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Playdoh and Legos Strike Again


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Just a quick announcement thingie...

Back when I said that English grammar was like play-doh and Chinese grammar was like Legos?

Tomorrow I'm going to try to finally get that point across - that Chinese is more like building a structure of blocks and English is more like mashing words together as clay - by bringing in Play-doh and Legos.

And yet the devils complain that class is no fun, because it's summer and they'd rather be playing computer games, listening to Westlife, watching basketball or talking about David Beckham's butt.

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That's very interesting. I've always thought that Chinese grammar are more like blocks that you place the blocks together to form a sentence while in English, you'd have to modify words depending on tense, gender, plural/singular... etc.

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Oh, sorry. Not enough sleep. I thought...

...well, it doesn't matter. The students thought it was amusing that their teacher was playing with kids' toys but weren't too enthused about the day's topic. Someday they'll appreciate the effort that I put into making a summer intensive class in an un-airconditioned classroom (someone fainted yesterday) NOT a bore.

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  • 8 years later...

Is there a video on the internet that would explain the concept quite effectively?

It doesn't have to define it, just illustrate the point.

If anyone wants to join me in the discussion, this can be the thread to do that in.

Sorry for reviving an old post. Sometimes I feel like continuing.

I was more of a playdough kid when I was a child. I used to go to a special class for the kids that got their name on the board too many times. Mine were always from not raising my hand and just blurting the answers.

I played legos from time to time, however. I usually only did this when I was visiting a friend.

I can see how English is kind of a "feel the sentence flow through you" kind of construction, like playdough.

Learning Japanese, I have come to find that constructing sentences is more like "delaying the sentence while the form is constructed, but just feel it"

There was even an educational Nintendo DS "game" called "My Japanese Coach" that let you construct sentences with girders. I can see how Chinese would be similar.

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