Celta Assignment Focus on Language

Assignment 1 – Focus on Language

Carol Jones

The sentences identified all include errors that intermediate level learners have made.

  1. I haven’t usually breakfast in the morning.

  This should read - I don’t usually have breakfast in the morning - and shows confusion between the use of “have” as an auxiliary verb and a lexical verb which means that because of this, the negative has been incorrectly formed.

In some languages (particularly Dutch and German), the auxiliary verb “do” does not exist which could cause learners some difficulties as in both of these languages “not” is added to the verb making it into a negative, which could mean there would be an incident of L1 interference in this particular problem.

L1 interference is the phenomenon of the source language influencing the learning of the target language.

It seems that as the issue in this instance is the formation of negatives with lexical verbs, then a lesson focusing on this in some detail would address the issue. I would ensure that this grammar point was presented in as many different ways as possible using visuals and written exercises to suit each individual learner (Appendix 1). A gap fill exercise focusing on “have” as the main verb and ensuring learners understand that the negative is formed by using “do not” before “have”.   I would elicit examples first - giving the students practice with forming the negatives to reinforce this (Appendix 2).

  2. I work as an au-pair and I look for two children every afternoon.

      The error in this sentence is clearly in the meaning where in the incorrect phrasal verb has been used. The sentence should read – I work as an au-pair and I look after two children every afternoon.

In this instance the “look for “ means to try to find, and to “look after” which means to care for, should have been used instead (Appendix 3). A phrasal verb is a verb which is then followed by one or more particles (preposition and/or adverb) which...