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02

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QW 021812 “Literal & Intended meaning”

I’m attending two-day Weekend Seminar on “A Learning Orientation to Classroom Based Language Assessment” by Dr. James Purpura from Columbia University Teacher’s College. Dr. Purpura is an accomplished scholar as well as an entertaining lecturer, which I found out today. When exemplifying grammatical knowledge in terms of literal meaning and intended meaning, he introduced language samples from raw data that he collected in and outside classroom, at which we laughed out loud. Here’re some of them;

1) Task: Explain the phrase “free press”. Student’s answer: When your mum irons trousers for you.
Press= iron (literal meaning) Free Press = Freedom of speech

2) Attorney: ALL your responses MUST be oral, okay? What school did you go to? Witness: Oral.
Oral = spoken rather than writing Oral… not a fixed response

3-a) A: Excuse me, waiter. There’s a hair in my soup. B: Oh my God. I’m sorry. Let me get you another bowl. (Grammatical Form= Correct / Grammatical Meaning = Correct)

3-b) A: Excuse me, waiter. There’s a hair in my soup. B: You hair black. Chef bald. (Grammatical Form= Incorrect / Grammatical Meaning = Correct!!)

3-c) A: Excuse me, waiter. There’s a hair in my soup. B: Thanks. I made the soup today. (Grammatical Form= Correct / Grammatical Meaning = Incorrect, but could be okay as a joke!)

We’re so lucky to have one more day to listen to his lecture, but I know the people learning from him in Columbia, New York City are luckier.

(20 minutes / 247 words)

Post your QW product to "Quick Write Forum".

James E. Purpura, Ph.D.
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Aya

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