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c  Y 


  
Y  
  (Fran Hunia, 1993) is also in the Ladybird series (level
1). Once again, it is a reworking of a traditional story written by Fran Hunia and
illustrated by John Dyke. Yprovides an outline of its language content.
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YY  
   
  


Ô     
 


 
Yitle Yhe Elves and the
Shoemaker
NP+ conj. +NP
 : the
: elf (plur.);
shoemaker
 and
Page 1 Inside a house, a
man standing in front
of curtains and is
showing his empty
pockets. A woman is
emptying her purse.
Yhere are two coins
on the table. A cat
sitting on the floor is
looking at them.
Yhe shoemaker and
his wife have no
money.
NP+VP+NP  : the
: wife;
money;
shoemaker
 : and


  
 : have
 : no
Page 2 Yhe man wearing a
work robe and is
cutting something
(unclear).
Yhe shoemaker is in
his shop. He has
some leather. He
cuts out some shoes.
NP + VP + PP
NP + VP + NP
NP + VP + AP +
NP
 : the
leather:
shop; shoemaker
    
some
 
: out
  in

 
   his
 he


   
 : is; cuts
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Y  
 Y  
   
  


Ô      

 
Page 3 Yhe man
(shoemaker) and
woman (wife) are
going upstairs,
leaving behind an
empty table. Some
shoes are under the
table.
Yhe shoemaker says,
I want to go to bed. I
can make the shoes
in the morning.
NP + VP +NP +
VP + VP + PP
NP + VP + NP +
PP
 : the
 bed;
morning; shoes;
shoemaker;
  in
 I
 : to


   
  says;
want


  
can



  
make


   to
go
Page 4 Yhe man and woman
are looking at a pair
of shoes on a table.
In the morning the
shoemaker sees
some shoes in his
shop. Did you make
the shoes? No, says
his wife.
PP+ NP+VP
+NP+PP.
Aux.(past)+NP+VP
+NP
AP, VP+NP.
 : the
: morning;
shoe; shoemaker;
shop; wife


: make see;
say
  
in
  
 his
 can; did
   :
some
 
: no
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Y  
 Y  
   
   


Ô     
 


 
Page 5 A man wearing a tall
hat is giving some
money to the
shoemaker and is
holding something in
his other hand
(unclear).
Yhe shoemaker sells
the shoes. He has
some money for
more leather. I can
make some more
shoes, he says.
NP + VP + NP
NP + VP + NP +
PP
NP + VP + NP +
NP + VP
 : the
: leather ;
shoes; shoemaker
 he; I
   : some
 
: more
  for


   
  has; sells;
says


  can



  make
Page 6 Yhe man and his
wife are going out of
a room, leaving
leather, thread and
needles on the table.
Yhe shoemaker cuts
out some more
shoes. He and his
wife go to bed.
NP + VP + AP +
NP
NP + conj. + NP
+ VP + PP
 : the
: bed; shoe;
shoemaker;
 he
   : some
 
: more; out
 : and


   
  cuts; go
Page 7
Yhe shoemaker looks
surprised. His mouth
is open. Yhere are
three pairs of shoes
on the table.
In the morning the
shoemaker comes
into his shop to
make the shoes.
PP + NP + VP +
PP + VP + NP
 : the
: morning ;
shoe; shoemaker;
shop;
  into

   
his


  
   comes


   to
make
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Y  
 Y  
   
  


Ô     
 


 
Page 8
Yhe shoemaker is
showing the shoes to
his wife.
Look, says the
shoemaker. Did you
make the shoes? No,
says his wife.
VP + VP + NP
VP (aux.) + NP +
VP (main) + NP
AP + VP + NP
 : the
: shoes;
shoemaker; wife

   
his
 
: no


   
  says


  did



  make
Page 9
Ywo women are
looking at shoes.
Yhe shoemaker sells
the shoes. He has
some money for
more leather.
NP + VP + NP
NP + VP + NP +
PP
 : the
: leather;
money; shoes;
shoemaker
  for
 he
    some


   
  says; has
Page 10 Yhe shoemaker and
his wife are having a
meal. Yhe shoemaker
is looking straight
ahead and his wife is
looking at him.
Yhe shoemaker says,
I want to see who
makes the shoes for
us. We can hide and
see who comes.
NP + VP + NP +
VP + VP + NP +
VP +NP+ PP
NP + VP + conj.
+ VP + NP + VP
 : the
: shoes;
shoemaker;
  for
 we;
who; us
 : and


   
  comes;
makes; says; want


   to see


  can



  hide;
see
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Y  
 Y  
   
   


Ô     
 


 
Page 11
Yhe shoemaker and
his wife are going
out of a room,
leaving leather,
needles, and thread
on the table. Yhere is
a candle on a chair.
Yhe shoemaker cuts
out some shoes. He
and his wife hide.
Yhey look to see
who comes.
NP + VP + AP +
NP
NP + conj. + NP
+ VP
NP + VP + VP +
NP + VP
 : the
: shoes;
shoemaker; wife

   
his
 
: out
 he; they;
who
   : some


   
  comes;
cuts; hide; look


   to see
Page 12 Ywo elves are
making shoes.
Yhe shoemaker and
his wife are looking
at them through the
curtains.
Some elves come
into the shop. Yhe
elves work and the
shoemaker and his
wife look. Yhe elves
make the shoes.
NP + VP + PP
NP + VP + conj.
+ NP + conj. +
NP + VP
NP + VP + NP
 : the
: elves;
shoes; shoemaker;
shop; wife

   
his
    ome
 and


   
  come;
work; look; mak e
Page 13
Yhe elves are leaving
and the shoemaker
and his wife are
coming into the
room.
Yhe elves go home.
Yhe shoemaker and
his wife come out to
see the shoes.
NP + VP + AP
NP + conj. + NP
+ VP + AP + VP
+ NP
 : the
: shoes;
shoemaker; wife;
elves

   
his
 and
 
: home; out


   
  come; go


   to see
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Y  
 Y  
   
  


Ô     
 


 
Page 14 Yhe shoemaker and
his wife are looking
at shoes on the table.
Yhe shoemaker says,
Yhe elves help us.
Yhey make shoes for
us. I want to help the
elves.
NP + VP + NP +
VP + NP
NP + VP + NP +
PP
NP + VP + VP +
NP
 : the
: elves;
shoes; shoemaker;
 I; they;
us
  for


   
  help;
make; says; want


   to help
Page 15 Yhe wife is making
tiny clothes. Yhe
shoemaker is looking
at her.
Yhey make some
clothes and shoes for
the elves. Yhey work
and work.
NP + VP + NP +
conj. + NP + PP
NP + VP + conj.
+ VP
 : the
: clothes;
elves; shoes;
 they
  for
 and


   
  make;
work
Page 16 Yhe shoemaker is
looking at tiny
clothes and shoes on
the table.
Here are the clothes
and the shoes.
AP + VP + NP +
conj. + NP
 
: here
 : the
: clothes;
shoes
 and
  on


   
  are
Page 18 Yhe shoemaker and
his wife are leaving
the room, leaving the
tiny clothes and
shoes on the table.
Yhe shoemaker and
his wife go and hide.
NP + conj. + NP
+ VP + conj. +
VP
 : the
: shoemaker;
wife
 and

  :
his


  
   go; hide
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Y  
 Y  
   
  


Ô     
 


 
Page 19 Elves are trying on a
hat and shoes. Yhe
shoemaker and his
wife are peeking
though the curtains.
Yhe elves come into
the shop. Look, they
say. Here are some
clothes for us.
NP + VP + PP
VP + NP + VP +
AP + VP + NP +
PP
 : the
: clothes;
elves; shop
: they;
us
 
: here
  for;
into;


   
  are;
come; say


   
look
Page 20 Yhe shoemaker and
his wife are looking
through the curtain.
Yhey see two elves
with the clothes and
the shoes on.
Yhe elves like the
clothes. Yhey have
fun in the shop.
NP + VP + NP
NP + VP + NP +
PP
 : the
: clothes;
elves, fun; shop
: they
  in


   
  have;
like;
Page 21 Yhe elves are
leaving. Yhe
shoemaker and his
wife are counting
lots of money. Yhey
are both dressed
formally and look
wealthy.
Yhe elves go home.
Yhey are happy. Yhe
shoemaker and his
wife have a lot of
money and they are
happy.
NP + VP + AP
NP + VP + NP
(adj.)
NP + conj. + NP
+ VP + NP +
conj. + NP + VP
+ NP (adj.)
 : the
: elves;
money; wife;
shoemaker
: they
  
happy
  a lot
of
 
: home


   
  are; go;
have
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Y  
  suffers from the same kind of problems as the other
three graded readers already discussed. Even in the title, we find the irregular plural
form of an extremely uncommon noun () along with a compound noun that has
fallen into disuse (  ). Although there is no intrinsic problem in providing
children with a story set in Europe in the distant past, one involving mythical
creatures () they may never have heard of before, there a problem in selecting
such a story for children in Asia who are beginning to learn English and who are
unlikely to have anything other than a very general idea of countries in the 21st
century in which English is spoken as a first language. For them, there are other
priorities. Unlike  
, this story contains no gratuitous violence. It
does, however, focus not just on the happiness that comes from being able to cope
financially, but on the happiness that comes from attaining unlimited wealth. In
 
, both adult female characters (

and 
 ) are portrayed
as unkind and uncaring; in Y  
  , the only adult female
character is portrayed as being less central to the action than the adult male character.
Furthermore, the concept of an old man making shoes in a shop attached to his home
in order to make a living is one that some contemporary Asian children may have
difficulty with, particularly in a context where much of the language of the text is
likely to be unfamiliar. In fact, as in the case of  
, it seems likely that
textual meanings are conveyed by adults through translation into the native language
of the children. In fact, the children may pay attention only to the pictures and to any
translations or explanations provided in their native language.
Yhe relationship between written text and illustrations is often, at best, ambiguous and
there are illustrations that bear no detectable relationship to the text at all. In 
below, not only does the picture do nothing to clarify the meaning of the written
text, but the expression on the faces of the characters seems not to match the
sentiments. Yhe man looks distraught; the woman looks aloof, possibly even angry.
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6Y  
   !
Yhe language of the written text is problematic in many ways. Once again, as in the
case of the other three graded readers discussed, the language is that of simultaneous
commentary and direct speech occurs without quotation marks. Although there may
have been good reasons for this in terms of the intended audience (native speakers of
English aged from 4 1/2 to 5), it is likely that the children in Yaiwan who encounter
books of this kind will be considerably older and some of them will already be
familiar with the need for punctuation signals of direct speech. Most of the verb
groups are in simple present tense form. However, many of the verbs are irregular
ones. Yhere are complex verbs made up of two parts (
 
"  
), one of which
is matched by a simple verb of the same form (
   
  ).29
Yhere is one possessive pronoun in the 3rd person masculine form ( ) and one
example of an object pronoun in 1st person plural form () that is different from the
first person plural subject pronoun () and that is preceded by a preposition with
benefactive meaning (Y #   ). Yhe preposition µto¶ occurs as a
directional (e.g.,
 ). It also occurs in infinitives, some of which are purposive (

   
  
 
 $%
#&  


 ),
29 Yhese could also be analyzed, depending on interpretation, as verb + preposition with ellipsis or as
verb + adverbial
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some of which are not ('

 
 ). In the last example, µto¶ occurs twice,
once as part of a verbal infinitive ('

 ), the second time as a directional
preposition ('

 
 ). µHide¶ occurs as a single lexical verb (  
  ) and as part of a formulaic conjoined verbal group (%
#&    ). Yhe
relative pronoun µwho¶ occurs as an embedded nominal element within an embedded
infinitival object ('

  $'

  
  ).
Yhe modal auxiliary µcan¶ occurs three times ( (x 2);   ). Modal
auxiliaries are followed by the base form of lexical verbs (the infinitive form without
µto¶), the two verbal elements making up a single verbal group. However, there are
also instances of sentences containing µwant¶ (a full lexical verb rather than an
auxiliary) followed by the infinitive of a following verb (e.g., '

 
 ). Here, there are two verbal groups (
and
, the second forming the
initial part of the object of the sentence. Yhis is a construction-type that can occur
with a very restricted number of verbs, including 
and ) and is very
unlikely to be one that young learners of English have encountered. It is certainly not
a construction that it recommended for inclusion at elementary level in the national
curriculum guidelines.
c  
None of the graded readers discussed here seems appropriate for young learners of
English in Asia. Yhe first two books discussed are of a type that is generally no longer
considered appropriate for children who speak English as a first language for a range
of reasons, including stereotypical characterization, stilted language and failure to
accommodate the realities and diversity of contemporary life. Yhe publishers have,
however, found another market for these books, one that is vulnerable to exploitation
as a result, in part, of dissatisfaction with the textbooks generally used in primary
schools and the overall achievements of learners of English in the public school
system. Yhe children, who are exposed to these books, as well as their teachers and
caregivers, could be said to be the victims of economic exploitation. However, it is
doubtful whether the publishers are fully aware of the problems associated with the
use of such books in Asia and in other parts of the world where English is not a first
language.