II. Grammar forbeginning learnersByJulio Vangel Pérez
Beginner studentsThe American Council on the Teaching of Foreign languages (1986) gives us a guideline of where beginner students might be expected to do:• Oral production consists of isolated words and learned phrases within very predictable areas of need.• Vocabulary is sufficient only for handling simple, elementary needs and expressing basic courtesies.• Utterances rarely consists of more than two or three words and show frequent long pauses and repetition of interlocutor’s words.• Speakers may have some difficulties producing even the simplest utterances.• Some speakers will be understood only with great difficulty...
Beginner learnersAt the end of beginner lever course students should possess the ability to:• Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to the areas of most immediate relevance (basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).• Communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.• Describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Beginner SyllabusWhat is a syllabus?Acts as a guide for the teacher and learner by providing some goals to be attained.Hutchinson and Waters (1987) describe syllabus as:A statement of what is to be learnt. It reflects language and linguistic performance.Yalden (1987) defines syllabus as a summary of contents to which the learners will be exposed.
Beginner SyllabusWhat does a syllabus normally contain?• List of what will be taught.• Contents items or processes.• Ordered/numbered/sequenced.• Objectives.• Time/Schedule.• Methodology/Approach.• Materials.
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 1. Keep the learning load manageable There is no such thing as a simple rule in English. Even rules that at first seem straightforward, such as the use of the article system in English (when to use a/an, the or no article at all), turn out to be quite complex.
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 1. Keep the learning load manageable First, we need to simplify, and even oversimplify, the grammar for learners in the beginning stages. They will only have a partial understanding at these stages anyway. Secondly, we should help them perceive patterns and regularities that can be developed over time as learners “grow their grammar”
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 1. Keep the learning load manageable Consciousness-raising, through the exercises and activities we present to learners, their awareness of the principles, regularities and rules of the language is gradually raised.
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 2. Recycle Learners do not acquire grammar the first time they encounter it. Therefore, in order to help learners “grow their own grammar”, you need to reintroduce key grammar points at regular intervals. Learners should encounter the target items in different communicative contexts.
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 2. RecycleFor example, different forms of the verb to be are typically introduced in the context of asking and giving one’s name:What is your name? What is his name? What are their names?Next time, learners might encounter in the context of asking about nationality:What is your nationality? What is her nationality? What are their nationalities?
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 2. RecycleFrom such encounters, learners can begin to make generalizations. They can begin to break formulaic language into its various components. And the can begin to identify relationships between the form that the language takes and how to use those forms for communicating.
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 3. Emphasize inductive or deductive teaching In attempting to raise learner awareness of grammatical principles, you need to consider whether or not you will provide grammatical explanations. Many beginning learners, are carried by uncertainty and crave these explanations. Unfortunately, as beginners, they will not have the linguistic ability to comprehend the most rudimentary explanation, which in any case will be a gross oversimplification.
2.2 Principles for teaching grammar to beginning learners• 3. Emphasize inductive or deductive teachingImagine how crazy it would be to begin a grammar lesson for beginners with this statement:Right, now, students. Today, I’m going to introduce you to the simple present tense, right? Ok, so I want you to remember this. When you make declarative statements in third person singular, you have to put an s on the end of the verb. OK?
2.3 Tasks and materialsThe purpose of this matter is to describe and exemplify a range of task and exercise types that can be used withbeginning learners. The aim is to provide a handful of task and exercise types thatcan be used as models for you to develop your own materials.
2.3 Tasks and materials1. Fill-in-the-blanks Fill-in-the-blanks exercises are a common means of providing grammar practice, particularly at beginning and intermediate levels. They are simple to construct, and are particularly suited to grammar items such as articles, prepositions, and verb paradigm for example, the verb be: am, is, are).
2.3 Tasks and materials2. Cloze procedure Cloze procedure is a special type of fill-in-the- blank exercise. In a cloze procedure words are deleted from a passage at a regular rate; usually every fifth or seventh word is deleted. The difference is that with fill-in-the-blank a single grammar item is usually the focus of the deletion, while cloze exercises test a range of grammatical items.
Cloze procedure exercise.In the next slide you’ll look at an example of a passage from which every fifth word has been deleted. See if you can identify the missing items. Which ones are easy? Which ones are difficult?
Cloze procedure exercise.The jungle was full (1) ______ wonders. It was alive (2) _______ they were in the (3) _______ of it. There was (4) _____ bird that sounded exactly (5) ______ - that laughed in human (6) _____. There was an insect (7) _______ perched on their lips (8) _______ night, breathing their breath. (9) _______ were leaf-cutter ants whose (10) _______ cut holes in their (11) ______. There was an animal (12) _______ ate that had the (13) ________ of a rat, the (14) _______ of a rabbit, the (15) ________ of a pig. They (16) _______ ate snake, turtle, jungle (17)____, jungle turkey, armadillo, tapir (18)_____ caiman. (The Best American Magazine Writing 2002, Junod, 2002)
2.3 Tasks and materials2. Cloze procedureThe cloze procedure is an effective tool for recycling or review practice. Because words are deleted at a set rate, a range of grammatical (as well as content) items are tested.
2.3 Tasks and materials • Fill-in-the-blanks • Cloze procedure • Word scramble • Conversation scramble • Sentence cues • Error correction • Comprehension questions • Drills • Surveys • Information gaps • Dictation/Dictogloss • Games • Grammar Charts
2.3 Tasks and materials Activity2. One activity/task will be assigned to you from the current topic. (You will be able to see which one on the next slide). 3. After reading the definition from your task/activity, you will go to the beginners section and find an activity similar to the one you were assigned from a book or a study sheet. Please cite your references. 4. Finally, you will design from scratch an activity similar to the one you found and give a brief explanation of the task and the instructions of your activity to the class.(Estimated time 30-35min.+Presentations). 4. Please, respect the area and rules of CEMAAI and work in an orderly manner; keep your voice down, work only with a pen/pencil and a notebook/paper, turn off your cell phones, leave your things at the lockers. Once you find your material, come back here, when you are finished with the material return it exactly the way you found it and to its exact location.
2.3 Tasks and materials11. Grammar dictation/DictoglossThis technique can be used at any level; it test, not only a variety of grammatical knowledge both integrated and contextualized, but also the four linguistic skills. It requires authentic communication in order to work properly. Learners use their grammar and linguistic skills as they recreate a text.
2.3 Tasks and materials11. Grammar dictation/Dictogloss Wajnyrb (1990) describes four stages in the dictogloss procedures:5. Preparation: when the learner finds out about the topic of the text and is prepared for some of the vocabulary.6. Dictation: when the learner hears the text and takes fragmentary notes.7. Reconstruction: in which learners work in small groups, pool their notes, and reconstruct the text.8. Analysis and correction: when learners analyze and correct their texts. Wajnyrb, R. (1990). Grammar Dictation (p.7). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Assignment #5 Mind Maps Instructions: You will make 2 mind maps; an early beginner and high beginner (Level 1 and Level 2) using your syllabus exercise as an example for this assignment. Do not forget to include: the units, grammar items, functions, samples and time. The following points will be evaluated: Coherence Content Sequencing Usability CreativityThe deadline for this assignment is Tuesday September 27th at 9 am ONLY via Blackboard.
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