An Advanced English Practice Course

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An Advanced English Practice Course

James Day, "An Advanced English Practice Course"
Longman | 1977 | ISBN: 0582521068 | 236 pages | PDF | 6,4 MB

An Advanced English Practice Course - The aims and scope of this course
This course has three aims. The students using it will probably have done anything up to six years' fairly intensive study of English at school and possibly at university. There are, however, certain mistakes which even advanced students make again and again. These mistakes vary from nationality to nationality, and largely depend on the mother tongue of the students.

The first aim of the course is remedial. It tries to demonstrate how native English writers use certain tricky structures that overseas students sometimes mismanage, and then gives them practice in the correct use of those structures.

The second aim is to improve the students' powers of self-expression by expanding their vocabulary and repertoire of structures.

The third is to stimulate them, through reading and discussion of sometimes provocative material, to think about and criticise both the form and the content of the passages that have been chosen to illustrate the structures practised.

Part 1 - The basis of any language communication depends largely on the verb, and the majority of sentences result from the interplay of static elements -nouns and adjectives - with dynamic ones - verbs and adverbs. Most students find that the English tense system needs careful study. So, although the course has been designed so that any one section of it may be used in isolation to illustrate and practise a particular structure, it develops out of a detailed examination first of tense, then of mood, then of the satellites of the verb (adverbials), via verb forms that operate as nouns (gerunds and infinitives), through noun clauses and nouns to adjectivals and adjectives. It thus leads from the simple to the compound; from the immediate to the contingent; from the definite to the indefinite; and from the concrete to the abstract. Each pattern of structures has a group of exercises attached to it. These develop from the almost absurdly simple, which aim at simply drilling the student in the correct use of the structure considered, via exercises with a closed system, where the most suitable answer is probably the most correct one, through exercises involving the student's imaginative use of the structure in a 'controlled' situation, to those where the student is allowed much more freedom of self-expression, still practising the structure required, in a precise but not too restricted context-situation. In each section, the purely structural exercises are preceded by a number of comprehension questions about the vocabulary and argument of the passage, and followed by suggestions for discussion and/or essays about the material touched on in the passage and related topics. This constitutes Part I of the book.

Part 2 concerns more extended forms of self-expression. Examples are given of different types of style, of ways of constructing a paragraph, of methods used by authors to suit vocabulary to subject, not simply as a technical device, but in order to make the writer's intention absolutely clear. Some of these examples also show how the choice of vocabulary may influence the shape of the paragraph itself.

Part 3 makes suggestions concerning the organisation of students' self-expression on a larger scale still, notably in class-discussion and in essays. So while

Part 1 consists largely of expository and practice material, Part 2 attempts to develop the students' imagination, and Part 3 merely gives him what it is hoped is useful advice. It is not necessary to use the book as a consecutive course, though it has been planned as such. It is perfectly possible to arrange work on it using related themes from certain passages on similar topics, or simply to use sections at random for purely remedial purposes. Nor is it necessary to use all the exercises from one section. The teacher may omit such exercises as he considers too easy for his students. All the same, it is often both useful and encouraging to students to give them something that they are almost certain to get 100 per cent correct first go off, particularly in remedial work. Moreover, what has been designed as a step-by-step process should be more effective when used that way, and it is hoped that the individual steps involved are not so great as to confuse or irritate either teachers or their pupils.