Chapter eight suggests that children may have trouble with the difference between “Peter is eager to tease and Peter is easy to tease.” I think that the children may have trouble with the definition of the two words more than trouble with the construction of the infinitive. They most likely will recognize ‘easy’ but may not understand ‘eager’ and may just assume you meant to say ‘easy’ or that the two words mean the same thing. Up until high school I used people’s reactions to determine the correct use of certain words; I would do this by using two words I was not sure of the definition and waiting for the listener to ask, “Did you mean…?” For example I thought the words exotic and erotic were interchangeable and was not completely sure the definition of each, but I knew they were both words to describe dancers. Here’s where it gets embarrassing, I would work those words into conversation like, “Jessica’s dream job is to become an exotic mime dancer,” or “I was watching the erotic dancers in The Nutcracker last night.” The worst part is that for that particular set of words no one really wanted to correct me, it wasn’t until I got a particularly embarrassed reaction from my parents that I realized that the two words were not as interchangeable as I had previously thought. In my freshman mind, this was a perfectly acceptable way to get other people to give you more information on words I did not quite understand; when all I had to do was go to a dictionary. For this reason, I will do as one of the classroom teachers I have shadowed in the past, I will have students look up words they do not understand or use incorrectly in the dictionary or on dictionary.com at the moment they misuse a word or would like a definition (only after asking the class for their opinion on definition or asking the student to find any context clues).
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