the verb challenge
With the new learning management system, Angel, now part of my life, I thought I would try to map out some of the challenge our students face in learning verbs. In part, I did this in order to rethink what the language challenge is. I wanted to do it differently than looking at the table of contents of a text book. I set out to map some of the elements of verbs that English language learners must master.
I have done a few maps on bubbl.us for classes, but for this attempt, I decided to use FreeMind a free mind mapping software. I thought the resulting map would be a useful visual for the students to use to understand the different elements of verbs.
I worked on it this week first as kind of a lark, but soon it became a tool for me to realize the complexity my students face in learning this one element of language. Here is the chart I came up with so far.
This chart hardly encompasses all the complexity since it does not include semantic and pragmatic elements. It gives me a little better understanding of why students struggle with say irregular verbs or subject-verb agreement since they have to fit those into the larger cognitive structure they are building for verbs. I don’t know how I will use this yet with my students, but it has reacquainted me with the challenges they face.