LINGUIST List 7.1155

Thu Aug 15 1996

Qs: Active learning in ling, Engl grammar, Small talk

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. Michael Newman, active learning
  2. Kutz Arrieta, Engl grammar
  3. Roger Harris, 'Smalltalk' questionnaire

Message 1: active learning

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 22:09:14 CDT
From: Michael Newman <>
Subject: active learning
This coming semester I will be teaching an introduction to linguistics
course in a TESL Masters Program. The course is one of a number of
classes in linguistics including a Structure class, so my course
doesn't have the burden of covering a lot of descriptive grammar. It
seems to be more of foundations in linguistic theories and analytic
approaches to langauge. It uses OSU Language Files as the basic text.
I am an advocate of 'active learning' and the purpose of this query is
to solicit ideas for classroom activities. Please send them to me,
and I'll post a summary.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, 'active learning' is an
approach to classroom instruction which emphasizes the role of the
student as principal actor in the learning process rather than
recipient of information dispensed by teacher and textbook. While
there may be some lecturing, the emphasis is on activities, small
group work, and other forms of interchange that promote conceptual
development. So what I need are excercises (long a part of
linguistics teaching anyway) or other things students can do in class
that are designed to foment understanding of linguistics topics,
particularly for an audience that may have little experience with and
perhaps some initial antipathy to linguistics. I don't need great
ideas for lectures and such.


Michael Newman
Visting Asst. Professor
Dept. of Educational Theory and Practice
The Ohio State University
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Message 2: Engl grammar

Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 10:15:52 EDT
From: Kutz Arrieta <>
Subject: Engl grammar
Can anyone, please, explain to me why you cannot say "my own one" and "my own
ones" in English?
Thank you.
Kutz Arrieta
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Message 3: 'Smalltalk' questionnaire

Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 01:47:32 BST
From: Roger Harris <>
Subject: 'Smalltalk' questionnaire

 ---=( 'Smalltalk' questionnaire )=---

The following short questionnaire is being circulated on behalf
of Frau Ulrike Tschugguel, from South Tyrol, who is doing research
for an M.Phil on the subject of 'smalltalk'. She is not on-line
hence this indirect appeal to you.

Smalltalk, here, is the 'light or trifling conversation' which passes
between often unacquainted people. It is not the computer language of
the same name written in 1972-80 by Alan Kay of Xerox PARC.

Please try to answer as many of the questions as you are able.
Even a brief answer will be of interest.

Please e-mail the completed questionnaire back to me.

With thanks in anticipation of your reply.

Roger Harris < >

- ---=(*)=---------------------------------------------------------------------

Smalltalk, some definitions:

"Light or trifling conversation." Chambers Twentieth Century
 Dictionary 1974,
"Light conversation that people make at social occasions about
 unimportant things." Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary
"Chitchat, banter, pleasantries, gossip, chatter." Cambridge
 Thesaurus of American English 1994.
"Social conversation about unimportant things, often between people
 who do not know each other well." Cambridge Int'l Dictionary of
 English 1995.

- ---=(*)=---------------------------------------------------------------------

The questionnaire:
- ----------------

1.. What topics do you think constitute smalltalk?

2.. What topics would you initiate to start up a conversation...

 a.. with a stranger?

 b.. with a friend?

 c.. with a member of your family?

 d.. Do they constitute smalltalk?

3.. In what situations would you use smalltalk?

4.. Are there any topics which you feel should not be mentioned
 in smalltalk?

5.. Do you think there are differences between smalltalk and
 'real' conversation?

6.. How important a feature do you think smalltalk is in the
 English language (as opposed to other languages).

7.. Content apart, is men's smalltalk different to women's?

8.. Do you have any helpful observations to make about smalltalk?

- ---=(*)=-------------------------------------------------------

Personal details:
- ---------------
a.. age range:

b.. occupation:

c.. nationality:

d.. education:

- ---=( end )=---------------------------------------------------
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