Topics: Language education, Education, Linguistics, Sentence, Teacher / Pages: 2 (340 words) / Published: Aug 2nd, 2015
Submitted by admin on 31 March, 2008 - 12:14
A cline is a scale of language items that goes from one extreme to another, for example, from positive to negative, or from weak to strong.
The teacher asks learners to map modal verbs of probability such as ‘must', ‘might not' and ‘may' on a cline of probability from 100% sure to 100% not sure.
In the classroom
Clines can be a useful tool for learners to record information, and they can help teachers as a concept check. However, a learner's ability to use a cline does not mean that they can use the target language in context.
Clines in Language Teaching
Posted on March 18, 2014by jonnyingham
What is a cline?
The British Council Teaching English website defines a cline as ‘a scale of language items that goes from one extreme to another, for example, from positive to negative, or from weak to strong’.
Why are clines useful in language teaching?
Clines can be very effective in conveying and clarifying language, giving a very visual representation of meaning. They highlight shades of meaning, they are efficient and can cut down on teacher talking time. They also provide students with a good record of language to take home.
What language points lend themselves well to use of clines?
Clines are very versatile and can be used for vocabulary or grammar.
Some examples I have used follow:

Expressing likes and dislikes

E.g. Degrees of hunger

This could work equally well with other feelings such as anger, happiness, tiredness, or even drunkenness!
Modals of deduction

Adverbs of frequency

It can be a nice idea to write the sentences or expressions onto cards and get the students to come up to the board and stick them where they think they go on the cline. If you are technologically minded and have access to an IWB, you could also get them to drag the expressions to the appropriate position. This exercise promotes peer collaboration and usually some interesting discussion.

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