Communicating in the Face of Racism: Infinitive v. Gerund Verbal Complements in English

Authors

  • Melody Pao Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Abstract

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, Asian Americans and Asian immigrants have experienced an increase in racist attacks. This paper presents a lesson plan that is intended to help English as a Second Language (ESL) learners of East Asian origin communicate in the face of racial discrimination. In addition to outlining this teaching technique, the article provides a linguistic analysis of the lesson plan’s grammatical focus: the distinction between infinitive and gerund verbal complements. The author argues that the Bolinger Principle, a theory that articulates the reasoning behind this distinction, provides an effective and meaning-informed teaching strategy for teaching infinitives and gerunds. The purpose of the article is to offer guidance for teachers who may wish to use this form-focused technique in their own classrooms.

Keywords: ESL, racism, Asian immigrants, infinitive complements, gerund complements, Bolinger Principle

Author Biography

Melody Pao, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Melody Pao is a recent graduate of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, CA, where she majored in Teaching Foreign Language/TESOL. She currently serves as a freelance language instructor for French and English both on her own and at the following institutions: Alliance Française of Portland, the Alliance Française of Chicago, and ChatENG; email mpao@miis.edu.

Communicating in the Face of Racism (Pao, 2020)

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Published

2020-10-29

How to Cite

Pao, M. (2020). Communicating in the Face of Racism: Infinitive v. Gerund Verbal Complements in English. GATESOL in Action Journal, 30(1), 80–90. Retrieved from http://georgiatesoljournal.org/ojs/index.php/GATESOL/article/view/101

Issue

Section

Teaching Techniques