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The Important 'S'


July 28, 2004

It's so easy for Spanish-speakers to omit the 3rd person singular 's' on present tense English verbs. So on some days I walk into our 9th grade ESL class with a giant wooden 'S' (about 8x 5), hand it to the first student who, when speaking, leaves the 's' out. The only way he or she can get rid of it is by handing it over to any student who correctly uses the inflective 's'. The third student will then 'pass the S' to an 'omitter' and he or she in turn will pass it on to another 'includer'. Besides allowing for fun and laughter, this technique reinforces the use of good oral communication.

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