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Common Mistakes made by English Language Learners

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Lindsay Abeln

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Common Mistakes made by English Language Learners

And how to avoid them Common Mistakes Made by English Language Learners Articles Use before nonspecific, singular count nouns.
Non-specific means the reader and the writer do not know exactly what thing is being talked about.
For example, "They went to a movie." We don't know what movie they attended.
"A" should be used in front of words that begin with a consonant SOUND. There are some words that begin with vowels, but sound like they begin with consonants, like Europe or unicorn.
"An" should be used in front of words that begin with a vowel SOUND. There are some words that begin with consonants but sound like they begin with vowels like herb or hour. Count versus Non-count Nouns Count nouns name discrete, countable things.
-Count nouns can be singular or plural
-Examples:
-Apples
-Dollars
-Facts The Rules Are...There Are No Rules Okay, there are rules. But, you will find more exceptions to the rules than rules.

Learning each rule is just the tip of
the English iceberg.

The best method of learning English is practice, practice, practice. Since versus For Subordinating Conjunctions Adjective Placement and Order Adjectives modify nouns. Adverb Placement Comparatives Superlatives Practice, Practice, Practice Strategies Keep a daily journal, written in English. As you learn new rules or exceptions, note them in your journal.

Read, listen to, and speak English often. The more immersed you can become, the better your "English ear" will be.

Proofread your papers out loud. As you become more familiar with English, incorrect sentences will start to sound wrong. Quantifiers with Count and Non-Count Nouns For use with COUNT nouns only: several, many, a couple of, a few, few
For use with NON-COUNT nouns only: much, not much, a little of, less
For use with EITHER count or non-count nouns: all, any, some EXAMPLE:
Less is only used with non-count nouns while fewer is only used with count nouns. Money is a non-count noun because it represents a category of things, namely dollars. Dollar is a count noun. Thus: Less money means
fewer dollars. Articles (cont.) Use before specific, singular or plural count or non-count nouns.
Specific means that the writer and the reader know exactly what specific thing, things, or category is being talked about because it has already been referred to in a previous sentence, it is specified within the sentence, or it is commonly known.
For example, "They heard good things about 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.' It was the best movie they have ever seen." Here, we know "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" is the specific movie they saw. A unicorn: "For" is used to precede a duration of time:
We studied for three hours last night.
She attended Columbia Southern University for two years. "Since" is used to represent an event that started at a specific point in the past and continues until now.
We have been studying since 2:00.
She has attended Columbia Southern University since 2011. A subordinating conjunction introduces a subordinate (dependent) clause, which is a clause that has both a subject and a predicate, but does not express a complete thought.
A subordinate clause depends on the main clause in the sentence. It cannot exist alone.
Examples of subordinating conjunctions include: although, which, after, since, if, unless.
If a subordinating conjunction begins a sentence, an independent clause must follow the subordinate clause.
Incorrect: "Although I have mastered all the rules of the English language." This leaves the reader waiting for the rest of the sentence.
Correct: "Although I have mastered all the rules of the English language, I still struggle to understand all the exceptions." Questions? Contact the Success Center at teamsucceed@columbiasouthern.edu or 1-800-977-8449 EXT 6252 Would you like to have us review your work? Submit a Writing Center Request form through the MyCSU Student Portal.
From the homepage, click Online Forms, then click Courses, then click Writing Center Request form.
Simply fill out the form and attach your paper. ESL Specific questions or suggestions? Contact me directly at lindsay.abeln@columbiasouthern.edu or 1-800-977-8449 EXT 1571 Objectives Count and non-count nouns
Article usage
"Since" versus "for"
Subordinating conjunctions
Adjective and adverb placement
Comparatives and superlatives
Practice strategies Presented by Lindsay Abeln
Writing Center Specialist:
English as a Second Language Count versus Non-count Nouns (cont.) Non-Count nouns are non-discrete or difficult to count.
Non-count nouns are typically singular, even when they end in "s."
They almost always take singular verbs.
Non-count nouns refer to categories of people, places, or things.
Examples:
Fruit
Money
Information Indefinite articles: A/An Definite article: The No more than three adjectives should precede any singular noun in a sentence.
If more than one adjective is used, a specific order should be followed:
1. Article: if an article (a, an, or the) is required, it should come before all adjectives. Ex. The pretty, red dress.
2. Opinion: interesting, pretty, boring
3. Dimension: big, narrow, long
4. Age: old, young, ancient
5. Shape: round, square, triangular
6. Color: red, purple, teal
7. Origin: Vietnamese, Spanish, American
8. Material: wooden, metal, cotton the weird, small, blue car Adverbs are words or phrases that modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
If more than one adverb is used, the following order is recommended: 1. Manner: enthusiastically, intently 2. Place: in the classroom, at school 3. Frequency: every afternoon, every week 4. Time: at 2:00, after lunch 5. Purpose: to help you learn English, to relax
One important rule to remember with adverbs is, "is it necessary?" EXAMPLE:
Writing specialists enthusiastically present webinars at Columbia Southern University every Thursday at 2:00 to help students with writing. Adverb Placement (cont.) Misplaced modifiers: avoid confusion at all costs. The modifier should appear as close as possible to the word it is modifying.
Incorrect: Tonya made the mistake of walking her boisterous bulldog Billy in high heels.
Correct: While wearing high heels, Tonya made the mistake of walking her boisterous bulldog Billy. Comparatives are adjectives that compare or contrast two things.
They are created by adding "er" to the word or more in front of the word.
Words with one syllable ending in E: add "r" to the end. Ex: wider
Words with one syllable and with one vowel that end with a consonant: Double the consonant and add "er." Ex: hotter
Words with one syllable and more than one vowel or more than one consonant at the end: Add "er." Ex: lighter, neater
Words with two syllables that end in Y: change the "y" to an "i" and add "er." Ex: happier
Words with two or more syllables not ending in Y: use the word more in front of the word. Ex: more interesting Any time you use a comparative, make sure to identify both things being compared.
Incorrect: Carol is more interesting.
Correct: Carol is more interesting than Frank. Superlatives are often used on their own if it is clear what or who is being compared. If it is not clear, make sure to specify.
Correct and/or incorrect: Carol is the most interesting.
Correct: Carol is the most interesting of all of the professors. Superlatives are adjectives that compare or contrast three or more things.
They are created by adding "est" to the word or most in front of the word.
Words with one syllable ending in E: add "st" to the end. Ex: widest
Words with one syllable and with one vowel that end with a consonant: Double the consonant and add "est." Ex: hottest
Words with one syllable and more than one vowel or more than one consonant at the end: Add "est." Ex: lightest, neatest
Words with two syllables that end in Y: change the "y" to an "i" and add "est." Ex: happiest
Words with two or more syllables not ending in Y: use the word most in front of the word. Ex: most interesting This webinar will review several rules that are the basis for many mistakes made by English Language Learners and native speakers alike.
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