Authentic Ways to Teach Comparative Adjectives
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Adjectives are one of the first language structures we teach our English as a Foreign Language learners – and they can be one of the most fun, too. The opportunities to teach adjectives, and comparative adjectives in particular, are endless. However, as EFL teachers we need to be mindful of utilising the most effective and authentic ways to do it.
This blog gives an insight into teaching comparative adjectives.
The red book is bigger than the blue book.
Bangkok is busier than London.
Pete is taller than his brother.
These are prime examples of exercises given to students to practise comparative adjectives and we plead with you not to resort to exercises like these in your classroom. If you want your students to use exercises like this to practise the language then by all means let them do it for homework, but save the classroom for more interesting activities. There’s no need to be boring when it comes to grammar. All you need to do is make it relevant and authentic.
Using comparative adjectives
As we’ve said before, using authentic language is an effective teaching technique in the classroom. Natural language and genuine communication promote retention and learning. There are many situations in real life that we need and use comparative sentences. Utilise these situations and your students can make real statements that will make sense to them and their English use outside the classroom.
My dad’s bigger than your dad
Boasting is something we are taught we shouldn’t do, but we all know how to do it! Put the students into pairs. Let them start with what they know or can see. For example, my bag is nicer than your bag or my phone is more expensive than your phone. Then, let them come up with their own examples, which might require some conversation. For example, How old is your brother? 14. My brother is older than your brother!
The big sell
Bring into class two pictures of items, such as two TVs, two cars and two washing machines. In pairs, your students are given two pictures. They must come up with an advert which compares the two products and sells the better one. They can present their adverts to the class who must decide which of the items they would buy.
Get the students to come up with a set of problems they have. As a mingle activity they must tell their classmates what their problem is and their classmate must come up with a solution using a comparative. So, if Luis can’t sleep, his classmates could suggest buying a better bed, going to bed earlier or eating a smaller dinner. Model this activity by doing a demonstration of the activity first.
General knowledge quiz
This is a webquest. Let your students go onto the internet and create general knowledge quiz questions which use a comparative. For example, Who is older, Tom Cruise or Ben Affleck? Which river is longer, the Amazon or the Nile? Once they have finished, conduct a quiz which each pair of students taking turns to be the quizmaster.
Even though teaching grammar points like comparative adjectives can be a bit dry, that doesn’t mean your lessons have to be boring. Think how your students are likely to use the language in their real lives and utilize activities that relate to that. Your students will find the exercises much more relatable and enjoyable.
Please note: This blog post was originally published on 26 February 2019 but has since been updated.
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If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.