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close this bookTeaching Additional Languages (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 28 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe International Academy of Education
View the documentSeries preface
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. Comprehensible input
View the document2. Language opportunities
View the document3. Language practice
View the document4. Learning strategies
View the document5. Listening
View the document6. Speaking
View the document7. Reading
View the document8. Writing
View the document9. Grammar
View the document10. Comprehensible pronunciation
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
View the documentBack Cover

9. Grammar

Formal grammar instruction may have some benefits in certain situations, but may be of limited benefit in others.

Research findings

In traditional additional language courses, teachers spent much time concentrating on formal grammar. Yet, mere presentation of grammatical forms in isolation, followed by drills may not lead to correct use and students may continue making grammatical errors when trying to communicate. Current research suggests that language teaching needs to be more than grammar instruction. Learners need to understand the meaning of the form, as well as the discourse in which the form appears. Students, moreover, may need to practise and master some vocabulary before they can appreciate and benefit from explicit instruction in grammar. It is then, after an error occurs, that the teacher’s corrective feedback may be most beneficial.

In the classroom

The following are basic procedures for teaching a grammatical pattern:

· Present the grammar form in natural discourse, explaining how the form is made, any irregular forms, and any spelling or pronunciation issues.

· Provide numerous examples of natural language in which the form can be studied and provide any contextual information on how to use the form appropriately.

· Make sure the students can recognize the form and its functions, before asking the students to produce the form.

· Provide activities that allow students to use the form in natural communicative ways, not just in simple drills.

· If errors occur, provide meaningful feedback on what forms should be used and why, but remember it often takes time for students to master a form completely.

References: Celce-Murcia, 1991; Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1999; Williams, 1995.