UNIVERSIDAD INDUSTRIAL DE SANTANDER

Human Sciences Faculty English Language Teaching Program

“Modelos especializados de enseñanza-aprendizaje” Profesor: Esperanza Revelo

English Irregular Past Tense Verbs: Learning and Teaching Issues

María Juliana Salazar Herrera Érika Patricia Enciso Carolina Ríos Jesús Manuel Ortega Barco Ángel María Mogollón Herrera

2042637 2051802

2061079 2070050

Bucaramanga, Colombia June 13th 2011
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JUSTIFICATION Never before speaking another language has been more important than in the current century. Since speaking English, to be precise, has become a relevant requirement for success on every profession and career, students from all range of ages have tried to improve their linguistic competence in order to effectively acquire this target language. During their process, learners have to go through certain linguistic levels to achieve a significant acquisition of English as a foreign language. However, through this process, students find some aspects of this target language difficult and hard to learn. For instance, past forms of the English irregular verbs represent an arduous acquisition topic due to its complexity and the morphological and phonetic variations that they imply, among others. Hence, the purpose of this study stems on exploring the learning process of the past forms of the irregular in ESL elementary students, in order to identify the strategies that they implement to memorize and acquire the past form of the irregular verbs. Additionally, this paper aims at analyzing the effectiveness that those strategies have during their learning process by utilizing different data collection methods.

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INTRODUCTION Through time, the past form of the English irregular verbs has been a topic taught and learnt by following grammatical rules or just by memorizing a list of the most common irregular verbs used and their conjugations. However, some studies have demonstrated that traditional grammar does not allow that students learn the past forms of the irregular verbs for a very long time (Ciftci, 2010). In some schools and universities, professors use grammar as the best way to teach the past tense form of the English irregular verbs, as a response to their concern about not being able to offer communication-based practice. So, they concentrate on teaching grammatical rules (Gao, 2001; Madylus, 2002). Consequently, students’ learning process bases on repeating after their teachers or engaging in choral reading and responding the form of the verbs. Thus, such activities require only minimal active participation and students are essentially passive (Ciftci, 2010). Another important issue about this grammatical method is students’ participation. They prefer to keep silent because they are not used to speaking English in front of the whole class, and sometimes they are afraid of “losing face” due to their likely errors. As a result of that, this topic has become a demanding aspect in ESL elementary students because they have to design their own methods in order to learn the past form of the irregular verbs. Hence, in this research, it will be studied how elementary ESL students belonging to the program of Biology at Universidad Industrial de Santander learn the past form of the irregular verbs during their lessons and by themselves, and the effectiveness of their strategies. In this way, this work aims at showing a detailed diagnosis of the group aforementioned, including their opinions and perceptions towards the English language and the strategies that some of them use in order to learn the past form of the irregular verbs. In this way, this work aims at providing the real foundations and the tools to define the kind of project that can be useful for this group of students in order to improve their learning process of their second language.

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DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT Our project will be divided into two main phases. The first consists on the implementation of data gathering instruments, which were previously designed and prepared with the purpose of identifying the target students’ main needs and issues regarding their learning experience with English irregular past form of the verbs. The second phase is related to the implementation of some strategies and methods that will be produced during the analysis of the issues found previously; this will enable us to propose possible solutions which would be able to help students during their learning process related to irregular verbs. All of the possible strategies or methods proposed will be developed in a ludic way which may guarantee complete engagement from the students and in this way achieve better results for their learning process. 1. PROBLEM STATEMENT Students belonging to the program of Biology at Universidad Industrial de Santander need to improve their learning strategies to fully acquire the past forms of the English irregular verbs, it means learning them, understanding them, and learning how to use them effectively in their English acquisition process. 2. OBJECTIVES General objective To explore and understand the learning process of the past form of the irregular verbs in ESL students belonging to the program of Biology at Universidad Industrial de Santander. Specific objectives To identify the specific strategies that students from the first semester of Biology use in order to learn the past form of the irregular verbs. To analyze how aware students are about their learning strategies related to the past form of the irregular verbs and how they implement them during their study sessions.

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The first one had already written the infinitive form of the verb. it was necessary the implementation of a needs analysis survey to know the personal preferences. The test was composed by three columns. Furthermore. 7 students were selected to implement the self-report test. and it must be said that all the students decided to participate in this project in a voluntary and spontaneous way.3. DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS In order to know the strategies that students used to learn the past forms of the irregular verbs. with the purpose to apply them during the test. all the strategies that they commonly use to understand and memorize the past tense of irregular verbs. they were required to speak aloud and in detail to one of the supervisors. it was designed a self-report test. POPULATION The socio demographic questionnaire elaborated for doing the necessary data collection was applied to a group of 18 students of first semester belonging to the Biology program at Universidad Industrial de Santander. 5 . resources. Then. which was organized in two parts. In the second column students had to write the corresponding past forms adding their meaning in Spanish in the third column. skills and difficulties that the students experience and use at the moment of learning English or other languages. In the first part students were given a copy with ten sentences in past tense (using only irregular verbs) that included pictures. The second part of the self-report consisted of the application of a written test in which students had to write down the Past Simple form of the irregular verbs that they found in the first part of the exercise. 4. From the same group. The purpose of this section was to determine how effective the strategies they used during the whole process were.

thus.ed (Pinker. Ibid). with identical syntactic privileges). For teachers and authors of textbooks and other teaching materials the learning list presents an empirical basis for decisions concerning the selection and gradation of irregular verbs in foreign language 6 . some researchers have developed certain studies that can prove the mental process and activities that students require to learn effectively these characteristic variations of the irregular verbs. the new learning list of irregular verbs presents the verbs in an order that reflects their importance in English. Learners who use this list will be able to learn the most important verbs first and the least important ones last. The past tense of a verb may be formed from the verb followed by the suffix . however. However. irregular forms have to be learnt individually and recalled from memory each time they are used. The list ensures that the most important verbs are learned first and that there is always the maximum yield for the student’s learning effort. it is very important to know this mental issue as well. 1994). in a variety of circumstances (from gelded to ploamphed to flied out to low-lifes to anomia) with nothing in common except failure of access to information in memory. If learning is discontinued. 2001). This hypothesis about the cognitive function of the brain during the learning process of regular and irregular verbs will not be taken into account in this research. for grammatical properties (both being nonfinite forms. According to this study. take into account the actual occurrence of these verbs. seem to be an excellent confirmation of the word/rule theory. The existence of regular and irregular verbs would. irrespective of when the learning process is broken off. but the regular suffix is applied freely. in which the verbs are ranked in their order of frequency in authentic English.LITERATURE REVIEW Since learning and teaching the past form of the irregular verbs has become a priority for teacher and learners. Alphabetical lists do not. irregular forms are avoided. They are normally presented in the form of alphabetical lists. While all verbs have identical function of regular and irregular inflection. For English learners. For authors of textbooks or other teaching materials the list presents new empirical foundations for decisions on the selection and gradation of irregular verbs in a course (Grabowski and Mindt. Regular past-tense forms are predictable in sound. They are equated for length and complexity (both being single words). some researchers have designed a new corpus-based learning list. So. and meaning (both expressing the “pastness” of an event or state) (Pinker. irregular verbs represent one of the most difficult aspects of the language. the learner can be sure to have encountered the most important verbs irrespective of when the learning process is broken off. Thus. Studies on the acquisition of the past form of the English irregular verbs have demonstrated that different areas of the brain process regular and irregular past forms separately.

1981. teachers need to know in advance students pre-knowledge and based on that. For this important area of English. Ibid. 1981. when teaching English to elementary students. Thus. students can develop their decision-making and problem-solving skills (Chamberlain. Besides. Lee (1979) asserts that language games provide interesting and successful repetition to encourage language learners and improve their learning. Therefore. or between the students themselves. Many researchers claim that functional exposure to irregular verbs might accelerate their irregular verb learning. students can improve their writing skills and comprehension reading because students are able to fill the correct verbs in a specific context (Macedonia. Danesi. 7 . Thus repetition will not cause dullness and declarative knowledge is converted into procedural knowledge. there are usually few interactions between students and teacher. It is easy to demonstrate this type of exercise by using the English verb as an example. syntactic or semantic competence. Ibid). written exercises have to be designed to develop students’ written skills and correct spell of irregular verbs. 2005). Games give students the opportunity to interact with each other in positive way in competitive and co-operative situations. The mastery of verbal inflection is significant in second language (L2) learning as a possible indication of morphological.courses. 1992). Learners of English language have some problems with the learning of the irregular inflection. Ibid. Other study shows how specialized exercises which focus on unique qualities in a language can be constructed. Games can be the one of the most effective way of this exposure.). By doing written exercises. With this approach. 1989) while they also develop better retention than doing activities through traditional activities. Macedonia (2005) also states that students are not always aware that they are practicing grammar while they play game. the new learning list can help to achieve learning objectives faster and more effectively than the traditional alphabetical lists (Grabowski and Mindt. Danesi. Language games have an important role in remedial teaching. Probably nothing marks adults struggling to learn English quite as much as their improper use of verbs in regard to person and tense. they feel anxious and uncomfortable (Chamberlain. They also help learners recall materials easily by entertaining and centrally involving them in learning process. games and kinesthetic activities help learners to acquire irregular past tense verbs (Bilsoy. through games.). For instance. especially irregular verbs. it is necessary to use specialized English verb drills (Macedonia. When students are asked to do some oral exercises relevant to the learned grammar.

Pinker. Steven. Ciftci. The past tense of a verb may be formed with suffix –ed. Marrane & Boyles. 2001 Students prefer to keep silent because they are not used to speaking English in front of the whole class Traditional grammar does not allow that students learn the irregular verbs for very long time Language teachers generally concentrate on teaching grammatical rules Gao. Madylus. Steven. Steven.2010 8 . 1998 Ciftci. 2001 Irregular forms have to be learnt individually and recalled from memory each time they are used. 2001. 2001 Regular past-tense forms are predictable in sound.CAUSE AND EFFECT GRAPHIC Different areas of the brain process regular and irregular past forms separately Pinker. Students waste several years studying the same verbs but most of them have not learned them yet.2010 Problems when learning English verbs in past Pinker. 2002 Gary.

1. NEIGHBORHOOD AND HIGH SCHOOL The data shows that most of the students. there are more female students in the group. 3). finally. as it was expected. Valledupar and Villavicencio . Pamplona. However. In the case of the neighborhoods. San Gil. followed by 16 and 18 and. Age Gender 15 10 5 0 Feminine Masculine Feminine Masculine Graphic No. AGE AND GENDER According to the data. So in general. Besides. Age 10 8 16 17 18 19 16 17 18 19 6 4 2 0 Graphic No. 1). there is a 9 . the most common age is 17 years old. 7 students are from other places: Bogotá. this group of freshpeople is really young and the number of women is almost similar to the number of men. but the difference is subtle (Graphic No. we can appreciate that this group of students is disseminated in different places of the city of Bucaramanga. 2. 1). Gender 2.the last one of them being particular because of the huge distance (Graphic No. 19 (Graphic No. Ocaña. are from Bucaramanga. However.ANALYSIS OF THE NEEDS ANALYSIS 1. HOMETOWN. Guaca.

4. it can be observed that almost all these students graduated from high schools from Bucaramanga. Moreover. graduated from different high schools (Graphic No. Neighborhood 10 .tendency to find these students living in the surroundings of the university or in places near it (Graphic No. the ones from Ocaña.5 Cabecera El Tejar 2 Jardines de Coaviconsa La Ceiba La Salle 1. 5). 3.). Hometown Neighborhood 2. Hometown 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Bucaramanga Guaca Ocaña San Gil Valledupar Villavicencio Pamplona Bogotá Graphic No. Pamplona and Villavicencio.5 San Alonso San Bernardo 0 Sotomayor Torres de Sevilla Porvenir Real de Minas Graphic No. Just two of them. Floridablanca and Piedecuesta. 4.5 Mejoras Públicas Miraflores 1 Provenza Puerto Madero 0.

5.) Instituto Técnico Industrial (Ocaña) La Presentación (Buc.5 Nacional de Comercio (Buc.) 0.5 INEM (Buc.) Normal Superior (Buc.) 1.High School (City) 2.) 1 La Salle La Presentación (Pamp.) 0 Oriente Miraflores (Buc.) Instituto Gabriela Mistral (Buc.) 2 Guatiquía (Villav. High School and city 11 .) Cavirey (Pied.) Instituto Técnico Damaso Zapata (Buc.) Fundación Colegio UIS (Flor.) Normal Superior (Pied.5 Agustiniano (Buc.) Graphic No.

3. half of students mentioned that they use their TV sets in order to learn English or another language. 6. probably. Just half of the students have CD players and DVD sets (Graphic No. 7). Besides. 7 Devices that I use to learn English or another language 12 . 6). Devices that I have at home 20 15 10 5 0 PC TV Internet CD Player DVD set PC TV Internet CD Player DVD set Graphic No. Devices that I have at home Devices that I use to learn English or another language 14 12 10 PC TV Internet Cd Player DVD set PC TV Internet Cd Player DVD set 8 6 4 2 0 Graphic No. It can be said here that students opt to use their computers and their TV sets to learn English. because they provide them with more situations in which English is used as a scientific language and/or language for entertaining. a considerable number of them said that they have a TV set. Moreover. TECHNOLOGICAL DEVICES AT HOME Students manifested that almost all of them have PC’s with Internet connection. Just three students mentioned that they use their DVD sets to study English and only two people use their CD player with this purpose (Graphic No. It is interesting to see that the majority of the students who have PC’s with Internet connection use them to learn English or another language.

12). 11). The reasons that they recalled include the English as a lingua franca and better job opportunities as the most important arguments. 14) and that the range of time spent doing so oscillates between 1 month and some years (1. 13). and that just a small number of them dislike it (Graphic No. 9). its status of lingua franca and the better job opportunities that it could provide them (Graphic No. It is expected that these students have better levels and/or results than those who are just studying English at university. Two students mentioned that they dislike the language because one finds it difficult and the other one has been too exposed to it that he/she does not like it and gets bored (Graphic No. 8). ENGLISH AT SCHOOL In this graphic. They are conscious of how necessary English can be for their career as biologists. ENGLISH COURSES AND PERCEPTIONS OF OTHER LANGUAGES Data shows that most of the students like the English language. 13 . 15). some of them had a more limited contact with the language during their classes at school (Graphic No. Then they mentioned access to information and travelling abroad as the other reasons (Graphic No. especially if they need to look for information sources in English. The reasons why they like it include its importance in their life (by making it easier and because it is necessary). Amount of hours of English classes at school 15 10 5 0 1-3 hours per week 3-5 hours per week 6 hours 1-3 hours per week 3-5 hours per week 6 hours Graphic No. Data also shows that a considerable number of students (more than a half of them) have studied in an English course (Graphic No. 3 or 7 years) (Graphic No. it can be seen that the exposure to English was good for most of the students. None of them said it was not important (Graphic No. 10). all of them agree on something. PERCEPTIONS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 8 Amount of hours of English classes at school 5.4. However. These students consider that the English language can have a relevant in their lives and they find it useful because they need it in their classes. However.

These people are also interested in learning another language apart from English (Graphic No. The majority of them has studied or is interested in studying French. 16). Reasons why I do not like the English language 14 . Russian and Japanese. so I got bored. Italian. Portuguese. so I got bored. Do you like the English language? 20 15 10 5 0 Yes No Yes No Graphic No.5 1 0. 11. It's difficult I have studied since I was a child. Danish. German.5 0 It's difficult I have studied since I was a child. Graphic No. Do you like the English language? Reasons why I like the English language 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 It makes my life easier It's necessary and cool It's a lingua franca Job opportunities It makes my life easier It's necessary and cool It's a lingua franca Job opportunities Graphic No. 9. Reasons why I like the English language Reasons why I do not like the English language 1. 10.

Do you consider that the English language is important for your career? Why do you consider that the English language is important for your career? 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Because it's a Better job lingua franca opportunities Travelling Access to abroad and scientific learning more information Better job opportunities Travelling abroad and learning more Access to scientific information Because it's a lingua franca Graphic No. 14. English courses 15 . 13.Do you consider that the English language is important for your career? 20 10 0 Yes No Do you consider that the English language is important for your career? Graphic No. Why do you consider that the English language is important for your career? English courses 15 10 Yes 5 0 No Yes No Graphic No. 12.

17.How long have you been in an English course or studing English? 2. 16.5 0 1 month 2 months 3 months 6 months 1 year 3 years 7 years Some years 1 month 2 months 3 months 6 months 1 year Graphic No. How long have you been in an English course or studying English? Have you ever studied another language different from English or are you interested in learning another language? 15 10 5 0 Yes No Yes No Graphic No. 15.5 1 0.5 2 1. Other languages in which you are interested 16 . Have you ever studied another language different from English or are you interested in learning another language? Other languages in which you are interested 5 4 3 2 Danish German Portuguese French Italian Russian Danish German Portuguese French Italian Russian Japanese Japanese 1 0 Graphic No.

However. which means that 3-5 hours is the time that male students spend in their learning process of the language per week. there are more female students (in comparison with male students) who spend more than 5 hours per week studying English (Graphic No. I prefer studying English 17 . This analysis also revealed that male students are the ones who have more similarities in this period of time. 18. practicing with their friend and their teacher is also an option that many of them consider useful (Graphic No. However. although computers and internet also play an important role in this selection of resources (Graphic No.6. The analysis of the data shows that students prefer printed material to study over using other resources. 20). ENGLISH LEARNING STYLES The data shows that students tend to study this language individually. and in places that are known and are considered comfortable by them. 19). 18). I prefer studying English 14 12 10 Alone at home 8 6 4 2 Alone at the university With my friends with my teacher With other people 0 Alone at home Alone at the university With my friends with my teacher With other people Graphic No. It is manifested that most of the students devote from 3 to 5 hours per week to the study of the English language.

When I study English. ENGLISH SKILLS AND SUBSKILLS In addition to this. students expressed that for them listening was difficult because 18 . When I study English. their preferences and likes for these skills are very similar. I use 15 10 5 0 Books CD's PC Internet Dictionary TV Movies Music Graphic No. 19. Amount of hours that I devote to study English during the week 7. The other option(speaking) indicates that they feel they are good at Speaking and they find it less difficult. During the collection of the data. 20. The third most popular skill is writing with 10 people. Data shows that the skill that students find more difficult is listening. I use Amount of hours that I devote to study English during week 10 8 6 4 2 0 0-1 hours 1-3 hours 3-5 hours 6 hours 7 hours 0-1 hours 1-3 hours 3-5 hours 6 hours 7 hours Graphic No. 21). it can be seen that reading is one of the skills that students like the most with 13 votes at the same time speaking with 13 votes is preferred. for both groups. Talking about gender. Students also manifested that they really liked reading because it represents a crucial role in their learning process of a foreign language. followed by listening (9 people) and grammar (6 people) (Graphic No. girls and boys.

using dictionaries. 23).some of them did not have a good perception. the analysis of the data manifests that a representative percentage of students likes to study grammar. talking with friends. data also shows that grammar is interesting for other students because they consider that it is useful to learn because they consider it gives them the foundations of good writing and speaking (Graphic 25). which are hard for them. series and video games. students also explained that they needed more training in this skill. the data shows that the perception of the students related with it is clearly divided in two sub-groups. including the people who do not like the language (Graphic No. 19 . studying with a teacher and repeating words that they are observing in a written text (Graphic No. this survey shows that students experience difficulty to learn new words at the moment of writing and pronouncing them. they did not understand the exercises. but they did not have enough reinforcement in the class. The way they do that include using different methods such as: Reading books. In their grammar lessons. Others manifested that they have some problems with different types of accents. it is hard for them to memorize the new words. they consider that speaking and writing are the second most difficult skills for them. the data shows that students use different types of strategies to learn English. Then. There is a group that finds the classes very boring and there is another that considers these classes very interesting. The results of the data also revealed that in comparison to men. watching videos with English subtitles. Finally. Additionally. For these reasons the class is monotonous for them. Besides. -Talking to friends outside the classroom. Besides. followed by grammar and reading (Graphic No. It can be observed that students feel more comfortable in class when their teacher talks to them in English all the time. 22). They say that this is boring because they think that grammatical rules are tedious and difficult and there is a lot of repetition. -Listening to music and singing in English. women are the group that manifests more preference for grammar. -Watching movies with English subtitles. especially when they do not find their sense at the moment to translate them into Spanish. Some of them are: -Watching movies. Just five of them said the opposite. However. 24). At this moment it is difficult for students to remember their meaning and use. using some games to learn grammatical rules. In the case of grammar. such as the American and the British one.

21. -Writing in English. The most difficult skills for me 20 . The skills that I like the most 14 12 10 8 6 4 Listening Speaking Reading Writing Grammar Listening Speaking Reading Writing Grammar 2 0 Graphic No. the endings of words with their pronunciation and use.-Learning connectors. The skills that I like the most The most difficult skills for me 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Listening Speaking Reading Writing Grammar Listening Speaking Reading Writing Grammar Graphic No. 22.

English spoken during the classes Studying grammar 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 I like studying grammar I don't like studying grammar I like studying grammar I don't like studying grammar Graphic No. During the grammar lessons 21 . 23. Studying grammar During the grammar lessons 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 I get bored easily I found them interesting I get bored easily I found them interesting Graphic No. 24. and the rest of the class I prefer them speaking Spanish I feel comfortable when the teacher speaks English all the time I like it when my teacher speaks in English just the necessary. 25. and the rest of the class I prefer them speaking Spanish Graphic No.During the classes 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 I feel comfortable when the I like it when my teacher teacher speaks English all the speaks in English just the time necessary.

simplemente leyendo cada uno y viendo sus diferencias gramaticales. común o tan cotidianamente. esa será como mi estrategia básica. y más o menos como el significado de que. en algunas palabras también. pues. hasta ahora no he encontrado así verbos que no haya visto antes. su escritura. Interviewer 4:39 – 4:41 Person 1 4:43 – 4:55 Humm. eh. eh. ¿Encontró algún verbo que no haya visto antes? Interviewer 4:55 – 4:56 ¿Cómo cuáles? 22 . de manera. eh. de cada uno. de pronunciarlas mentalmente para sacar la correcta pronunciación y que sea pues fácil de recordarlas. 00:40 – 00:50 No. pues a partir de ahí. pues también lo que voy a tratar de hacer es ir relacionando.ANALYSIS OF THE SELF-REPORT RECORDINGS AND THE TESTS  SELF REPORT PERSON 1 Person 1 00:00 – 00:20 Entonces. como que son un poco más complicadas en tanto. de la misma manera mientras voy leyendo. trato de fijarme muy bien en el orden de las letras y si cuales letras se utilizan. Y pues. relacionando tanto el verbo en infinitivo como el verbo en pasado. Interviewer 00:53 – 00:55 ¿Y cómo lo piensa hacer? Person 1 00:56 – 1:05 Pues. También trato de. pues. pues trataré de relacionarlos con algunas otras frases o con algunas otras acciones. pues. Pero sí he visto algunos verbos que de pronto no se usan de forma tan regular. 2:45 – 3:09 Y pues. lo primero que voy a hacer es leer las diez oraciones y pues tratar de sacar por el contexto cada uno de los significados y después.

incluso. a mí. y pues trato de. pues. también me voy ayudando un poco. Simplemente como si estuviera viendo una lista o algo así a través. recordarlos. ya como última estrategia estoy usando es repasar los verbos tanto en su tiempo infinitivo como en su tiempo. con las imágenes que tiene la guía. ¿no? En los que más cambian su ortografía y en los que cambian un poquito. o el infinitivo. en este caso estoy utilizando esto. esa es la forma que yo tengo de sacar el significado de estos verbos o de por lo general de algunas palabras o pues. pues tal vez como uno de los que más y el de burn. A veces. entre el pasado y el presente. mientras los voy pronunciando mentalmente. ¿Y pues en el caso del significado? 8:17 – 8: 34 23 . pasado. que estaba agrupando unos verbos ¿sí? ¿de qué otra forma? Bueno. La verdad. ¿Cree que puede haber otra forma de agruparlos. tratar de relacionar eso y poder esto entender su cambio entre un tiempo y el otro. de cuál es su sujeto y cuál es su complemento para sacarle algún significado. digamos. Entonces. ya digamos. de los que no. lo saco por contexto y pues. pues. comenzar a usar oraciones en inglés o pensar lo más que pueda en inglés para tratar de que se me queden esos esas palabras nuevas. un poco menos. cuando estoy estudiando así trato de usar más que nada la mentalmente. pues.7:07 Person 1 7:08 – 7:36 El significado se puede. Interviewer 6:07 – 6:27 Y usted ahora me estaba hablando de que agrupa. Interviewer 7:03. eh. que le pueda servir? Person 1 6:28 – 6:52 Ahorita me fijo más que nada en la ortografía. eh. también es uno de los que más que no suele usar uno.Person 1 4:56 – 5:00 5:40 – 6:00 Spilt. más que nada. Y pues. pues. ese nuevo vocabulario o los que esté usando en ese caso. Tratarme de ayudar de cuál es la frase. ahorita me mencionó una forma que era la de los que usaba regularmente.

Miro los dibujitos qué me quieren mostrar. Miro las expresiones como el “Look at that!” que la admiración y depende al orden en el que va me digo “window” e identifico que es ventana y voy asociando. 1. a veces resulta más fácil la forma con –ed. para que no sea solamente tirar por el –ed no más.Interviewer 9:26 – 9:28 Person 1 9:29 – 10:00 Y pues en el caso de los verbos que tienen dos formas. primero miro la imagen. pues. Intento interpretar con el dibujo y con el texto lo que me quieren dar a conocer. pero pues por eso mismo también trato de observar la forma que cambia para tenerla también como referencia. En 24 . trato de ver ambas formas y pensar que cada una se puede usar y pues. Results person 1’s test  SELF REPORT PERSON 2 Person 2 00:00 – 3:17 Lo primero que hago para identificar el verbo qué es. PERSON 1 Correct verbs (spelling) 9 verbs Spilt – Spilled / Drank / Broke / Sent / Slept / Met / Cost / Spoke / Burnt.Burned Incorrect verbs (spelling) 1 verb Thoght (to think) Verbs missing Correct meanings Incorrect meanings Meanings missing Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 0 10 verbs 0 0 2 verbs Spilled / Burned Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 2 verbs Spilt / Burnt ¿Y en el caso de los verbos que tienen dos formas? Table No.

pero ahora necesito que también le preste atención a la forma en la que los verbos se escriben. la quinta nos muestra una chica que está durmiendo y. veo al hombre que tiene algo en la mano que se supone ya que es una cerveza porque la he visto en dibujos animados y aparte. pues. interpreto el texto y veo que hay fuego y un estilo de plantas quemándose. pero lo veo muy cansado y se alcanza a ver las imágenes de la zeta y está con la boca abierta y la expresión de la otra muchacha es de tristeza. pues. Esa es la 25 . esa fue la parte para aprenderse los significados. eh. pues.la segunda. depende a la imagen. Y. además. eh. Y en la décima. en la mayoría de veces o no tiene “to”. o sea. uno asocia que son dibujos animados que uno ha visto en la televisión y. la sexta. pues. cuando me dicen cien y “dollar” que yo alcanzo a interpretar y sé que. se habla de una. veo la oración y sé qué significa el verbo “drink” porque conozco qué significa “beer” que es cerveza. se están como abrazando. eh. se muestra la escena. muestra. así no sepa mucho la oración. para decir el significado. en la novena. ¿Cómo sé que es el mejor amigo? Pues. en ella se están enviando. eh. como de. En la octava. Hmm. pero sí la intención que tiene al tener la Tierra elevada como en un. eso lo alcanzo. la idea es que cuando le presente el examen. como en un bloque entre la mitad. Entonces. en un bloque. Notar si hay alguno que no haya visto antes. eh. sabe que de una o otra forma son grandes amigos. de una ¿hipótesis? Que la interpreto no tanto por lo que dice porque la verdad no es que entienda mucho lo que dice. pues. pues. Humm. pues. sé que es enviar la carta porque nos muestran un buzón y. ehh. ehh. pues. me oriento. el contexto. qué está ocurriendo y también lo mismo. usted va a tener los verbos en infinitivo y va a tener que escribirlos en pasado. Y a lo último. eh. de aburrimiento. En la cuarta. la otra frase es como una expresando qué piensa sobre esa camisa. Interviewer 3:18 – 3:48 Entonces. se están introduciendo las cartas. se entiende muy fácil empezando porque yo ya entiendo que está durmiendo tres horas y la cara de cansancio. Person 2 3:50 – 4:09 La diferencia que veo del pasado al infinitivo es que cada verbo viene en su forma original y con el “to”¿sí? Cada verbo que veo en pasado está escrito en otra forma. cojo la frase y la interpreto con la imagen. cogiéndose de la mano y sonriendo. entiendo que me están hablando de ella y el número. están hablando del precio. primero veo chicos que. eh. al mostrarme la camisa. En la tercera habla de cómo de conocer al mejor amigo. pues. En la sexta. Humm. veo la chica al lado y no necesariamente tengo que saber que es el profesor.

La pronunciación me ayuda y empiezo uno por uno. el verbo. también tiene lo mismo. me pongo a memorizarme. Primero va el verbo y luego va como el participio. Habla de la camisa. está. en la segunda con la camisa. pues para aprenderme los verbos. a repetirme. ve grupos o cree que puede haber una forma de categorizar los verbos o digamos si cree que hay alguna regla que se puede aplicar para aprenderse los verbos? Person 2 5:13 – 6:13 Humm. Así en todas mantiene esa secuencia de primero mostrar como el verbo o uno lo identifica porque no. me acuerdo de cómo va escrito. me pongo a memorizarlo. dice cuánto. el que está en pasado y el verbo que está en presente y en infinitivo. Primero. Interviewer 4:11 – 4:18 O ¿Qué otra cosa también nota? Por ejemplo. Digámoslo así. Interviewer 4:59 – 5:12 ¿Usted cuando se está aprendiendo los verbos también. porque cada. para aprendérmelo. Person 2 4:19 – 4:44 Pues. digamos. Ese no sé ni cómo se pronuncia bien. nos habla de la ventana. En la tercera habla del amigo. la mayoría de los verbos en pasado suenan diferente. pero antes dice el verbo que le recae a la ventana y bueno. Dígame en qué forma distinta los está viendo y cómo hace para aprendérselos. pues. pero lo está. Ehh. porque de alguna forma con la imagen uno alcanza a distinguir la diferencia. Pero pues no tuve que saberlo porque primero me puse a mirar. y luego da la opinión de ella que sería el complemento. cada verbo en pasado suena diferente. Porque después muestra al objeto que le está recayendo ese verbo. Interviewer 6:17 – 6:19 ¿En esos verbos que ve ahí ha visto alguno que ve por primera vez? ¿ o todos ya los conocía? Person 2 6:20 – 7:00 Que no recuerde mucho el “burnt”. cuánto es lo costoso. me dice que están escritos de forma distinta.diferencia entre pasado. repetirme. ehh. aquí sí digo que tiene una secuencia. me acuerdo en la mente. primero. 26 . eh.

y pues. He crossed out the meaning of the verb “burn” and wrote down “derramar”. pues lo intento acomodar como a plantas ¿sí? No. 2. no sé muy bien la esencia. 1:34 – 1:37 La única manera que yo veo cómo me los podría aprender sería escribiéndolos. Meanings missing Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 0 2 verbs Spilled / Burned Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 0 Table No. por pedacitos voy intentando unirlos. pero del resto sé que son. aunque sí sé muy bien qué es “trees”. 27 . lejos y “forest” ya sé que es una reserva o sí el jungla o algo así. que sé que son árboles. empezaré por practicar leyendo las oraciones en inglés. PERSON 2 Correct verbs (spelling) 9 verbs Spilled/ Drank/ Broke / Sent / Slept / Met / Cost / Spoke / Burned Incorrect verbs (spelling) 1 verb Thinked Verbs missing Correct meanings Incorrect meanings 0 8 meanings 2 meanings He crossed out the meaning of the verb “spill”.“farmers” yo tengo más o menos en que es campo o algo así ¿Sí? Por allá. “plant”. o qué sé. ya. Results person 2’s test  SELF REPORT PERSON 3 Person 3 00:00 – 1:33 Primero. She reads the sentences aloud. even when it was OK. pues.

To send ¿pagar? Volar. cierto? Y este el infinitivo. cierto? ¿Estos son verbos irregulares. las personas pensaban que. costo.¿Burnt or burned? 11:05 ¿Pensar? Muchos años atrás. Interviewer 8:36 – 8:38 Person 3 8:43 – 10:43 Bueno. hablar. eso ya fue. PERSON 3 Correct verbs (spelling) 9 verbs Thought / Spilled – spilt/ Drank / Broke / Sent / Met / Cost / Spoke / Burnt Incorrect verbs (spelling) 1 verb Sleap (to sleep) Verbs missing Correct meanings 0 6 meanings Pensar / Beber / Dormir/ Conocer / Hablar / Quemar Incorrect meanings 2 meanings Golpear (to break) / costo – valor (to cost) Meanings missing 2 meanings Recuerde que también tiene que ponerle atención al significado. spoke. dormir. cuesta. 28 . tomar. thought. conocer. Bueno. Think. ¿cuánto cuesta? ¿Y esto abrir? Mira esto. alguien abrió. ¿Y esto qué significa? ¿Un incendio? Los granjeros incendiaron un foresto plantas de papaya y mango para sembrar. She also reads aloud the verbs and asks the interviewer for the pronunciation of some verbs. siempre escribo y repito. no. ¿Aquí se trata de aprendernos el verbo en pasado. derramar. unos dos renglones. She writes down the verbs. la forma. Y así para todos lo haría. Escribo varias veces. Los voy a dejar así. sé que es: beber. spoke.2:03 – 2:10 2:14 – 2:40 Yo por lo general cuando estudio y tengo que aprenderme algo así. Ay Dios mío. golpeó la ventana. soplar. Speak. señor. thought. Their infinitive and past tense form. eh.

she has to do it invidually. (It seems that for her. nor the pictures just the verbs). thought. PERSON 4 Correct verbs (spelling) Incorrect verbs (spelling) 10 verbs 0 Verbs missing Correct meanings Incorrect meanings Meanings missing 0 10 meanings 0 0 29 . For example words that have the ending “ght” like eight. After that. She says that with this exercise is easier for her to memorize some irregular verbs that she finds similar in sound. She also makes use of the images that are printed on the test to decipher the meaning of some verbs.Send / Spill Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 1 verb Spilled Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 2 verbs Spilt / Burnt Table No. 3. this strategy helps her to understand the past form of the verb in the whole context of the sentence. the student explains that if she wants to learn the pronunciation of a word or verb. Besides. person 4 observes the verbs again (she explains that in this moment she is not watching neither the sentences. she reads the infinitive forms and relates these forms with their past forms. Then. light. she also shares with us that it is useful for her to gather the irregular verbs or other type of words in English that have the same end. learning the pronunciation of words following rules or parameters. Results person 3’s test  SELF REPORT PERSON 4 First. does not work and for that reason she prefers to learn pronunciation singularly. person 4 reads all the sentences. Finally. word by word. The student says that she already has certain knowledge in English because she knows some verbs.

at least. He knows the meaning of some verbs or. He looks at the verbs and sentences. 5. he tries to understand them by looking at the picture and he tries to remember them in this way. He also classifies the verbs taking into account their spelling (the ones similar to the regular verbs and the ones that change completely) to remember them easily. he repeats them in a low voice.Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 1 verb Burned Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 1 verb Spilt Table No. 4. He makes a list of the verbs in past and present tenses and he reads them and tries to memorize them. While he is reading them. PERSON 5 Correct verbs (spelling) 8 verbs Thought / Spilled / Drank / Sent/ Slept/ Met/ Cost/ Burned Incorrect verbs (spelling) 2 verbs Broek (to break) / Spoek (to speak) Verbs missing Correct meanings Incorrect meanings Meanings missing Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 0 10 verbs 0 0 2 verbs Spilled / Burned Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 0 Table No. he reads them in order and in disorder up and down and vice versa. he believes he has seen them before. The method that he applies is writing. The ones that he does not know. Results person 5’s test 30 . After that. Results person 4’s test  SELF REPORT PERSON 5 Person 5 first check the piece of paper.

lo… leo. Thus. She divides them into two groups. SELF REPORT PERSON 6 Person 6 asks the interviewer to read the sentences aloud. lo copio… repetidas veces. Then. but at this time. She prefers listening to the verbs in the sentences. Results person 6’s test  SELF REPORT PERSON 7 Person 7 Primero que todo para aprenderme los verbos en… pasado. She studies in this way: She writes down all the verbs. they are the ones similar to the regular verbs and the ones that change completely. she says that she reads them similarly to the way they are written. makes a list. she reads them in a low voice. She also reads them mentally. 6. Interviewer ¿Y las imágenes te ayudan en algo? Person 7 31 . After that. she is memorizing them at the same time she is writing them down. After that. the ones that she does not understand she tries to guess them by looking at the pictures. lo memorizo y luego. PERSON 6 Correct verbs (spelling) Incorrect verbs (spelling) Verbs missing Correct meanings Incorrect meanings Meanings missing Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 10 verbs 0 0 10 verbs 0 0 2 verbs Spilled / Burned Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 0 Table No. lo repito varias veces. even if the pronunciation is not the correct one. she divides them into smaller groups in order to memorize them better. she writes them down again. She says that she prefers to study with these smaller groups.

me hace ya remontarme a que fue lo que pasó y cuál fue la acción que se dio… Entonces. Interviewer Y por ejemplo en estos casos en que sólo cambia una vocal. mientras que hay unos que cambian completamente su forma. el simple hecho de ver.Claro. ésa imagen. entonces pues los regulares me parece que son un poco más… fácil. o sea toda la palabra. las imágenes son de gran ayuda porque… o sea. por el. PERSON 7 Correct verbs (spelling) 9 verbs Thought / Spilled / Broke / Sent / Slept / Met / Cost / Spoke/ Burnt Incorrect verbs (spelling) 0 Verbs missing 1 verb Past form of the verb “drink” Correct meanings 9 meanings Pensar / Beber / Romper / Enviar / Dormir / Conocer / Costar / Hablar / Quemar Incorrect meanings Meanings missing 0 1 meaning 32 . se me dificultan más. pues como vemos verbos irregulares y verbos regulares. son muy importantes. me sería fácil… aprendérmelo. ¿te parece eso complicado de alguna manera? Person 7 Uhmmm. por el… por la forma en que… en la metodología como lo aplico pues. pero… como repetí. son más factibles… y los irregulares pues ya como cambian y el… todo el estilo. Interviewer ¿Cuándo tú te los aprendes tú ves una regla entre ellos que te permita ver cuál es la pronunciación? O ¿Cómo se debería escribir? Person 7 Pues realmente en este momento no… encuentro como una similitud o… una regla para poder guiarme.

However. it was found that students tended to generalize some rules to create the past forms of the irregular verbs. 33 . 7. In the case of the verbs with two options. when the verbs were given with two options. There was also one person who said she tried to pronounce the verbs in her mind. “spoek. the one with the –ed pattern. Some of the men said that they realize that there were two ways to write down these verbs. some of them mentioned that they found it useful to listen to the sentences. even when it was given enough context and pictures. In addition to this. Men opted to use more the –ed form when it was given.Meaning of the verb “spill” Use of the –ed form (verbs with two options) 1 verb Spilled Use of the irregular form (verbs with two options) 1 verb Burnt Table No. Students also manifested that they like looking at the pictures and writing down the verbs in order to memorize them. even if these pronunciations were wrong. women preferred to take risks and men did not. Some of them wrote down alternative forms such as “thinked”. Finally. Besides. in this case. some students had some difficulties at the moment of indicating the meanings of the verbs in question. but that they preferred learning the easiest one. by their pronunciation. their spelling or their similarities with the –ed pattern. Writing the verbs in a piece of paper was also used and it helped some students to memorize some of the verbs. sleap and broek”. for example “thoght”. and others misspelled the verbs. because they could create lists with the pronunciation. Another strategy that was found and that proved to be useful is creating lists of verbs. which could prove that their strategies where better used. but not all of them. Results person 7’s test RESULTS OF THE WRITTEN TESTS Women scored better than men during the written tests. in this case being told by us. It could be seen that these people is mostly visual style learners. as it was aforementioned. women tended to use more the form different from the –ed pattern.

there is still a number of students who come from different educational backgrounds from different parts of the country. what also gives us an average level to work with during the implementation of our project. it was found in the self-report test that the majority of them used this strategy to learn English irregular past form of the verb. In addition to this.CONCLUSIONS According to what was found after the implementation of the our data collection instruments it can be concluded that although the majority of the students have local backgrounds while studying English (They are from Bucaramanga or have finished their school there). this shows us that there is a clear gender division regarding time for the language and also we could find some issues related to group work while learning and practicing irregular past tense verbs. All these aspects give us an idea of what to focus on during the implementation of our project and what kind of activities are necessary to take into account in order to guarantee successful results. However. Students also reported that they prefer studying on their own better than in groups. during the implementation of the self-report test it could be corroborated that almost all students preferred visual strategies while learning and practicing irregular verbs. it was evident that the majority of male students devote 3 to 5 hours of study to their English subject. Furthermore. a big number of students reported feeling sympathy for English as a language and also having taken some English courses in the past. they seem to show the same proficiency level as the local ones. Students found difficulties while practicing listening skill. and in places where they feel comfortable. instead they preferred reading and speaking skills. Although they manifested in the need analysis survey that they do not like memorizing. giving us a homogeneous group for our project implementation. while female students study more than 5 hours. 34 . Besides.

In our case. their complexity and their categories should be changed in each one of them. there are also students who need to develop strategies based on their auditory learning styles.RECOMENDATIONS It is necessary to focus on the learning styles that each one of these students manifested they have. so they would have different levels of difficulty. 35 . It is needed to continue monitoring students’ strategies and new ones should be given to them in order to help them acquire the past tense forms of the irregular verbs. However. Students should be exposed to further tests that continue including visual and auditory information. most of the students tend to be visual style learners. and the amount of verbs.

APPENDIX 1 NEEDS ANALYSIS SURVEY Edad: _______ Género: Femenino___ Masculino ___ Lugar dónde nació:______________________ Barrio en dónde vive:_________________ Colegio en el que estudió:________________ Ciudad:_________________ De los siguientes artículos tiene: Televisor______ Computador____ Internet_____Grabadora_____DVD____ ¿Cuál o cuáles de esos utiliza para aprender inglés u otro idioma? _____________________________________________________________________ ¿Cuántas horas semanales de inglés tenía en el colegio?: 0-1hora___ 1-3 horas____ 3-5horas____ ¿Más? ¿Cuántas?________________ ¿Le gusta el inglés? Sí___ No___ ¿Por qué?: __________________________________________________________________ ¿Considera que aprender inglés es importante para su carrera o para su vida? Sí___ No____ ¿Por qué?:_________________________________________________________ ¿Ha hecho un curso o tomado alguna clase de inglés en un lugar diferente al colegio o la universidad? Sí_____ No _____ ¿Por cuánto tiempo? __________________________________________ Aparte del inglés. ¿ha estudiado otro idioma o está interesado en aprender otro idioma? Sí ___ No ____ ¿Cuál y por cuánto tiempo (si lo ha estudiado)? ____________________________________________________________ 36 .

Me siento cómodo cuando en clase el profesor(a) me habla todo el tiempo en inglés _____ 37 .Prefiero estudiar inglés: Solo en mi casa Solo en la Universidad Con mis amigos Con mi profesor(a) Otros ¿Cuáles? Cuando estudio inglés utilizo los siguientes recursos: Libros CD’s Computador Internet Otros ¿Cuáles? ¿Cuántas horas a la semana dedico a estudiar inglés? 0-1hora___ 1-3 horas____ 3-5horas____ ¿Más? ¿Cuántas?________________ ¿Cuál o cuáles son las habilidades de inglés que más me gustan? Listening ____ Speaking ______ Reading______ Writing______ Grammar______ ¿Por qué? ____________________________________________________________ ¿Cuál o cuáles habilidades son las que más se me dificultan? Listening ____ Speaking ______ Reading______ Writing______ Grammar______ ¿Por qué? ____________________________________________________________ En clase (escoja sólo una opción): a.

Las encuentro muy interesantes _____ ¿Por qué? ______________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ¿Cuál es mi mayor dificultad al momento de aprender palabras nuevas en inglés? ______________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ¿Qué otras estrategias utilizo para aprender inglés? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ 38 .b. Me aburro con facilidad _____ b. Prefiero que se me hable en inglés sólo cuando es necesario y el resto de tiempo en español ____ ¿Por qué? ________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ¿Me gusta estudiar gramática? Sí____ No______ ¿Cómo lo hago?_______________________________________________________ En las clases de gramática: a.

Durante los 10 minutos. usted deberá decirle a la persona que le dé esta hoja qué estrategias va a utilizar para aprenderse los verbos. 39 . 1. Look at that! Someone broke (to break) that window. It was really expensive. Si usted necesita oír las oraciones. Las oraciones están escritas usando verbos en pasado simple del inglés. b. a. This new t-shirt cost (to cost) 100 dollars. usted presentará un test en donde pondrá a prueba si su forma de aprender los verbos y las estrategias que utilizó fueron eficientes.APPENDIX 2 WRITTEN TEST AND SELF REPORT PRIMERA PARTE DE LA PRUEBA NOMBRE: _________________________________________ INSTRUCCIONES: Léalas cuidadosamente antes de llevar a cabo esta prueba. puede pedirles que se las repitan. Luego de los 10 minutos. 2. Los verbos en paréntesis indican la forma base del verbo (infinitive). La persona que le entregue esta hoja le leerá las oraciones. Preste atención a la forma en la que se escriben. Usted tendrá 10 minutos para aprender los 10 verbos que aparecen resaltados en cada oración y deberá deducir el significado de cada uno de ellos. Deberá decirle paso a paso las estrategias que usted aplique durante los 10 minutos. c.

4. 6. My teacher spoke (to speak) during 3 hours.3. 7. 40 . people thought (to think) that the Earth was flat. Andrea sent (to send) a letter to me last week. The farmers burnt/burned (to burn) an entire forest to plant papaya and mango trees. My father spilled/spilt (to spill) his drink during the dinner. We drank (to drink) some beers to celebrate New Year’s Eve. 8. 9. My sister slept (to sleep) 3 hours yesterday because she was terribly tired. Many years ago. I met (to meet) my best friend at school in 1999. It was so boring! 10. 5.

Write down the Past Pimple form of the verbs in the column “Infinitive” and their meaning in Spanish. Example: # * INFINITIVE Make PAST SIMPLE FORM Made MEANING IN SPANISH Hacer # 1 INFINITIVE Think PAST SIMPLE FORM MEANING IN SPANISH 2 Spill 3 Drink 4 Break 5 Send 6 Sleep 7 Meet 8 Cost 9 Speak 10 Burn 41 . Look at the example.SECOND PART NAME: _____________________________________________ INSTRUCTIONS: 1.

1999. 42 . London. Language Teaching Games. (1979). Puzzles and Games in Language Teaching. 5. Oxford: OUP. The ingredients of language. Guidelines. Ankara. Unpublished master thesis submitted to Middle East Technical University. Phoenix Orion Book. 6. (1992). Bilsoy. 3. Steven. Pinker. Turkey. Support for Learning. 7. Games and foreign language teaching. 2. A corpus-based learning list of irregular verbs in English. M. Chamberlain. Macedonia. 5 (June 1981). (2005). 2001.R. Danesi. Lincolnwood: National Textbook. Suggested games to enhance grammar correctness and communicative effectiveness in English language teaching. Language Games: A Challenge to the Teacher‟s Creative Imagination. 20(3). Freie Universität Berlin. 4. (1981). (1989). Grabowski Eva and Mindt Dieter. Lee. A. Words and rules. E. M. 28-47. W. 135-140.BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.