Section C – Grammar: Reduced Relative Clauses
Duration: 60 minutes
Assumption: Ss have been exposed to and practiced both restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses in previous lessons
Goals: Familiarize students with reduction conventions, recognise examples in written text and produce them both in aural and oral situations
As Ss are discussing the ending questions from the previous section, put the following sentences on the board in two columns (Note: alternatively, put the uncombined sentences and have Ss put them together using relative clauses as a diagnostic):
There is a party that is headed by a female leader. It’s the Green party.
The guy who is wearing/wears glasses is leader of the Liberal party.
The man that has the mustache is the NDP leader.
The Liberal party leader is wearing a tie that is red.
The party that most Prairie provinces elected is the Conservative party.
There is a leader for whom Quebecois general vote on the right in the photo.
The leader whose hair is not grey is Elizabeth May.
Steven Harper, who is the Prime Minister of Canada, belongs to the Conservative party.
Jack Layton, who is standing/stands on the left, lives in Toronto.
The Green party, which has far fewer supporters than the other parties, is headed by Ms. May.
The man in the middle, for whom the majority voted, is the current Prime Minister.
Stéphane Dion, who is looking to the camera’s right, leads the Liberal party.
The often controversial Bloc Québécois, which the majority of citizens in Quebec support, is lead by Gilles Duceppe.
(S – S) Give Ss a chance to read the sentences while giving the REDUCE the election selection – Grammar handout. Tell them that these should help identify everyone in the photo as well as the party they belong to. Ask partners to label each person according to the information in the sentences. Ask Ss to think about how the sentences are similar to each other. Allow Ss time to write the sentences onto their handouts.
Answers: Jack Layton (NDP), Stéphane Dion (Liberal), Paul Harper (Conservative), Elizabeth May (Green), Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Québécois)
(Ss – T) Elicit from Ss the differences between the first and second groups of relative clauses. (The first are restrictive; the second are non-restrictive) Review the differences as required by Ss’ existing knowledge. Make sure Ss recognize how the form preposition + relative pronoun (eg. for whom) is formal grammar and is usually spoken by putting the relative pronoun at the end of the clause instead, as well as usually using the subject form of the pronoun (eg. who).
Take the sentences made by Ss answers and/or the ones regarding the photo and read them to Ss but reduce them. Afterwards, elicit from Ss what you did. Have Ss attempt to generate guidelines for relative clause reductions on their own first. Introduce the idea of reducing relative clauses as is on the teacher’s copy of the REDUCE the election selection – Grammar handout.
(S / S – S) Tell Ss to go back to the description of the four parties on the REDUCE the election selection – Reading handout and to look for all types of relative clauses in them, including reduce relative clauses. Have Ss try individually at first and then compare their answers in pairs. Take up as a class.
(T – Ss / S – S) Write the first set of words from the Vote Categories handout on the board. Ask Ss to think of how those words relate to each other. Get some suggestions. When/if someone mentions a plausible connection, lead them to giving a sentence with a relative clause in it and put it on the board. Reduce it together if possible. Give Ss the handout and have groups try it out. Example categories are given on the Teacher copy, but by no means is this definite.
(Ss – T) Take up as a class by having Ss come to the board and write out their sentences in full. After they’ve done so, have partners reduce the clauses where possible. After, have Ss demonstrate their answers by saying the reduced sentences aloud. Give feedback on pronunciation as required.
Note: To keep this post a reasonable length, I haven’t included freer, personalised activities, which I recommend teachers do at this point.
Next: Writing – Bulleted lists