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Michael Lewis has said, after Chomsky, that "sentences" consist of NP (noun phrase) + VP (verb phrase). Lewis goes on to claim that ESL has "emphasised VP (structures) and N (vocabulary) but ignored NP.

He always claims that NPs "have hardly penetrated into language teaching at all". Lewis thinks this is an unfortunate situation.

What do you think?
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Hello old chap, welcome back.

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question, as I'm not an ESL teacher. However, noun phrases seem to feature regularly in the questions on ESL forums; and the more advanced students here seem able to manipulate them adequately; and the non-native speakers that I encounter day to day don't show any signs of noun-phrase deficit.

MrP
AnonymousNPs "have hardly penetrated into language teaching at all"
To judge by this forum I don't think much of the machinery of transformational grammar has penetrated into language teaching. That includes NP's AP's, PP's, and VP's and S's, C's, SC's, and I's. It's somewhat unfortunate because it leaves students in ignorance of some powerful tecniques for explaining grammar. Nevertheless, it can become rather complex, and in the wrong hands can easily become just one more thing that can potentially befuddle students, so it's understandable that only the simpler aspects have filtered through into language teaching.
CJ
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<< It's somewhat unfortunate because it leaves students in ignorance of some powerful tecniques for explaining grammar. >>

I see. So would you agree with Mr Pedantic when he says "noun phrases seem to feature regularly in the questions on ESL forums; and the more advanced students here seem able to manipulate them adequately; and the non-native speakers that I encounter day to day don't show any signs of noun-phrase deficit."
I guess if students were as well prepared as Mr Pedantic makes out, there would be little need for all the language forums that are hanging on the Internet.
I feel ignorant... I don't know what a noun phrase is. Ok, wait, checking on Wikipedia in progress... found! -->

If noun phrases are like those, then I don't think they are much of a problem. But it depends on what you really mean... because I think I might agree on the fact certain structures with complex noun phrases are not emphasized while teaching English at all. For example:

Jenny's cat is the biggest I have ever seen.<--- All grammar books are full of these examples.
Jenny's boyfriend's cat is the biggest I have ever seen. <--- Never seen anything like this.

Bob and Mary's house is in Denver.
<--- All grammar books cover this.
Me and my partner's house is in Denver. My partner and I's house is in Denver.<--- Never heard anyone trying to explain anything like this, where pronouns are involved.

Is that what you mean? If so, I also have to say there are a lot of other areas that are not emphasized by teachers. A widely neglected one is "weak forms", in my opinion... much, much more than noun phrases.
Just my thoughts... Emotion: smile
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A noun phrase is either a single noun or pronoun or a group of words containing a noun or a pronoun that function together as a noun or pronoun, as the subject or object of a verb.
Here's one of those "my partner and I's" things, Kooyeen:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/WifeAndIs/bxvqw/post.htm

They do turn up from time to time.

I agree with CJ about the machinery: we seldom see it here.

I disagree with "Anon" about the absence of noun phrases on ESL forums: NPs such as "the book I bought yesterday" turn up everywhere.

MrP
<I disagree with "Anon" about the absence of noun phrases on ESL forums: NPs such as "the book I bought yesterday" turn up everywhere.>

But are they focused on, taught, analysed, broken down, etc. on those fora? Is notice brought to them?
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