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The aim of this assignment is to ask you to demonstrate your understanding of the link between ‘descriptive’ and ‘pedagogic’ grammatical descriptions.
Part One
In part one (800-850 words), you are asked to have a look at this introduction to the children’s story called ‘Stig of the Dump’.
Based on your knowledge and reference to descriptive grammars, analyse and describe the system of time, tense, and aspect and explain why the writer selects the particular verb forms and adverbials of time. How do they create his meaning?
Comment on
a) The words selected to present the concept of ‘time’ in the text
b) Which group of tenses does it use? Why?
c) Within that group, which ‘tenses’ are used for what purpose?
d) How is ‘aspect’ used? For what purpose?
e) Explain your analysis with reference to at least two background sources. List these in your bibliography. (800-850 words)
Notes for part 1:
? To prepare, we suggest you chunk the text and apply SVOCA analysis at a) sentence, b) clause or phrase and c) item level to the text.
? Present your analysis as Appendix 1 (not included in the word count).
? While you are doing this you can get to know the word forms and develop an idea of what kind of text this is – what its purpose is.
Part two
In part two (400-450 words),
a) Outline the kinds of difficulties your students have in this area
b) Specify briefly the level of learners to whom your teaching is applied and their assumed knowledge. For example, is this new language for them or is it re-cycled?
c) Explain how you would provide a pedagogic description to help learners to understand and use effectively one part of the operation of the system you have described above.
d) Illustrate this with reference to 3 activities you have selected. Explain their aim and why they are relevant
Notes for part 2:
? You are not required to provide a lesson plan.
? You can choose exercises from published book(s). List them(it) in your bibliography.
? You are not required to refer to background theory sources for part 2.
? Put the exercises in Appendix 2 (not included in the word count).
If you went too near the edge of the chalk pit, the ground would give way. Barney had been told this often enough. Everybody had told him. His grandmother, every time he came to stay with her. His sister, every time she wasn’t telling him something else. Barney had a feeling, somewhere in his middle, that it was probably true about the ground giving way. But still, there was a difference between being told and seeing it happen. And today was one of those grey days when there was nothing to do, nothing to play and nowhere to go. Except to the chalk pit.The dump.
Barney got through the rickety fence and went to the edge of the pit. This had been the side of a hill once, he told himself. Men had come to dig away chalk and left this huge hole in the earth. He thought of all the sticks of chalk they must have made, and all the blackboards in all the schools they must have written on.

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