incoherent subordination?????

This summer I’ve been working with a Gen 1.5 student whose struggles with English are different from most of the other Gen 1.5ers I’ve worked with. I myself am struggling with how to describe her struggles.

It’s not so much that she uses faulty predication as incoherent predication or may be incoherent subordination.??

Almost every time she used “because,” the sentence was incoherent.

She started learning English when she was about 20 (I think she’s in her forties now). She doesn’t do the aural mistakes very much — she doesn’t leave off the “ed” of the past participle, doesn’t write “this” when she means “these.” And I love that she tries to do more complicated sentences (using subordination, that kind of thing). But they usually don’t work. And I had trouble trying to help her, trying to give her some exercises to do, to give her some lessons (which is what she wanted). All I could do was explain on a case by case basis what was not clear and how she should fix it.

She did one year of college in Mexico, and that one year may help explain why she wants to write complex sentences.

But she presented me with a more complex mystery, a more difficult time digging down to figure out exactly what her language-brain was doing and how to help her retrain it.

Too bad I got to work with her only this summer a few times.


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