English Grammar Overview - Parts of Speech - Nouns

 

Let's begin our examination of parts of speech with nouns. Nouns are our naming words. They name a person or people, such as Jack, Jill, brother, Prime Minister. We have a place or places such as kitchen, Tokyo. Things or the things around us: pen, light, camera. We have our concepts and ideas: beauty, democracy. These people, things, places and concepts fall into two basic subcategories. Those subcategories are countable and uncountable. As their name suggests, the differentiation here is whether or not we can count our nouns or if we cannot count them. We have our countable nouns: dogs, pens, are two examples. The very nature of the words means that we can count these nouns one dog or 5, 10. Then, we have our uncountable nouns. The nouns that cannot be separated: music, bread. It's important to notice and be able to identify the difference between countable and uncountable nouns, as often this dictates the rest of our sentence. We have to use certain words with countable nouns and certain words with uncountable nouns. I can say "I have many dogs in my neighborhood." or "I have a few pens here." However, if I want to talk about music or bread, I need to use words such as "I haven't much music at home." or "I have a little bread." Nouns that are uncountable, we cannot normally pluralize them. For example, I cannot say "I have many types of music at home." Further subcategories of nouns include common nouns, proper nouns, compound nouns and collective nouns. A few examples of common nouns would be: brother, city, street. These nouns are not typically capitalized unless they come at the beginning of the sentence. We have our proper nouns. A brother has a name like Tom. Tom needs a capital letter. It is a proper name. You have Tokyo. Tokyo is the proper name of a city and Downing Street. "Downing" needs the capital as it's the proper name of the street. We also have our compound nouns. Compound nouns put two nouns together and they're thought of as. One they can be listed as two words, a hyphenated word or one word, such as lifeboat, bookcase, car park. We also have our collective nouns. Collective nouns are the nouns that group individual things or people together. "Family" is one example. "Family" groups together relatives. We also have "herd", "a herd of cattle". Another example would be "a pride", "a pride of lions".


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

The unit started off talking about different types of beginners, noting that while they?re all considered ?beginners?, there can actually be a significant difference in the goals, knowledge and skill level of beginner students depending on the context. The text mentioned ?the beginners without Roman alphabet?, which was something new for me to consider, as I have always taught Spanish-speaking students who are already familiar with the alphabet. I believe this type of student would prove a challenge for me and I appreciate the unit?s advice about taking special care to hone said students? reading and writing skills to make sure they do not fall behind. The unit also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of giving individual lessons. I often give individual lessons, and while it is the type of lesson I prefer, I agree that it can be quite tiring. The teacher has absolutely no time to rest in this situation, and must remain sharp at all times. Considering that each student essentially represents a separate class in terms of planning and energy spent, one-on-one teaching can also be quite mentally taxing to keep organized. However, the relationships I have built with certain students and the very apparent progress they have made as the months go by has been quite fun and gratifying, so I prefer it. The text also gave a lot of advice on the proper attitude and practices to adopt when teaching children. Although I do not plan to teach children, I think a lot of this information also pertains to older but less motivated students. The main point of the text seemed to be that children will have little outside motivation to participate in the activities the teacher provides, so the teacher must create the motivation. A positive attitude, notable in the voice and mannerisms, as well as colorful, fun, and interesting topics and materials will help children get involved. It also encouraged somewhat competitive games with small prizes since children enjoy amassing points and getting rewards, however simple those rewards may be. As I stated previously, I think this approach (toned down a bit so as not to seem condescending) could work with older but less motivated students. I found the section on business English very interesting and helpful. I learned about the needs negotiation process and the text provided a sample needs analysis form. I previously had many of the common concerns about business English that the text mentioned, such as feeling unqualified as I am not a business person, but the text put those fears to rest. I know that if I follow the process outlined in the text, I could effectively plan a curriculum for any group of professionals that I needed to help. The text made clear that these types of classes rely more heavily on the teacher for organization and progress checking, which I will keep in mind moving forward. Finally, something else new I learned was that multilingual and monolingual classes each have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, students are more likely to speak pure English in a multilingual class but have unique problems with grammar and pronunciation, whereas students in a monolingual class may struggle to avoid using their mother tongue, but will probably have similar difficulties with English as they come from a similar linguistic background.


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