Target Language:Quantifier & Adjective & ConjunctionExample: The weather has been less severe than the last festival two years ago.....Form (as you would write it on the board or on a worksheet for students)Quantifier (less) & adjective (severe) & conjunction (than)Pronunciation (weak forms, contractions, phonemic transcription, word stress, etc)
is pronounced as /ðæn/. has a weak form.
‘Severe’ is pronounced /sɪˈvɪə/, with the second syllable stressed
..Meaning (What does the target language mean? How are you going to convey it and elicit it? How areyou going to clarify the meaning to students? Mime, concept questions, diagrams, time lines, etc.The adjective severe, when referring to weather, describes weather that is extremely unpleasant andlikely to cause harm or damage.Lexical item: The weather was better in 2007 than in 2005.To convey the meaning, I would draw a timeline with 2005 on the extreme left and 2007 on the extremeright. I would use weather symbols, similar to those used on the BBC weather forecast, to convey thedifference in the severity of the weather during both festivals. The 2007 symbol would be a grey cloudwith rain, and the 2005 symbol a black cloud with rain and thunder claps. To further emphasise themeaning, pictures of the Glastonbury campsite during both years could be shown above the weathersymbols, to show the difference in the effects of the weather.Anticipated problems and solutions; (Do your best here, try and offer solutions, too)Meaning
The difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’ may be difficult for some students
, and a particular problemfor Spanish speakers as the Spanish language does not differentiate between the two (menos =less/fewer)
. One method of explaining this would be to point out that ‘less’ usually precedes uncountablenouns (e.g. less confusion, less water), while ‘fewer’ usually precedes
countable nouns (fewer cars,fewer bottles). To convey the meaning, I would use an exercise that included a list of (mixed) countable
and uncountable nouns, and ask the students to match each one with ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.
question would be ‘Can you have two weathers? No’. With s
tudents at an intermediate level or above, itwould be relevant to point out that informal English often uses less with countable words, but it isconsidered incorrect in the written form.
The meaning of ‘less’
can also change, and this could also confuse the students. One strategy to explainthe various uses would be to illustrate examples, such as the use of
‘less as an adverb, e.g. ‘I work lessthan I used to’. The students could then be asked to write their own examples of the other functions of ‘less’
The word ‘than’ may be difficult for Spanish speakers, as Spanish
often uses the same
word (‘que’) for ‘than’ and ‘that’, which could lead to students incorrectly using ‘that’. I would illustrate some examples
of the uses of both words, and then give the students an exercise which would involve inserting either
‘that’ or ‘than’ into a series of sentences.
PronunciationStudents may try t
o pronounce ‘than’ as /ˈθæn/
, or as /tæn/
if the ‘h’ is silent in their native tongue.
‘Than’ also has a weak form (/ˈθən/).
Students may attempt a phonetic pronunciation of ‘severe’, as /seˈvere/ rather than /sɪˈvɪə/.
An appropriate solution for the pronunciation would be to drill the phrase in its entirety, with particular
emphasis on the accent in ‘severe’, as it is pronounced as a two syllable word. ‘Severe’ and ‘than’ could