In linguistics, word order typology refers to the study of the order of the syntactic constituents of a language, and how different languages can employ different orders. Correlations between orders found in different syntactic subdomains are also of interest. The primary word orders that are of interest are the constituent order of a clause—the relative order of subject, object, and verb; the order of modifiers (adjectives, numerals, demonstratives, possessives, and adjuncts) in a noun phrase; and the order of adverbials. Some languages have relatively restrictive word orders, often relying on the order of constituents to convey important grammatical information. Others, often those that convey grammatical information through inflection, allow more flexibility which can be used to encode pragmatic information such as topicalisation or focus. Most languages however have some preferred word order which is used most frequently...
When you students struggle with word order, take the time to review this with them using one of the 60 word order worksheets available in this section. Browse through this section to find something that your students will enjoy or use these worksheets as a basis for your own. Here is a resource to refer to when talking about word order. The material may be a little overwhelming for your students but the scrambled sentences on the last three pages can be great practice if students have difficulties with word order. There are other scrambled sentences and word order worksheets to look at as well as an article that talks about teaching word order so stick around and explore all that Busy Teacher has to offer.
There are many common word order mistakes that English language learners make even as their overall fluency and level increase. You cannot stress the importance of word order enough so be sure that students understand the position of words in a target structure before sending them off to do practice activities. Not everyone supports the idea of giving students incorrect material but this would be one method of checking to see if students understand correct word order. You could create a worksheet with some incorrect sentences and ask students to make corrections to them. To make this more challenging, ask students to correct the incorrect sentences and include some sentences without errors so they have to be even more attentive when reading. Of course the best method of teaching word order is to include it in your introductions; take preventative measures when it comes to word order and you will have fewer problems to deal with later on in the course.
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