Syntactic priming is the process that takes place when we make predictions upon hearing certain grammatical patterns which guide us to guess the string of words that are more likely to be uttered next based on our previous encounters with those patterns. Basically we are constantly building sentences based on what we hear, which are next confirmed or then reformulated. We hypothesise. We fill gaps. This is one of the reasons why listening -far from being a receptive process- is very much an active skill.
A very productive activity for any language level is to have students engaged in some “syntactiv priming” from a reading passage or the transcript of a listening extract from the textbook after it has been read or listened to and they have done some work around it.
Here is an extract from a reading passage from Sure Intermediate, Student’s Book, Helbling English. Free sample from…
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