TheLoneRider
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Teaching

Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016

Sentence Expansion

Location: Thai Plum Village
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong (district), Nakhon Ratchasima (province), Thailand

Short Sentences
Vietnamese students often talk English in short sentences with missing prepositions or mispronounced words. It's not because they don't know English - they already learned English in school, albeit fragmented English. They have English inside their heads, but have difficulty conveying their ideas into words because they are not sure which words to choose and how to connect the words together into a coherent flowing sentence. I came up with a method that attempts to address all that.

Sentence Expansion

Simple Sentence to Start
First, I start with a simple sentence - like how they would say it. Then I ask leading questions about the sentence and ask them how they can squeeze the answer into the sentence. I ask another leading question. As they answer the questions, the sentence keeps getting longer with a flowing narrative to it. Before long, they would have constructed a long flowing sentence on a step-by-step basis down to the sentence's anatomy.

  1. INITIAL SENTENCE: The dog was barking.
    when did that happen? yesterday
  2. Yesterday, the dog was barking.
    when yesterday? in the afternoon
  3. Yesterday afternoon, the dog was barking.
    what time in the afternoon? 5pm
  4. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the dog was barking.
    what was the size of the dog? big
  5. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big dog was barking.
    what was the color of the dog? brown
  6. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog was barking.
    who owns the dog? the neighbor
  7. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the neighbor was barking.
    what kind of neighbor? old? young couple? elderly
  8. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was barking.
    how was it barking? loudly
  9. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking.
    barking at whom? at the beggar
  10. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the beggar.
    how did the beggar look? unshaven
  11. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar.
    what was the beggar wearing? ragged clothes
  12. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with with ragged clothes.
    where was the beggar? in front of the house
  13. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with ragged clothes who was in front of the house.
    was the beggar doing anything? he was just standing
  14. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with ragged clothes who was in standing front of the house.
    was it the new house? it was the old house
  15. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with ragged clothes who was in standing front of the old house.
    what was the old house made of? steel? glass? concrete? it was a wooden house
  16. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with ragged clothes who was in standing front of the old wooden house.
    where was the house located? across the street
  17. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with ragged clothes who was standing in front of the wooden old house across the street.
    how long was he standing up? 2 hours
  18. Yesterday afternoon at 5pm, the big brown dog of the elderly neighbor was loudly barking at the unshaven beggar with ragged clothes who was standing for 2 hours in front of the wooden old house across the street.

Pushing It
Admittedly, the final sentence is a bit of an exaggeration, but the exercise is to push the boundaries of how to construct a long sentence that still make sense. Of course, you can stop anytime the sentence begins to sound awkward.

Preposition
The answer to one of the leading questions was "for 2 hours". I would omit the word "for" and give them choices..."in 2 hours", "at 2 hours", "from 2 hours", etc.

Pronunciation
For every answer they give, I would ask them to say the word and then write it up on the white board, broken up by syllables. Every syllable is analyzed according to vowel used - short or long? Special sounding consonants are also highlighted ("c" pronounced "k" or "s"?).

Ending Thoughts
By building up the sentence from simple to complex in a 'step-by-step' manner given chronological and descriptive information, they get to form a long sentence and more importantly, they see the method used in making it happen - by giving description to the dog, describing the barking, the object of the barking, time it happened, etc. The long sentence is no longer overwhelming or 'too difficult' when done this way. Along this process, use of prepositions and pronunciations are also addressed. From a conversational perspective, this approach tackles the essential challenges.

--- TheLoneRider
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Next stop: Pond Picnic with the Monastics


Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

with direction coming from Bangkok

GPS waypoint: 14°33'25.4"N 101°31'45.0"E
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Location: 174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Tel: +66(0)2-885-5980
Email:visitus@thaiplumvillage.org

Blogs on Thai Plum Village

  1. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  2. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  3. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  4. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  5. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  6. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  7. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  8. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  9. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  10. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  11. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  12. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

How to Get to Plum Village from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

You are encouraged to arrive at the Center Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm
  1. Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok proper (Phaya Thai Station)
    there is already a direct train from the airport that goes all the way to Bangkok with a final stop at Phaya Thai. Upon airport arrival, go down to Basement and take the Airport Link train to Phaya Thai Station 35 mins | Baht 45. Get off at Phaya Thai Station (the last stop) and walk (.8km) to the Phaya Thai BTS Station.
  2. Phaya Thai Station (N2) - Mo Chit Station (N8) by BTS TRAIN
    board the BTS train heading to Mo Chit and get off there.
  3. Mo Chit BTS Station (N8) - Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal
    Walk to Mo Chit North & North Eastern Bus Terminal (pls note, this is a 2km walk...you might like to take a cab or tuktuk).
  4. Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal - Platform 6, public van at #78
    this is a short walk. Go to Platform 6 and get on the public van at #78 offering Jamnong Tour.
    IMPORTANT ! - make sure you make it clear to the driver that HIS van drops you off at Plum Village. Otherwise, they might finish the tour in Pak Chong proper. If this happens, you're still 45 minutes away from Plum Village which costs 500 Baht by cab! Best to copy/print/take a picture of the image below to show to the driver:

    instruction to driver
    For the latest info, check out their website.
  5. Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal - Plum Village by VAN
    the trip all the way to Plum Village, Pak Chong costs Baht 500 and takes 3.5 to 4 hours. Take the 11am or 12 noon van to ensure you arrive at the center before 4pm.

How to Get to Pak Chong (Proper) from Bangkok by train

ignore this if you plan to go to Plum Village. Take the direction above instead

Plum Village Cost Index

(US$1 = Thailand Baht 35.77 = Php 47.52 as of Feb 28, 2016)

Things to bring if staying overnight

  1. mosquito repellent
  2. hat/umbrella
  3. flashlight
  4. not a requirement, but it helps if you bring clothing in the dark brown color in order to blend-in
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