Sunday, March 8, 2009

TESL Struggle

Hey there folks. I am working on getting my TESL through an online course. Basically the work consists of reading, taking a short quiz and then writing.

This is a course that will give me the TESL certificate which can be used to get more money added to my salary, and also an advantage when it comes to being hired.

However, I think the most important aspect of working on this is that it will improve my knowledge and skills of being an English teacher for EFL students. So I got started on this last week, after finally paying for it and printing out my first assignment. This course is not heavily weighed on grammar but that doesn't mean it isn't a part of it.

I have come to a part in my writing assignment, which deals with grammar. I am not a grammar whiz, as my Mom would tell you. But I am very willing to learn and get over my own mistakes.

I am asking you, my readers, to extend your grammar knowledge to help me with this assignment. I'm not trying to cheat here, I just really don't know where to start when it comes to figuring out grammar. So if anyone can give me some pointers that would be terrific!

The Prompt:
The assignment is to write down three sentences that Foreign language English learners commonly make that are mistakes. These sentences have to be grammatically incorrect and all relate to each other with the same grammar problem.

Their example:

from French:

I have twenty years.

I have cold.

I have ill.

The reason for this error is due to the use of have in French.

My choices:
I goes to a PC Bang.
I go to church.
I was go to home.
These are common answers to the question "What did you do you yesterday?"

The Help I Need:
I know that these sentences are grammatically incorrect. I just can't tell you which grammar rule it relates to. I am thinking it relates to getting the past-tense incorrect, but I know there must be more to it than that! (See how badly I need grammar help folks, my poor sorry)

The Twist:
The assignment requests the following:
  • Explain why you think the error takes place.
  • Explain in terms of grammar.
  • Explain in terms of the MT (mother tongue, Korean language) and then explain it in terms of the English Grammar. This is the part that I need help with, mostly because I don't know Korean grammar.
  • Point out the differences.
At least I have a set of sentences that I thought of on my own. That alone was pretty tricky.

In the meantime I will hit up google and see what I can come up with, and try to get myself on the grammar path.

If you know of an explanation I could start thinking of that would be great. Or of any websites that would be awesome, too.



  1. Well, I have not yet heard a student say "I goes to a PC bang." What I have heard, lots of times, is "I go PC bang."

    They make this error because of the difference between English and Korean structure. They don't have--or at least usually use--articles like "a". The second error, go instead of went, is possibly because they are easily confused by the tense forms in English. And more so because the most commonly used verbs in English are also irregular ones. HTH.

  2. Ooo Thank you ! I will look into those reasons more for my work. By the way I have to make sure these sentences are making the same grammatical mistake. Do you think they are?

  3. Hmm I think if I change my first sentence then they all can match up.

    "I goes PC Bang"

    Then the problem would be a go ---> went problem.

  4. Joy....YEAH !! GOOD FOR YOU!
    ...try to find a basic elementary school level English grammar textbook to keep by your side.
    I'll look online for a website like that for you too. Let us know if you found one already, ok!

    I'm not much help in the formal diagnosis "why" I just know when the English sounds or looks wrong!


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