Delta Lsa1 - Helping Learners Clarify Relative Clauses

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Helping Intermediate Students Revise and Clarify Relative Clauses Introduction According to Parrott (2010: 406) Native English-speaking teachers have the tendency to underestimate the level of difficulty learners experience with comprehending relative clauses. At the intermediate level, students have been introduced to them, but Parrott (2010), however, goes on to say that many course books do not address the difference between defining and non-defining relative clauses in depth until late intermediate or advanced levels. As this paper will focus on teaching relative clauses to intermediate students, I will assume students have been introduced to relative clauses in lower levels, but in need of revision and clarification of defining and non-defining relative clauses. I have chosen to focus on defining and non-defining relative clauses for intermediate students as, in my experience, they have the ability to effectively add complexity to their speech and writing but require clarification of the correct usages and production of relative clauses to do so. This essay analyses the differing forms, meanings, and pronunciation of defining and non-defining relative clauses. It addresses common problems learners experience and describes solutions to help intermediate students gain a better command of this system. Analysis and Potential Problems for Learners Form Analysis Parrott (2010: 407) provides a comprehensive breakdown of the function of a relative clause, naming, in addition to modifying a noun phrase, acting as an adjective, avoiding repetition of the subject or object, identifying or distinguishing similar things or people, and describing qualities after using a vague noun such as thing. Defining relative clauses A defining relative clause gives essential information about a noun or noun phrase it modifies. Without the defining relative clause,
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