The Point of No Return

It is officially week 7 and that means that we are now halfway through another semester of university! The countdown is on until exams start in 7 weeks time and I feel like someone has hit the fast forward button on the universal remote. Anybody else agree with me?? Midterms are starting this week and assignment due dates are beginning to loom.

We [Native English speakers] just inherently know that we must write things in a certain order.

One of the midterm exams I have coming up soon is my TESOL exam. I’ve mentioned TESOL quite a bit in some of my other blog posts. We’re really getting into all of the technical aspects of the English language in our tutorials and the amount of information that native English speakers naturally have is astounding. For example, when we describe objects using adjectives we naturally put the details into order based on what we ourselves personally find most important, generally starting with our own opinion of the jacket.

He was wearing a fashionable, short, blue leather jacket.” Fashionable = opinion, short = length/size, blue = colour. This works for almost everything, for example “The cute, long red velvet skirt” follows the same pattern. Native speakers adapt to this naturally, whereas English learners have to literally learn this order. 

keep-calm-it-just-is
Source

This is becoming a problem in TESOL classes. Most of the class cannot answer any questions that we are asked because we don’t know why some English grammar is the way it is, we just inherently know that we must write things in a certain order. I for one am finding it to be incredibly interesting and I come into class every week expecting to learn a lot of amazing facts that I seemingly already knew. However, I am not looking forward to the midterm because “it just is” is unfortunately not an acceptable answer to “Why is _____ placed before the ____?” This week will consist of a lot of revision of basic things like nouns and adverbs, things I already studied when I was ten years old but never really paid attention to.

Luckily, for once this is one difficulty that I will find enjoyable to overcome because it is week 7, and so it is too late to turn back now. 🙂

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