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Practical Strategies for Enhancing Grammar Learning in Context at Primary Level. English Language Education Section Curriculum Development Institute Education Bureau April - May 2009. Objectives.

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Practical strategies for enhancing grammar learning in context at primary level l.jpg

Practical Strategies for Enhancing Grammar Learning in Context at Primary Level

English Language Education Section

Curriculum Development Institute

Education Bureau

April - May 2009


Objectives l.jpg
Objectives Context

  • To highlight the importance of grammar in the English Language Education curriculum and to clarify misconceptions about grammar learning and teaching

  • To enhance teachers’ skills and strategies in teaching grammar through engaging pupils in meaningful and purposeful learning tasks

  • To provide teachers with hands-on experience in developing and adapting resources and activities for the learning and teaching of grammar


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Language Forms and Communicative Functions Context

Chapter 2 of the CG, pp. 17

Chapter 2 of the CG, pp. 164 -171

Language Forms

Text types

Vocabulary

Grammar items and structures

Chapter 2 of the CG, pp. 22 -50


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Language Forms and Communicative Functions Context

Communicative Functions

- set out what learners should be able to

do in English through listening, speaking,

reading and /or writing

Chapter 2 of the CG, pp. 19&20


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Relationship between Language Forms and Context Communicative Functions

Learners learn how to apply the language forms to

purposeful communication in real-life or simulated

situations

Meaningful use of the language elements should be

given as much emphasis as mastery of the forms

Chapter 2 of the CG, pp. 22-50


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? Context

With the communicative approach, there is no need to teach grammar.

  • Grammar is the building block of English language learning. Pupils need to acquire grammar knowledge to help them communicate effectively.


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Pupils will have good English when they can master the forms. So we need to give them plenty of grammar exercises for practice.

?

  • Teachers should not introduce grammar through excessive decontextualised and mechanical drills.

  • Grammar learning is only meaningful and purposeful if it is used in effective communication rather than for the mastery of individual language forms.

    CG pp. 160 &163


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Explain the grammar rules and ask pupils to memorise them. forms. So we need to give them plenty of grammar exercises for practice.

  • Grammar should be shown as a means to convey meaning / achieve an outcome rather than merely taught as a set of items and rules.

    CG pp. 160

?


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Grammar Rules / Terms forms. So we need to give them plenty of grammar exercises for practice.

To teach or not to teach ?

‘According to the ageof the learners and their cognitive development, teachers may decide to introduce a small number of useful and not overly complex grammar rules and terms to help them develop a conscious understanding of the language forms they are using.’

‘Teacher should be aware thatalthough explanation of grammar rules is sometimes necessary, it may only help learners use English to a limited extent. Learners differ in learning styles and strategies.’

CG pp. 163


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When we use the task-based approach, we can’t teach pupils grammar.

?

  • Task-based learning does not preclude the

    teaching of grammar. Grammar can be

    taught at different stages of the task cycle.

    CG pp. 160


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Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context grammar.

Practice

- controlled or guidedactivities are provided for pupils to practise the use of the target grammar items and structures

- focus on accuracy by encouraging pupils to revise and edit their own writing

Presentation

- the model text provides input of the target grammar items and structures

- the model text serves to show how the target grammar items and structures

are used to convey meaning

Production

- pupils create their own text within the framework of the model text and consolidate the use of the target grammar items and structures

- focus on both accuracy and fluency


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Highlighting the structural pattern grammar.

Structural pattern: S+V+Adj


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Highlighting the structural pattern grammar.

Structural pattern: S+V


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Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context grammar.

Group discussion:

What are the advantages of using

grammar games?

- enlivens the classroom atmosphere

- actively involves pupils in the learning

activities

- leaves time for the teacher to observe pupils’

performance


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Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context grammar.

Contextualised activities that focus on the practice of the target grammar items and structures help pupils achieve the Learning Objectives.

Specially designed exercises are necessary to provide post-task support for pupils who have not mastered the use of specific grammar items and structures in the process of completing a task.


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Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context grammar.

  • providing appropriate and meaningfulcontexts for communication

  • showing grammar as a means to convey meaning / achieve an outcome

  • providing a purpose to put grammar to use for communication


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Teaching Grammar at Different Stages of the Task Cycle grammar.

Teaching & learning grammar at

pre-task stage

  • select the target grammar items / structures needed for the task

  • design exercises and activities, including games for practice in preparation for the task

    while-task stage

  • observe learners’ performance and note difficulties in using the language

  • provide grammar exercises / activities to facilitate work on the task

    post-task stage

  • cover the grammar items / structures learners had difficulty with during the task


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INPUT grammar.(language skills, communicative functions and language items, etc.)

While-task

Learners develop language knowledge, skills, strategies and positive attitudes.

Teacher notes learners’ difficulties in using the language & revises teaching plan, if necessary.

Pre-task

Teacher sets the scene and helps learners acquire the language they need to complete the task.

Learners practise the necessary language forms and functions, skills, etc. in exercises/activities/ games.

Feedback and Support

Teaching Grammar at Different Stages of the Task Cycle

Post-task

Learners receive feedback.

Teacher covers the grammar items / structures learners had difficulty.


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Task: grammar.

Adopt

Adapt

Delete

Add


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Practical Suggestions on Grammar Instruction grammar.

  • Divide the learning content into manageable chunks and present the concepts step by step

  • Expose learners to the use of different aspects of grammar through careful planning

    easy  difficult

    • controlled  free  automatic

    • reception  production  self-assessment

    • supplied  discovered

    • inductive  deductive


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Practical Suggestions on Grammar Instruction grammar.

 Provide opportunities to internalise the form, meaning and use of target grammar items in games & activities

  • Meet the same form in different contexts to develop a fuller understanding of when and how a form is used

    Provide opportunities to discover language patterns and rules for themselves

  •  Introduce useful and not overly complex rules / terms where necessary


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Reference list grammar.

  • Martha C. Pennington (1995). New Ways in Teaching Grammar. TESOL. ISBN: 0-939791-56-0

  • Barbara Dykes (2007). Grammar for Everyone – Practical tools for learning and teaching grammar. Acer Press. ISBN: 978-0-86431-478-9

  • Bob Obee (1999). The Grammar Activity Book – A resource book of grammar games for young students. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0-52157-579-9

  • Mario Rinvolucri (1996). Grammar Games – Cognitive, affective and drama activities for EFL students. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0-52127-773-0

  • Mario Rinvolucri, Paul Davis (1997). More Grammar Games – Cognitive, affective and movement activities for EFL students. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0-52146-630-1


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Enquiries grammar.

English Language Education Section, CDI

Ms Wanda LAW Ms Carol PANG

Tel: 2892 6570 Tel: 2892 6569


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