When I was learning to jump rope, I was given step by step instructions about style and footwork for jumping, but wasn’t told exactly how and when to jump into the swinging rope.
Perhaps that is why I always got tangled up in the rope before I could try my footwork!
Likewise, we have to make sure our students know what we are talking about when we give them instructions because they may be too embarrassed to tell us they don’t understand. If you tell students something like:
“To form a question place the lead verb in front of the whole subject.”
* First, make sure they know what the subject is, in its simplest and expanded form.
* Then make sure they know how to recognize the lead verb of any sentence.
* Finally, they need some guided practice.
Presto, you will have them forming questions correctly like experts!
Otherwise they may not know how to form a question even when they are 5th year university students! Don’t laugh! I see it every day!
Now isn’t that just too bad that questions are fundamental to all languages.
Don’t assume your students understand your words. Use pre-practice and real practice!
I’m preparing tools for teachers so they can go a step further into the practice to insure acquisition in place of learning!