I try to encourage my students to experiment with language. I tell them not to worry about mistakes and that trying to communicate is better than giving up and staying silent. This is usually good advice. Yesterday, however, perhaps it wasn’t. I was teaching some chatty high school girls when the phrasal verb ‘to get on with someone’ came up. I explained its meaning and all seemed fine. I asked them who they got on well with, ‘I get on well with my mother,’ said one. ‘Me, too,’ said her classmate. Then she tried the phrase out for herself, slightly hesitantly saying, ‘I get on with my mother.’ She is a good student and decided to experiment with a bit of logical extension. She paused for a small moment of consideration, then said, ‘But I get off with my brother.’

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4 Responses to Experimenting

  1. That is brilliant, though. It should work like that.

  2. I guess you didn’t try to explain further. I’m thinking the more you try to explain the more of a “sticky wicket” it would be. 🙂

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