Teaching the verb ‘to be’ HELP!!!

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  • larina242
    29 May, 2008 at 8:18
    • Total posts: 2

    Hey everyone, i’m a tefl trainee teacher and tomorrow i have to teach the verb ‘to be’ to a group of elementary students. i’ve wrecked my brain trying to find a way of doing it … which is both interesting and educational … my mind is not collaborating…

    Any ideas????

    30 May, 2008 at 18:55
    • Total posts: 590

    Reply To: Teaching the verb ‘to be’ HELP!!!

    Hi – see my reply to your post in the "New to TEFL" forum.


    30 January, 2009 at 21:01
    • Total posts: 7

    Reply To: Teaching the verb ‘to be’ HELP!!!

    This is too late for the person who sent in their request……but:

    Who would ask someone to teach the verb "to be"? They should not be in a position to judge, train or mentor. Even in European latin-based languages, to be does not always translate.

    In Asia, the "be" is often understood rather than spoken/written [Vietnamese <toi khoe> – literally, <I well> but the "to be" exists by default and the interrogative uses the "to be" format even though the verb is not stated].

    Ideally we should teach "chunks of meaningful language" – not my own idea but one to which I subscribe.

    S J Frost
    Devon [+ Valencia, Lima, Slovak and Czech Republics, Hanoi, Saigon, Haiphong,Sumatra and Kalimantan]

    8 April, 2009 at 14:53
    • Total posts: 17

    Reply To: Teaching the verb ‘to be’ HELP!!!

    yes, totally agree Siddharta – a bit late as you say but I also had to add my voice to this little thread! Who would ask a training teacher to teach ‘to be’ – I wonder how that person got to be a trainer. In effect, whether or not it translates is almost irrelevant (though I do take the point) since we have been moving away from the notion of atomistic structural instruction for some 30 years now. How on earth would someone teach the verb ‘to be’? I’d love to hear from larina to know a) how she did it and b) what the students did and c) what the tutors said!
    Too late I guess… but this supports my view that we need to create a career structure for teachers becoming trainers to replace the more or less random selection which currently exists.

    16 April, 2009 at 11:41
    • Total posts: 59

    Reply To: Teaching the verb ‘to be’ HELP!!!

    I agree with Steve and Siddharta, although I strongly suspect that the original poster was not asked just to teach the verb "to be" – simply because I also find it hard to believe that a trainer would set this as a task.

    I suspect instead that the task was probably to teach a structure which included the verb "to be" as part of it – could have been something like adjectives to describe people, as Dan suggests in his answer to the same question in the New to TEFL forum.

    Anyway, if the task was simply the verb "to be", I too would be interested to hear how it went.

    Steve – your point about moving away from atomistic structural instruction is a very good one, although I think it may help to explain what it means – I’m not sure that someone on an entry level training course such as the original poster would be comfortable with these kinds of terms – I know I wasn’t at that stage of my career. :D


    8 July, 2009 at 21:32
    • Total posts: 3

    Reply To: Teaching the verb ‘to be’ HELP!!!

    I agree with Phil, it is ridiculous to think that one would be asked to JUST teach "to be". Although it is certainly valuable to know in context, but it would be strange to teach it by itself.

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