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An Advanced English Practice Course

 
56

by James Day ... An Advanced English Practice Course - The aims and scope of this course

 

This course has three aims. The students using it will probably have done anything up to six years' fairly intensive study of English at school and possibly at university. There are, however, certain mistakes which even advanced students make again and again. These mistakes vary from nationality to nationality, and largely depend on the mother tongue of the students.

 

The first aim of the course is remedial. It tries to demonstrate how native English writers use certain tricky structures that overseas students sometimes mismanage, and then gives them practice in the correct use of those structures.

 

The second aim is to improve the students' powers of self-expression by expanding their vocabulary and repertoire of structures.  

 

The third is to stimulate them, through reading and discussion of sometimes provocative material, to think about and criticise both the form and the content of the passages that have been chosen to illustrate the structures practised.

 

Part 1 - The basis of any language communication depends largely on the verb, and the majority of sentences result from the interplay of static elements -nouns and adjectives - with dynamic ones - verbs and adverbs. Most students find that the English tense system needs careful study. So, al­though the course has been designed so that any one section of it may be used in isolation to illustrate and practise a particular structure, it develops out of a detailed examination first of tense, then of mood, then of the satellites of the verb (adverbials), via verb forms that operate as nouns (gerunds and infinitives), through noun clauses and nouns to adjectivals and adjectives. It thus leads from the simple to the compound; from the immediate to the contingent; from the definite to the indefinite; and from the concrete to the abstract. Each pattern of structures has a group of exer­cises attached to it. These develop from the almost absurdly simple, which aim at simply drilling the student in the correct use of the structure considered, via exercises with a closed system, where the most suitable answer is probably the most correct one, through exercises involving the student's imaginative use of the structure in a 'controlled' situation, to those where the student is allowed much more freedom of self-expression, still practising the structure required, in a precise but not too restricted context-situation. In each section, the purely structural exercises are preceded by a num­ber of comprehension questions about the vocabulary and argument of the passage, and followed by suggestions for discussion and/or essays about the material touched on in the passage and related topics. This con­stitutes Part I of the book.

 

Part 2 concerns more extended forms of self-expression. Examples are given of different types of style, of ways of constructing a paragraph, of methods used by authors to suit vocabulary to subject, not simply as a technical device, but in order to make the writer's intention absolutely clear. Some of these examples also show how the choice of vocabulary may influence the shape of the paragraph itself.

 

Part 3 makes suggestions concerning the organisation of students' self-expression on a larger scale still, notably in class-discussion and in essays. So while  

 

Part 1 consists largely of expository and practice material, Part 2 attempts to develop the students' imagination, and Part 3 merely gives him what it is hoped is useful advice. It is not necessary to use the book as a consecutive course, though it has been planned as such. It is perfectly possible to arrange work on it using related themes from certain passages on similar topics, or simply to use sections at random for purely remedial purposes. Nor is it necessary to use all the exercises from one section. The teacher may omit such exercises as he considers too easy for his students. All the same, it is often both useful and encouraging to students to give them something that they are almost certain to get 100 per cent correct first go off, particularly in remedial work. Moreover, what has been designed as a step-by-step process should be more effective when used that way, and it is hoped that the individual steps involved are not so great as to confuse or irritate either teachers or their pupils.

 

 

Contents
General Introduction: The aims and scope of this course    XIII
Parti STRUCTURES IN THE SENTENCE

Subdivision I: The verb and its appendages
A: THE TENSES
Introductory notes    4
1 The use of the simple present tense to express universal statements    6
JOHN MAYNARD SMITH: The Theory of Evolution
2 The use of the simple future to express predictions or intentions    9
ALBERT E.  SLOMAN: ^ University in the Making
3 The simple present and the present perfect    13
H.J.  EYSENCK: Uses and Abuses of Psychology
RAYMOND WILLIAMS: Culture and Society 1780-1950
4 The present progressive, the simple present and the present perfect      17
SIR BERNARD LOVELL: The Individual and the Universe
ELLIS WATERHOUSE in The Listener

SOMERSET MAUGHAM: Virtue
5 The present perfect in relation to the simple past    2.2.
T. S. ELIOT: Poetry and Drama
6 The use of the past and present progressive forms in relation to other tenses     25
GEORGE ORWELL: The Road to Wigan Pier
7 The past perfect in relation to the simple past    28
C. P. SNOW: The Masters
8 The past perfect in relation to time and other contingencies    31
KAREN BLIXEN: Out of Africa
9  Perfect progressive forms    34
SOMERSET MAUGHAM: His Excellency
A. G. STREET: Fit for What?
B: MOODS AND CONTINGENCIES
Introductory notes    37
10  Open conditions with a present tense in the subordinate clause    39
G. B. SHAW: Preface to The Apple Cart
DOROTHY L. SAYERS: How Free is the Press?
11  Conditions with the simple past tense in the subordinate clause    43
SIR DONALD TOVEY: The Main Stream of Music
G. K. CHESTERTON: A Defence of Penny Dreadfuls
12 Rejected conditions    48
GWYN THOMAS: And a Spoonful of Grief to Taste
G. B. SHAW: Preface to Saint Joan
ANDREW SHONFIELD: British Economic Policy since the War
13 The interrelationship of time, mood and contingency    52
BERTRAND RUSSELL: The Limits of Human Power
HESKETH PEARSON: The Life of Oscar Wilde (2 passages)

Introductory notes on the modal [anomalous jinite] verbs    57
14 Modality - 1: Permission, open possibility and ability    61
W. MACNEILE DIXON: The Human Situation
J. MAYNARD SMITH: The Theory of Evolution
15 Modality - 2: Prediction and possibility    65
H. G. WELLS: 'The World of Sport'
16 Modality - 3: Opportunity; possibility; impossibility    68
J. MIDDLETON MURRY: Shakespeare and Love
CECIL WOODHAM-SMITH: The Reason Why

DAVID THOMSON: England in the Twentieth Century
17 Modality - 4: Necessity, advice or warning    73
BERTRAND RUSSELL: Has Man a Future!1
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Composing for the Films
18 Modality - 5: Necessity, advice and suggestions    77
'The Killer Cars' in New Statesman
19 Consecutive and final clauses    80
E. ARNOT ROBERTSON: Four Frightened People
HENRY WILLIAMSON: Salar the Salmon
C: ADVERBIALS
Introductory notes on adverbials    85
20 The position of adverbials in the sentence    87
GRAHAM GREENE: Brighton Rock
F. L. GREEN: Odd Man Out (2 passages)
21 Verbs not necessarily followed by an adverb    92
E. ARNOT ROBERTSON: Four Frightened People
22 Adjectival and Adverbial Similes    96
JOYCE CARY: TO be a Pilgrim
WILLIAM SANSOM: A Wedding

DERYCK COOKE: The Language of Music
23  Word-order problems with contingent and adverbial clauses    101
SIR HAROLD NICOLSON: The Congress of Vienna
ALDOUS HUXLEY: English Snobbery
Subdivison II: Verb-nouns and verb-adjectives
24 The use of the gerund    106
J.Z. YOUNG: Doubt and Certainty in Science
CHRISTOPHER HOLLIS: Farewell to Westminster

HENRY WILLIAMSON: Salar the Salmon
25 The uses of the infinitive    112
L. P. HARTLEY: A Perfect Woman (5 passages)
26 The uses of the past participle    119
THEODORA BOSANQUET: As I Remember Henry James
PENELOPE HOUSTON: The Contemporary Cinema
Subdivision III: The noun and its appendages
27 Noun clauses    126
ANGUS WILSON: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
G. D. H. & MARGARET COLE: The Murder at Crome House
28 Relative clauses    130
J. M. COHEN: Poetry of This Age
ALDOUS HUXLEY: Antic Hay
SIR HERBERT READ: Contemporary British Art
29 The impersonal pronoun IT with a noun or adjective predicate       135
SIR WALTER RALEIGH: Don Quixote
T. D. WELDON: The Vocabulary of Politics
30 The position and order of adjectives    140
KATHERINE MANSFIELD: At the Bay

VIOLA MEYNELL: The Pain in the Neck
31 Countables and uncountables    144
ALDOUS HUXLEY: Beyond the Mexique Bay
ERIC NEWTON: European Painting and Sculpture
32  The indefinite pronouns and adjectives    148
JOHN WILSON: Language and the Pursuit of Truth
Subdivision IV: Link-words [prepositions and conjunctions]
Introductory Notes    153
33 Common prepositions of place and direction    1J4
H.E. BATES: The Jacaranda Tree
H.E. BATES: The Little Farm
H.E. BATES: Fair Stood the Wind for France
34 Prepositions and conjunctions of time    159
PHILIP HOPE-WALLACE: Half-Way House
MARY LAVIN: The Will
RONALD BLYTHE: The Age of Illusion
35 Prepositions expressing reactions or relationships    164
GRAHAM GREENE: Preparation for Violence
ST JOHN ERVINE: Acting in My Time
36 Figurative uses of prepositions of time, place and direction    168
H. E. BATES: The Purple Plain
CONSTANCE HOLME: The Last Inch

37 Extensions of meaning with common prepositions - 1    172

E. M. FORSTER: A Passage to India
38  Extensions of meaning with common prepositions - 2    176
H. E. BATES: The Purple Plain
ROBERT GRAVES: HOW Poets See
Part 2 SENTENCES IN PARAGRAPHS
39 Factual description    184
JOHN STEINBECK: The Grapes of Wrath
CECIL WOODHAM-SMITH: The Reason Why

HONOR TRACY: The Straight and Narrow Path
40 Inferential factual description    188
ANGUS WILSON: A Sad Fall
WILLIAM GOLDING: Lord of the Flies
41 Pictorial description    191
EVELYN WAUGH: Brideshead Revisited
KINGSLEY AMIS: That Uncertain Feeling

EVELYN WAUGH: Decline and Fall

ERIC LINKLATER: Magnus Merriman
42 Symbolic description   196
ALDOUS HUXLEY: Eyeless in Gaza
43 The development of the argument within the paragraph    198
ALDOUS HUXLEY: Selected Snobberies
J. Z. YOUNG: Doubt and Certainty in Science
A. D. RITCHIE: The Biological Approach to Philosophy
44 Beginning and ending an essay    202
SIR HAROLD NICOLSON: A Defence of Shyness
J. MIDDLETON MURRY: Dickens
C. A. LEJEUNE: The Shaping of a Critic
Part 3 SELF-EXPRESSION IN A WIDER CONTEXT
45 The organisation of the essay    207
46 Organised class discussions    216

 

 




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