Why do you think learning correct prepositions, articles and when a noun needs an article or not takes so long to learn? Is this also true for native speakers?
I think the reasons why learning correct prepositions, articles and when a noun needs an article or not takes a long time to learn is that the rules are complex, have many exceptions, and in certain situations interchangeable. Most of the time, practice is the key to learning these grammatical components. Tara Arntsen explains in Gerund vs. Infinitive, that “it takes a lot of practice to recognize which words this applies to and there is no rule to help,” referring to specific words that must be followed by infinitives or gerunds (2011). Prepositions are hard to learn because they have multiple meanings. Take the preposition on, for example, we can use this for different situations: to be in physical contact with something (on a shelf) or to participate in something (on a team). There are also instances where depending on where you are geographically, prepositions are used differently (standing in line vs. standing on line). Prepositions can also be interchangeable. When someone is waiting inside a restaurant, they can be in or at the restaurant.
Create a short worksheet requiring your students to demonstrate their proficiency in the use of prepositions, infinitives and/or gerunds. Post this on the discussion board for your colleagues to address.
I would use this as a Do Now for a succeeding lesson on when to use gerunds or infinitives.
Name: __________________________ Date: ________ Period: _____
Gerund vs. Infinitive
Directions: Fill in the blank with the correct gerund or infinite
1. I enjoy (play) ________________ hide-and-seek with my friends.
2. My teacher always says, “Keep (try) ________________, next time you’ll get it right!”
3. I need (clean) ________________ my room this weekend, it’s a mess.
4. I don’t like (go) ________________ to the store with my mom, she takes forever!
5. When my mom walks in my room, I pretend (sleep) ________________ but I’m really on my phone!
Post two, thoughtful and insightful questions about grammar proficiency for your colleagues to discuss.
1. Does anyone have a good classroom resource for practicing gerunds and infinitives?
2. Matthew Lubin explains, “It’s easier to explain to an ESL class that gerunds sound more natural than infinitives when used as subjects or complements of a sentence” (2017). How would you model this to your students?
Arntsen, T. (2011, August 22). Gerund vs. Infinitive: How to Explain the Difference. Retrieved from https://busyteacher.org/4123-gerund-vs.-infinitive-how-to-explain-the.html
Arntsen, T. (2016, October 30). How To Teach Prepositions Of Place (8 Simple Steps). Retrieved from https://busyteacher.org/3630-how-to-teach-prepositions-of-place.html
Lubin, M. (2017, July 27). How to Teach Gerunds and Infinitives to ESL Students Without Confusing Them. Retrieved from https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator-english/esl-gerunds-and-infinitives/