(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)
“Now, I finally think I get it,” an adult ESL student told me. After years of trying to understand the terms of dependent clauses, independent clause and conjunctions and how they work (and don’t work) in a sentence, she seemed greatly relieved.
Instead of using a traditional approach of having students look at the rule and then trying to apply it, an inductive approach to grammar seems much more effective (and even fun) for students. (This approach is especially affective with ear-learners. See a previous posting Approaching Grammar with Generation 1.5 Students and Other Ear-Learners )
To avoid overwhelming them, I have found that starting with just two subordinators “because” and “since” is easily manageable for even the most insecure student. Once they understand how these work in sentences, it’s amazing how quickly they can apply the concept to other subordinators.
I’m attaching here a handout worksheet that I’ve used with lower-level students, and you are welcome to use too. intro to subordinators pt 3 ex