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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

Practical Strategies for Enhancing Grammar Learning in Context at Primary Level

English Language Education Section

Curriculum Development Institute

Education Bureau

April - May 2009

objectives
Objectives
  • 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
language forms and communicative functions

Language Forms and Communicative Functions

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

language forms and communicative functions4

Language Forms and Communicative Functions

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

relationship between language forms and communicative functions

Relationship between Language Forms and 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

slide6

?

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.
slide7
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

explain the grammar rules and ask pupils to memorise them
Explain the grammar rules and ask pupils to memorise them.
  • 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

?

grammar rules terms
Grammar Rules / Terms

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

slide10

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

learning and teaching grammar in context

Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context

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

highlighting the structural pattern
Highlighting the structural pattern

Structural pattern: S+V+Adj

learning and teaching grammar in context14

Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context

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

learning and teaching grammar in context15

Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context

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.

slide16

Learning and Teaching Grammar in Context

  • 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
teaching grammar at different stages of the task cycle
Teaching Grammar at Different Stages of the Task Cycle

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
slide18

INPUT (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.

slide19

Task:

Adopt

Adapt

Delete

Add

practical suggestions on grammar instruction
Practical Suggestions on Grammar Instruction
  • 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
practical suggestions on grammar instruction21
Practical Suggestions on Grammar Instruction

 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
reference list
Reference list
  • 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
slide23

Enquiries

English Language Education Section, CDI

Ms Wanda LAW Ms Carol PANG

Tel: 2892 6570 Tel: 2892 6569