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Today I dipped my toe into the grammar lessons I am required to give. The ostensible reason is to ready the students for second year Spanish. I think the real reason is that the school is uninterested in students learning to use Spanish but rather to give the appearance of rigor. All educated people just about have had the experience of studying but never learning a foreign language and they all know it was somehow good for them and that they weren’t really supposed to speak French or read Spanish or understand German; it was just a matter of going through the motions, memorizing endings that made no sense and were quickly forgotten, and so forth.
So I figure I might as well teach them some real grammar and not the moronic stuff you find in Spanish textbooks at every level. Today I started with our text (= material in the TL; textbook will always be called “textbook”), picking one full sentence and two others.
We identified verbs and happily found at least one of our number who used the term “state verb”. So we differentiated types of verbs, laying the groundwork for transitive and intransitive, which will be crucial when we get to reflexive verbs and when we deal with Sp equivalents of Eng modal verbs. We saw that “feel”, as in “He felt curious” can be interpreted as either a state verb or an action verb and that “feel” itself can be clearly transitive in the sense of “sense tactilely” We found that each verb has a subject, laying the groundwork for impersonal verbs. We found 3 different ways of saying “is”, laying the groundwork for ser/estar distinctions.
Not bad for twenty minutes, plus we got two pages of our story read.

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