I tried out these build up exercises with a group of beginner students (level A1-A2). The task was a traditional build up task with focus on word order. The sentences were taken from an easy reading book, which is part of the curriculum and I asked the students to arrange the words into a correct sentence. The students came up with many different solutions to word order and I tried to encourage them to check the sentences from what they already knew about word order. Many sentences had more solutions, some with or without inversion, so some students came up with alternative word order. Unfortunately I don't have examples on the incorrect word order the students produced, but that is something that would be good to record to see the process. I didn't go to the next step of defining word classes and their place in the sentences, but that is a possible third step. Any other ideas on how this task encourages thinking?     

1) tager / Erik / Julie / ud / og / børneværelset / af / hopper

Erik tager Julie og hopper ud af børneværelset

2) meget / huset / i / nu / der / ild / er

Nu er der meget ild i huset

Der er meget ild i huset nu


3) se / kan / de / stuen / redde / ikke / at / Erik / kan

De kan se, at Erik ikke kan redde stuen

Erik kan se, at de ikke kan redde stuen


4) står / tingene / og / ser / han / huset / i / brænde

Han står og ser tingene i huset brænde

5) brandmændene / mens / branden / kører / slukker / Julie / med / til / hospitalet / ambulancen

Julie kører til hospitalet med ambulancen, mens brandmændene slukker branden

Mens brandmændene slukker branden, kører Julie til hospitalet med ambulancen


6) sidder / og / ser / i / ambulancen / Lotte / sin / på / pige / lille

Lotte sidder og ser på sin lille pige i ambulancen



# Alexander Sokol 2013-05-22 00:00
Thanks, Nikolaj. I guess one possibility would be to get the learners to decide how one can distinguish between a well-formed and a wrong sentence in Danish in terms of word order. This would bring them to the need to build a strategy (Step 2). Have you tried going that direction?
# Nikolaj Rasmussen 2013-05-29 23:12
Thanks Alexander and Birute for your comments. Yes, obviously they need some basic knowledge of word order or some true examples to build their strategy on. So, what I'm thinking is that when they come up with a bunch of different answers to a task, I could ask them to sort the answers in well-formed and wrong sentences, right? I mean, the real goal here must be to encourage them and let them build enough knowledge to verify the correctness of the sentences themselves. But, the real challenge I often face as a teacher is to keep up the challenge for every student in a very diverse classroom with a big span in knowledge and language awareness.
# Birute Sprauniene 2013-05-28 11:13
I would also suggest to get the students to look at the wrongly formed sentences and decide what makes them incorrect in comparison to the correct ones, in what way do they deviate from the correct sentences. In order to do this, they would have to come up with some model for sentence structure in Danish.
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