Teaching Grammar


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Teaching Grammar

  1. 1. Teaching grammar: a task-based approach David Nunan
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>With the development of communicative approaches to language teaching, the place of grammar has been uncertain. There are those who argue that there is no place for a formal focus on grammar in the communicative classroom of today. I do not share this view. In this presentation, I will argue that grammar has a central and fundamental place in the curriculum. However, this does not mean I am arguing for a return to &quot;traditional&quot; ways of teaching grammar. In the first plart of the presentation, I will explain what it means to look at grammar as a tool for communication rather than as a body of content to be memorized. I will then give practical examples of how teachers can implement these ideas in their classrooms. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Questions addressed in the presentation <ul><li>What is ‘grammar’? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the difference between a ‘prescriptive’ and a ‘descriptive’ grammar? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways are grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation interrelated? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a ‘task’? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Warm up task: Dictogloss <ul><li>My name is David Nunan. I am a teacher. I live in Hong Kong, but I travel a lot. This is my second visit to Cambodia. I love the weather, the food and the people in here in Cambodia. I look forward to meeting new frends during the conference. </li></ul>
  5. 5. ‘Traditional’ definition 1 <ul><li>Grammar may be roughly defined as the way language manipulates and combines words (or bits of words) in order to form longer units of meaning (Ur 1988, p.4). </li></ul>
  6. 6. ‘Traditional’ definition 2 <ul><li>[Grammar is] a description of the structure of a language and the way in which units such as words and phrases are combined to produce sentences in the language (Richards, Platt and Weber, 2003). </li></ul>
  7. 7. ‘Traditional’ definition 3 <ul><li>[Grammar] is the way in which words change themselves and group together to make sentences . The grammar of a language is what happens to words when they become plural or negative, or what order is used when we make questions or join two clauses to make one sentence (Harmer, 1987). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Grammar and pronunciation <ul><li>She’s Italian, isn’t she? </li></ul><ul><li>(rising intonation) </li></ul><ul><li>= I believe that she’s Italian, but I’m really not certain. </li></ul><ul><li>(falling intonation) </li></ul><ul><li>= I’m pretty sure she’s Italian, but I’d like your confirmation on that. </li></ul><ul><li>She’s Italian, is she? (rising intonation) </li></ul><ul><li>= I thought she was Spanish, but I’ve just received information that leads me to revise my belief. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Grammar and pronunciation <ul><li>A woman without her man is nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>A woman without her man (pause) is nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>A woman (pause) without her man is nothing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Grammar and vocabulary <ul><li>Mary J. Blige has been dubbed the Queen of hip-hop Soul, but she’s really an old-fashioned blues singer wrapped in hip-hop beats and soul grooves. ( Rolling Stone September 18, 2003, page 70). </li></ul><ul><li>Mary J. Blige … the Queen of hip-hop … she … an old-fashioned blues singer </li></ul>
  11. 11. A ‘communicative’ definition <ul><li>Grammar is a resource that enables us: </li></ul><ul><li>to get things done </li></ul><ul><li>to make choices </li></ul><ul><li>to express ourselves as individuals </li></ul><ul><li>to articulate our feelings and attitudes </li></ul>
  12. 12. From principles to pedagogy <ul><li>Teach grammar as an extremely flexible resource for making meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>As far as possible, integrate the teaching of grammar with the teaching of pronunciation and vocabulary. </li></ul><ul><li>Help learners see relationships between form and meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach students how to use grammar to make appropriate choices and express their own personal meanings. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Repetition: The ‘traditional’ approach <ul><li>T: She can speak Spanish (French). </li></ul><ul><li>Ss: She can speak French. </li></ul><ul><li>T: They </li></ul><ul><li>Ss: They can speak French. </li></ul><ul><li>T: German - can’t </li></ul><ul><li>Ss: They can’t speak German </li></ul><ul><li>(etc.) </li></ul>
  14. 14. A task-based approach <ul><li>Tasks: </li></ul><ul><li>have a primary focus on meaning </li></ul><ul><li>learners are not given other people’s meanings to regurgitate </li></ul><ul><li>have an outcome other than the manipulation and practice of language forms </li></ul><ul><li>generate language use that has some resemblance to real-world language </li></ul>
  15. 15. True / false
  16. 16. True / false <ul><li>GFI 2e Level 2 Page 31 Task 4 </li></ul>
  17. 17. Figure it out <ul><li>GFI 2e Level 2 page 3 Tasks 3a & b </li></ul>
  18. 18. Figure it out <ul><li>GFI 2e Level 2 page 3 Tasks 3a & b </li></ul>
  19. 19. Detective <ul><li>Procedure: An object to be stolen is decided on—say a coin or a ring. Once student (the detective) is sent out of the room. One of the remaining students is given the object; he or she is the thief. </li></ul><ul><li>The detective returns and tries to find out who the thief is by asking participants: “Do you have it/the ring?” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Detective <ul><li>Each participant—including the actual thief—denies guilt, and accuses someone else. “No, I don’t have it. A has it!” Whereupon, the detective turns to A with the same question—and so on, until everyone has been asked and has denied responsibility. The detective then has to decide in three guesses who is lying—who looks guilty. The process is then repeated with another detective and another thief. (Ur 1988) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Tic-tac-toe <ul><li>GFI 2e Leve l2 page 6 Task 4 Go For It </li></ul>
  22. 22. Information gap
  23. 23. Information gap (cont.)
  24. 24. Surveys
  25. 25. Dictogloss <ul><li>Preparation, when the learner finds out about the topic of the text and is prepared for some of the vocabulary. </li></ul><ul><li>Dictation, when the learner hears the text and takes fragmentary notes. (Wajnryb recommends that the text be read twice, at normal speed. The first time through, learners simply listen to get a general sense of what the text is about. The second time, they write down key words.) </li></ul><ul><li>Reconstruction, in which learners work in small groups, pool their notes, and reconstruct the text. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis and correction, when learners analyze and correct their texts. Wajnryb (1990) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Role play
  27. 27. References <ul><li>Nunan, D. 1999. Second Language Teaching and Learning. Boston: Thomson/Heinle. </li></ul><ul><li>Nunan, D. 2004. Practical English Language Teaching: Grammar. New York: McGraw Hill . </li></ul><ul><li>Pennington, M. 1995. New Ways in Teaching Grammar. Alexandria VA: TESOL. </li></ul><ul><li>Thornbury, S. 1999 . How to Teach Grammar. London: Longman. </li></ul><ul><li>Ur, P. 1988. Grammar Practice Activities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Web sites <ul><li>http://ec.hku.hk/vec/grammar/default.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.ohiou.edu/esl/teacher/grammar.html </li></ul><ul><li>http:// owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/esl / </li></ul><ul><li>http:// esl.about.com/cs/grammar </li></ul><ul><li>http://expressions.heinle.com </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www .eslcafe.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://goforit.heinle.com </li></ul>