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Sentence Headers and floundering

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Doing some weird stuff this week – not on the surface, but in my head. I decided some time ago that sentence headers are  “A Good Thing” to teach – you know those chunks of stuff at the beginning of a sentence? “Looking at the figures, we believe….”, ” In my experience I have found…..” “As far as I know….” ” After due consideration…” etc etc. The base sentence was, “This is a sustained trend” – tried to get them to add the headers and they just floundered about. Why?
Possibly the students find it difficult because it is “indirect”. Or is it the addition of so many “parasitic words”? Is it really more difficult for an intermediate student to say, “Looking at the figures, we believe this is a sustained trend”? Am I being too ambitious?

Also tried to get them to do a two minute product launch. Took Kate Walsh’s presentation from The Apprentice Final and gave them the outline and the chunks. Could they do it? Nah. Why? The language is not challenging, the sentence constructions are easy enough – yet, they all battled. It seemed the students were flummoxed by the chunks – both the grammar of and the meaning of. Ah me – back to the drawing board.



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