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Teaching Grammar

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  1. TeachingGrammar • Carolina Peña. • Javiera Iturra. • Ximena Cáceres. • Laura Roa. • Rodolfo Sáez. • Michael Henríquez.

  2. What is Grammar? Grammar is the system of rules governing the conventional arrangement and relationship of words in a sentence. Technically, grammar refers to sentence-level rules, only. According to Larsen – Freeman (2003)

  3. To teach or not teach grammar • For adults, the question is not so much whether to teach grammar, but rather, what the optimal conditions for the teaching of grammar are. • According to Celce- Murcia (1991), there are different variants. We’ll look at six of them. • 1. Age • 2. Proficiency level • 3. Educational background • 4. Language Skills • 5. Style (Register) • 6. Needs and Goals


  5. Grammar is the system of rules governing the conventional arrangement and relationship of words in a sentence. Technically, it refers to sentence-level rule only. • Communicative competence: "Communication competence is the degree to which a communicator’s goals are achieved through effective and appropriate interaction.” • In communicative competence, grammatical competence occupies the place as the mayor component of it. • Organizational competence: intricate and complex array of rules. sentence (grammar) Some govern sentences together (discourse)

  6. Organizational competence is NECESSARY for communication but not sufficient for both production and reception in language. • Dianne Larsen_Freeman: grammar is one of the 3 dimensions of language that are interconnected. Grammar give us only the FORM (structures). Grammar (structure) 3 dimensions Semantics (meaning) of language Pragmatics (context) speaker/audience register • NO ONE DIMENSION is sufficient.

  7. Considerations Controversial (intuitive/rules) It is helpful when is not an end in it itself. Grammar is better studied inside the classroom. T has to produce interesting and purposeful meanings within the context of real life. Grammar has to be interesting. (against traditional prescriptive rule teaching)


  9. 1. Should grammar be presented inductively or deductively? 2. Should we use grammatical explanations and technical terminology in a CLT classroom? 3. Should grammar be taught in separate “Grammar only” classes? 4. Should teachers correct grammatical errors?


  11. Classroom or peer-teaching Stage 1: Presentation. Stage 2: Feedback. Stage 3: Guidelines. Stage 4: Comparison. Stage 5: Repeat.

  12. Questions on Grammar Presentations 1. The structure itself. 2. Examples. 3. Terminology. 4. Language. 5. Explanation. 6. Delivery. 7. Rules.


  14. Following are some samples techniques for teaching grammar, using Sandra McKay’s (1985) classifications that have withstood the test of time. CHARTS OBJECTS MAPS AND DRAWINGS DIALOGUES OTHER WRITTEN TEXTS

  15. CHART





  20. GRAMMAR PRACTICE ACTIVITIES • The aim of grammar practice is to get students to learn the structure so thoroughly that they will be able to produce them correctly on their own. • One of our jobs as teachers is to help our students make the ‘leap’ from form-focused accuracy work to fluent. • Our lessons should include a fairly representative selection of activities that provide both form-focused and meaning-focused practice.

  21. TYPES OF GRAMMAR PRACTICE: FROM ACCURACY TO FLUENCY • Type 1. Awareness example: Learners are given extracts from newspaper articles and they are asked to underline all the examples of the past tense that they can find. • Type 2 : Controlled Drills example: Write or say statements about John. John drinks tea but he doesn’t drink coffee • a) like: ice cream / cake

  22. Type 3 : Meaningful Drill example: Choose someone you know very well, and write down his/her name. Now compose true statements about them according to the following model: He/she likes ice cream; or she/he doesn’t like ice cream. • Type 4: Guided, meaningful practice. example: Practicing conditional clauses, learners are given the cue If I had a million dollars, and suggest, in speech or writing, what they would do. • Type 5: (Structured-based) free sentences composition example: a picture showing a number of people doing different things is shown to the class; they describe it using the appropriate tense.

  23. Type 6: (Structured-based) discourse composition. example: the class is given a dilemma situation (you have seen a good friend cheating in an important test) and asked to recommend a solution. They are directed to include modals • Type 7: Free discourse example: As in type 6, but without the final direction.


  25. Mistakes within the learning process - Mistakes may be seen as an integral and natural part of learning. - Some would say that it is not necessary to correct at all. - It is important to relate to grammar mistakes not as a sign of inadequacy. Why do students make mistakes? • “False friends”. • Grammatical considerations. • “Developmental” errors.

  26. How should teachers correct students? • Inquiry task: - Stage 1: Gathering samples. - Stage 2: Classifying. - Stage 3: Ordering. - Stage 4: Reordering. • Using the information: 1. As a guide for the presentation and practice of new structures. 2. As a guide for correction. 3. As a guide for remedial work.

  27. References • Brown, D (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. (pp. 419 - 442). Pearson Longman. • Harmer, J. (2001). How to teach English. (pp. 52 - 67). Longman. • Ur, P. (2006). A Course in Language Teaching. (pp. 75 - 89). Cambridge University Press. • Communication Competence Perspective. (2000, January 29). Communication Competence Defined!. Retrieved July 1, 2010, from http://www.uky.edu/~drlane/capstone/commcomp.htm