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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 24th, 2006, 11:48 am
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Default uncountable nouns

Hi everyone

I am teaching a segment on countable and uncountable nouns, I need some more ideas, especially for uncountable nouns. My theme is food, I have already used for uncountable:

sugar
water
coffee
juice
milk

Can someone give me more ideas on uncountable nouns (food)

Thanks
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 24th, 2006, 12:57 pm
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default Re: uncountable nouns

tea, cake, bread, rice, pasta, pizza, toast, cereal, butter, coke, wine, beer.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 24th, 2006, 01:01 pm
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Default Re: uncountable nouns

Thank you
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 24th, 2006, 01:49 pm
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Default Re: uncountable nouns

Keep in mind that a lot of food nouns can be either countable and uncountable depending on meaning. You don't say who you're teaching. If kids, your main problem will be ice-cream /an ice-cream, cake/ a cake, pizza / a pizza and chocolate / a chocolate. But if you're working with older students think too about coffee / 2 coffees, cheese / different cheeses etc. You may not want to introduce the difference in the lesson, but you need to be ready for it if it comes up.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 24th, 2006, 02:37 pm
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Default Re: uncountable nouns

you may also wish to introduce the idea of making umcountable nouns countable by using a slice \ piece \ bowl \ cup \ can of etc

For example I'd like some pizza
I'd like a slice of pizza
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Unread Sep 10th, 2008, 02:22 am
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Thumbs up Re: uncountable nouns

Thanks CliveHawkins... I was wracking my brain for some uncountables as well. I am teaching some very young beginners and want to start them off with some easy uncountable foods.

Cheers,

Yodaki
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 14th, 2008, 12:09 am
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Default Re: uncountable nouns

For worse or for better, I've found teaching countable and uncountable nouns among the most challenging tasks - even to advanced students in college. Many students continue to write "homeworks", "informations", and "advices" - all good mistakes - despite several years of studying English.
A large part of the problem is that the rules remain less consistent than the rigid grammar formulas usually taught and memorized- and the language keeps changing. Consumer culture, for instance, is fast changing coffee and tea from the uncountable and adding a countable option as savvy consumers adopt the language of specialists. Blame Starbucks if you want, but the language keeps growing and meeting the needs of users. Of course, it will take the TOEFL test creators a decade or so to acknowledge this change.
The two best concise overviews on this topic that I've found remain Cambridge University's outstanding Grammar in Use series - and the appendix to Academic Writing for Graduate Students by Swales/Feak.
Why do I mention all this background information? Because many ESL instructors often expect their beginning and intermediate students to master this distinction in just a few lessons, and feel frustrated when students continue to make "good mistakes." These Countable/uncountable problems - along with related problems with articles (a, an, the) - often linger and appear almost intractable.
Or so it seems to me.
Good luck with your classes and teaching countable and uncountable nouns!
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Unread Sep 15th, 2008, 04:51 pm
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Default Re: uncountable nouns

I would look at teaching un/countable items based around food from a vocabulary point of view. Not only may you be teaching new words for objects, but students will have to connect the counter (which may also be new) to the word, too. So even familiar words linked with the counters will need to be stored in the students' short-term memories like new vocab.

I've observed some lessons which, in the teacher's attempt to be thorough, overwhelmed the class with too many new words. It's better to select three to five high-frequency counters, and then a few words for each one. For example:

cup/glass - coffee, juice, milk, coke
slice - cheese, ham, bread
bottle - coke, beer, milk

Pictures will greatly help, no matter the age group. Drill the new words and counters, and then set up a dialogue or free(r) activity that lets students use the words naturally.

I hope these ideas help!
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