Milestone 1: Parts of Speech OR different types of words

What are Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives? …this is the first thing you Learn in my Grammar class and your Activity #1 To be able to identify ‘different types of words’ . This is before I ask you to start making even simple sentences.

Some of you may say, “I know them” as you start to speak out the crammed definitions from a grammar book. Learning by heart the definitions of these ‘Parts of Speech’ has not helped you to make sentences. Am I right? So, what you need is ‘to LEARN how to use them in a sentence and a quick identification when you add a new word -in your Active vocabulary’. 

Each type of word has different placement in a sentence like a noun/pronoun can take the Subject form while adjective will generally come before the noun etc. Your mind has learned to identify them for Hindi or your first language. You may or may not remember the definitions it does not matter but You need to train your Mind to use different types of words differently. You will LEARN to identify them and USE them rightly in my class!

In Activity #2: You need to recall from your memory in a given time-limit of (say) 5 minutes: 50-60 Nouns, 20-30 Adjectives and 20-30 Verbs. Sounds easy? Try it on your own.  

Learn to identify Types of words or Parts of Speech (or PoS):

To demonstrate the importance of PoS, let me use an example to explain ‘What are parts of speech’ and ‘How many do need to identify for quick formation of sentences’. Assume that in place of  teaching you ‘How to make a sentence’, I am explaining to you ‘How to make a cup of tea’. You need to know the ingredients before you even start, right? Similarly our mind needs to understand various ‘Types of words’  before it can start making sentences in any language. These types of words are Parts of Speech (or PoS) as they are called in a grammar books. You sure got it and also how vital is the understanding of PoS or in other words ‘Why do we need to start from the basics?’

‘Parts of Speech’ or different types of words viz. Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives etc. are the ingredients for making a sentence, they are like milk, water, tea-bag, sugar etc. for making ‘a cub of tea’  You have to know the ingredients pretty well and identify them clearly before you can make a sentence in the right sequence and quickly enough to speak it.  The demand for quick formation of a sentence is more when you want to be spontaneous with your response. You also need to know them for attending an Active Vocabulary session, as well. There we need to Learn the meaning of a ‘new word’, is it ‘a Noun’ or ‘a Verb’.  You want to speak ‘the new word’ in a sentence of your own. You cannot use ‘a verb’ in place of ‘a noun’ … could you?

Okay! How many Types of words do I need to Identify?

At first, to Speak English at the very BASIC level you only need to know 3 types of words: Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives and you need to know them along with the usage  – particularly Nouns -Count/Uncountable. Simple definitions of these three types of words are:

  • Nouns: naming words; the objects they name can be visible or not visible.
  • Verbs: doing words – they indicate some action or work; action again can be in  brain
  • Adjectives: are describing words, they describe the Nouns.

If it is a Noun, you have to identify it as Uncountable or Countable and within Countable there can be Singular or Plural; uncountable by definition can’t have singular/plural forms. Some Nouns can be used both as Countable and Uncountable. e.g. How many times have I told you to do it in time.

Parts of Speech builds or reinforces a solid foundation for understanding different structures of sentences and later the Tenses will become much easier to understand for a BASIC language learner of Spoken English. Point to Note: only Verbs and Helping-Verbs are changed with the tenses. 

Grammar milestone #1 for Spoken English BASIC class: To Know and identify the ‘Parts of Speech’ or Types of words particularly: Nouns (countable and uncountable), Verbs/Helping Verbs and Adjectives. Please give yourself 3-4 days and build some Active Vocabulary along with it. Do some Activities in the class and practice the usage in the Language L@b.

Grammar Challenge for Students of Intermediate/Advanced classes: If you understand and can identify and use all the ‘Parts of Speech’ 8 or 9 – depending on the grammar book you refer to; We offer attractive scholarships!

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Active Vocabulary for Speaking with Ease

Vocabulary for Speaking English
The above image of words related to Vocabulary-Building is created using : www.wordle.net – Thanks for allowing free usage of a wonderful tool!

Here are some statements, we often hear from ESL students as we counsel them to Learn Conversations in English (‘Spoken English’ as it’s popularly called):

“I have crammed many word-lists given to me by my test-prep teachers”

“I did my B.Tech and/or MBA and medium of study was English”

“I know all the words that you show me on this slide in this Wordle or whatever”

“I understand the word when I read it but it doesn’t come to my mind when I speak”

“I watch Hollywood movies but they speak too fast so I do not get the words; reading the sub-titles helps but only very little”

“Living in India and Exposed to English; I have listened to thousands of words spoken to me in real-life situations”

In my view, ‘Exposure to English’ as expressed in the last statement is most helpful towards building adequate and active vocabulary. First and foremost the English Learner has to be ready to receive the words from all the available sources and a vocabulary class is no different…We use all the available media and examples that help you Learn.

A statement that I often make in the class (sometimes I repeat it for emphasis)  “thousands of English words are now part of our everyday speaking as we do in cities like Delhi or NOIDA” . This fact also gives us a positive start for building Active Vocabulary for English Conversations.

Do you know the Hindi word for a Pencil or a Glass?. I am sure, you don’t use it even if you know it. As an adult person exposed to life in a city in India, people are using mobile-phones, internet, e-mail and with that they use hundreds (even thousands) of English words that they confidently speak as a part of every-day conversations in Hinglish (a mix of Hind-English as spoken in Indian Cities). So, you don’t speak 100% correct or pure Hindi but speak it easily and fluently and usage of new ‘Hindi’ word comes naturally to you. You don’t need to do any extra effort or attend my class for it the Environment teaches.

Pay attention: sometimes, the pronunciation of the English word when spoken in a local language is changed!

You may also come to think that “I know thousands of words in English but am not able to Speak even a complete sentence”.  So how would adding more words help me. Other questions, some of them are excuses coming from our natural lethargy to learn are:

  • How is adding words to my vocabulary (active or passive) different for English as a second language?
  • Do I need to learn more words and spend time building English vocabulary?
  • I have a lot of hesitation; OR How would i develop confidence to speak?
  • I don’t have the environment at home or office; How will English environment help me?
  • I also need to Learn Grammar; How much emphasis will you give to grammar?

Some of them may be true while others are myths…let’s discover what is Active Vocab and how you build it.

Active Vocabulary is the 1st thing that is needed to Speak in English. We all Learn ‘new’ words when we get in contact with them, understand the meaning by looking it up in the Dictionary…LEARN to refer to the dictionary on-line or off-line, doesn’t matter.

For Some of you who can Read well and have good working Vocabulary, you just need to ‘Learn 5 New Words’ everyday or Activate the words that you know. It is important to add some ‘Adjectives or describing words as we may call them’. Adjectives are the jewelry of any Language and make it beautiful! The effect is that you enhance the impact of what you say and write.

The instructors will help you discover the meaning of the new words from a Flashcard (picture) or PowerPoint Slide or a Wordle, As an instructor I give a  lot of examples so you understand the context in which this new word can be used (or not used) and learn its proper usage when you speak or write. You will be encouraged to make 2-3 sentences (affirmative, negative and interrogative) with the new word and speak the sentences out to the class. Finally, you will be given the opportunity to speak on a topic ‘depending on you ability’ where you can use the ‘new’ words.

The result is, that you ‘develop your active word-base and are effectively able to use the new words at appropriate places even outside the classroom in real-life situations. With adequate Vocabulary, you express yourself, more benefits of superior word-power are:

  • Speak more clearly….without repeating and using filler words/ jargon or slang
  • Express yourself freely….on personality of an individual, explaining your project etc.
  • Converse confidently…even with people from other professions
  • Make extempore speech/presentation ….. on a wide variety of topics
  • Gain Confidence….as you don’t fumble as you speak.

You are able to ‘strike the right word at the right time’ and be more Fluent as you practice usage of your words more and more… It is my firm belief that you learn best in real-life’ situation so doing role-plays will help you not just with you vocabulary but also with understanding of the grammar.

Isn’t it true that ‘Words Shape your Future!’

At T.r.i.c.k.s – Noida, you will attend a number of Active Vocabulary sessions so that you add words to your ‘word-bank’ and start speaking simple sentences within 10-15 days…. Fluency development can take its time put the right path and progress is assured. Number of Active Vocabulary sessions you attend depends on your Level and the Module you choose.