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phuketsub

Teaching time in ESL: is analog dead

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I am just curious how other ESL teachers are teaching time these days.

 

The system based on the analog clock, which is still predominantly used among native speakers, is admittedly more complex and confusing. (eg. 'quarter to three, ten to two')...Just as a means of communication, I think digital is better (three-fifteen, one-fifty)...I just wonder if the digital revolution is going to sink analog time-telling to the point that it is just a waste of time for non NES. (like cursive writing, learning how to alphabetize, etc.)...anyway, that's what I am thinking about as the morning coffee kicks in...Any thoughts?

 

 

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I've read a few articles about this and it would appear that some schools are moving increasingly towards digital clocks in the classrooms.   I don't know if it is just for the sake of convenience, but I suspect the analog clock will be around for a while.   As I understand it, the sun dial managed to survive for hundreds of years!

 

Things change.   Cursive writing is not be taught by many schools as well.  

 

 

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The books I am seeing still want the kids to know the quarter and half which is actually easy to teach.  I tend to teach it all and explain how it works.  The kids seem to under stand when you start dividing a pizza in half and quarters LOL

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It was an issue over thirty years ago in Australia. I had a young bloke working with me and I wanted to know the time, as it was close to lunchtime. I asked what the time was and he replied 58 minutes past 11. Why didn't you say nearly 12 or 11:58? So it's not just Thailand or ESL.

Apparently they tried to teach quarter past, half past etc but the kids at school didn't understand it. I guess they had only ever known digital clocks and watches back then.

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Interesting subject I think ... What time is it when its 11:58 ...  digital .. or analogue - How does your brain process the information.

 

When I look at an analogue clock I have to 'work back' .... and do 'mental math' .. its just two more minutes to 12:00 ...  But when you see the long and short arm of the dial .. its just a picture hence which has a instant meaning  (if that makes any sense 😉  ... ) ... it really is just almost 12:00.

 

Long live analog clocks .. and speedometers on cars ..

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Tempus fugit.

 

My grandfather used to say things like 5 and 20 past 3, for 3:25... 

 

Different countries use the half past differently too, I have noticed.

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53 minutes ago, Scott Tracy said:

Tempus fugit.

 

My grandfather used to say things like 5 and 20 past 3, for 3:25... 

 

Different countries use the half past differently too, I have noticed.

I've only noticed that Brits tend to say '"a' half past" whereas North Americans drop the article.

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11 hours ago, phuketsub said:

I've only noticed that Brits tend to say '"a' half past" whereas North Americans drop the article.

Brits also say "half-nine" which is not used in the U.S. to mean 9:30. We say either half-past nine or nine-thirty. The "half-nine" thing confused me at first, but only because I went to public school in the Netherlands as a child aged 10 through 13, and spoke Dutch, of course. In Dutch, half-nine means 8:30. 

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19 hours ago, phuketsub said:

I've only noticed that Brits tend to say '"a' half past" whereas North Americans drop the article.

As a Brit myself, I have to say that I would never use "a". Not sure that I know anyone else that does either. Not from where I am from anyway.

 

As a relatively small country, UK has a vast array of terminology and accent depending on where in the UK you are from. I think the term "Brit" is too extensive.

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4 hours ago, puchooay said:

As a Brit myself, I have to say that I would never use "a". Not sure that I know anyone else that does either. Not from where I am from anyway.

 

As a relatively small country, UK has a vast array of terminology and accent depending on where in the UK you are from. I think the term "Brit" is too extensive.

The instructional video that I use to teach them analog time has what sounds like an elderly "public school" accent and he definitely uses "a", but you are right: all the accents across the UK are far more varied than in the states.

 

 

For me, the working definition of a Brit is someone who grew up on the island of Britain. I mean, Scots are Brits too, right? Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I've only been there twice, but have worked among "Brits" for many years.

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