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Acquisition of «be» by Cantonese ESL Learners in Hong Kong- and its Pedagogical Implications

Mable Chan

The present study examines grammaticality judgment data, production data and acceptability judgment data from 243 Cantonese second language learners and a control group of 12 native English speakers. Research areas concern (a) the role of the first language in the acquisition of be by Cantonese second language learners; (b) the question if properties associated with be remain persistently problematic for Cantonese speakers; (c) developmental stages of the acquisition of be; (d) the relationship between morphology and syntax; and (e) pedagogical implications.
No published L2 research has attempted an in-depth theoretical and empirical treatment of both acquisition and teaching subject matters in one single work. This work helps bridge the gap between acquisition theory and language pedagogy research, benefitting not just language learners but language teachers around the world, and all those who would like to witness a collaboration between second language acquisition theory and second language teaching practice in general.
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Appendix D: Original Story: The Woman who Tricked Death


Source: Peters (1997)

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The Woman Who Tricked Death

Now there was once a young woman who had no work, which was a bit of a problem since she wanted to be rich. Well, it just happened, as these things do, that one day there was a knock on the door. Who was it then, do you think? None other than old Death himself. How could you tell? He was skinny, really skinny, so skinny he had no skin. Just a lot of bone beneath his black suit. His face looked a bit pale, and he didn’t have any eyes. Definitely Death. No doubt about it.

He said to the woman: “You want to be rich? No problem, my dear lady! Just make some business cards calling yourself a doctor. And when you go to visit the poor patients, don’t worry - I’ll be there. Here’s the trick of it. If I am standing at the head of the bed, that patient will get ← 208 | 209 → better by you simply laying your soft hand on his or her head. But if I am standing at the foot of the bed - forget it. That patient is mine until the end of time!”

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