MAKING STUDENTS MORE ACTIVE IN LEARNING THE PASSIVE

Čupić, Iva and Klanjčić, Martina (2015) MAKING STUDENTS MORE ACTIVE IN LEARNING THE PASSIVE. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 1 (3). ISSN 2303-5528 (In Press)

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Abstract

Why are students of English so reluctant to use the passive voice? The answer to this question may lie in the fact that students find it artificial, even pretentious, partly because it really does tend to be overtly wordy and cumbersome. Moreover, a point often overlooked is that the Croatian language “favours” the active structure as more natural both in informal and formal discourse, which is why students often find it difficult to adopt the passive voice as characteristic of the English language. Also, both for learners of English and native speakers of the language, the passive structure may be felt as contrary to the more common subject-verb-object (or S-O-V) order of syntactic constituents in the transitive sentence, employed profusely in the majority of Indo-European languages. Nonetheless, not only is it expected of the students to appreciate the passive, but also to use it competently. A great deal of academic English courses focus on formal communication; which makes the passive of key importance to understanding the type of language prevalent in EAP. This type of discourse is essential to studying English at university level, in the authors’ case ESP in the field of international relations and diplomacy, where study materials abound with passive structures. The aim of the paper is to show that the passive is fairly simple and easy both to understand and apply in independent production since it follows a set of formulaic instructions with little or no exceptions to the rule. It will look into examples of texts such as newspaper articles, legislation, professional literature, etc., and provide various activities used as a springboard for the acquisition of passive structures.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Mr. Eldin Milak
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2015 07:06
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2016 01:25
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2891

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