiring a sentence answer requires careful listening to the question, so the students increase their listening comprehension skills.

For these reasons we usually say: “Answer in sentences.” at the start of all the written exercises in our ESL Curriculum.

Occasionally at the start of the school year, I would encounter a student who gave a one word answer. I would explain that the students had paid a lot of money for their course, and that they had gone to a lot of trouble to get to class that day, so I didn’t want them to miss the opportunity to really practice their English, so I needed a better answer, a complete sentence.

See also:

Our curriculum is in use in more than 75 countries around the world.

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About brian_mu8dft39

Successful ESL was created out of our first company, Learning English With Laughter which began in 1990 when we, George and Daisy Stocker, traveled to the historic city of Karlovy Vary in Czechoslovakia, to teach English in a private language school. Communism was over and the people were embarking along the road to democracy. There were hundreds of students eager to learn the English Language, but suitable textbooks were non-existent. Consequently, we wrote as we taught, making countless revisions as we listened to the students' special needs. Upon returning to our home in Victoria, Canada, we have adapted the Teen-adult Series to meet the cultural needs of students in a number of different countries. A variety of adaptations have been achieved through contacts with many countries. Thousands of students have encouraged us to use a conversational approach to English that stresses communication in a variety of everyday situations. See our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Successful-ESL-Ltd/322661351104350
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5 Responses to ANSWERING IN SENTENCES

  1. Keys says:

    I really wish there were more atircles like this on the web.

  2. Interesting approach towards this. Wondering what you think of it’s implication on society as a whole though? People obviously get frustrated when it begins to affect them locally. I’ll check back to see what you have to say.

  3. As we are teaching English, the sentences refer to English speaking culture.

  4. Troy says:

    Book marked, I enjoy your site! 🙂

  5. mlb hats says:

    This post has been somewhat of a revelation to me.

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