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Learning Grammar

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Learning Grammar

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Learning Grammar

  1. 1. Learning Grammar By: Bishara Adam 1
  2. 2. A Place Of Grammar  Grammar is the sound, structure, and meaning system of language.  The goal is to teach the students grammar through meaningful activities which are both fun and engaging.  It is important that the teacher always has the goal in mind for teaching grammar and that the students learn this in a communicative ways. 2
  3. 3. Different Meanings Of Grammar When teachers are invited to brainstorm what the term ‘grammar’ means to them, they commonly produce a list such as this:  Parts of Speech (elements or categories)  Syntactic structures (phrases, clauses, sentence types)  “Correct” sentence structures (subject-verb agreement and such)  “Correct” punctuation and other aspects of mechanics (Capitalization, Contraction, Abbreviations and Acronyms)  Appropriate usage (often thought of as “standard” or educated forms)  Sentence sense; style (appropriate and effective use of syntactic options; ability to manipulate syntactic elements) 3
  4. 4. The Role of Grammar in Teaching Young Learners  Young children are wonderful in absorbing new language. They can get maximum of language through games and activities that they find funny. Their success in learning foreign language does not depend on their knowledge of grammar.  As Pinter (2006) stated that children can use grammatical structures very well, they can speak language clearly, but they are not able to say why they use particular structure. 4
  5. 5. The Role of Grammar in Teaching Young Learners Teachers, of course, should be aware of grammar and structures that they want their children to know. But they should teach just a minimum of grammar because mastering grammar is to help them speak with organized sentence structures in order to make themselves understood.  Some children are able to deal with simple grammar at the age of ten or eleven. If our students learn proper speaking habits while they are young, this should help them become good communicators in the future. 5
  6. 6. How Learners Learn A Language Language learning is result of Interaction between learners Meaningful and purposeful interaction Giving and receiving feedback Talking together in groups and pairs 6
  7. 7. How Learners Learn A Language 7 When planning a lesson, remember: Make real communication Make room for experimenting Be tolerant of errors Provide practice of both accuracy and fluency Link the different skills together Let grammar rules be “discovered”
  8. 8. Development Of The Internal Grammar  Young learners have a long time ahead of them with the language.  There is no need to rush into technical rules and labels that will confuse. 8  It seems likely to be far better to give children a sound basis in using the language while encouraging curiosity and talk about patterns and contrasts in and between languages and introducing grammatical language slowly and meaningfully.
  9. 9. Development Of The Internal Grammar: From Words To Grammar  In the beginning stages, learners seem to use words or chunks strung together to get their meaning across with little attention paid to grammar that would fit the words or chunks together in conversational patterns.  If you can get your message through without grammar, then there may be a little impulse to drive grammar learning.  Paying attention to grammatical features of a language is not something that happens automatically in communicating and that therefore some artificial methods of pushing attention are needed: teaching. 9
  10. 10. Development Of The Internal Grammar: From Words To Grammar Learned chunks of language will make up a substantial part of early learning and that learnt chunks also provide a valuable resource for developing grammar as they are broken down and re-constituted.  Ways of teaching that help learners notice words inside chunks and how other words can be used in the same places may help with the development of grammar. 10
  11. 11. Development Of The Internal Grammar: Learning Through Hypothesis Testing  Children build hypotheses about how the foreign language works from the data they have received from their limited experience with the language.  Errors in language use can often act as a window on to the developing internal grammar of the learner and are signals of growth. 11
  12. 12. Development Of The Internal Grammar: Influence of the first language  When data is limited, learners are more likely to use their first language to fill the gaps.  So the learners may assume that foreign language grammar works like first language grammar. 12  If the foreign language cues are not particular obvious, the probability of them being noticed and used is even smaller.  It is precisely these cross-linguistically different and low profile features of grammar that need form-focused instruction.
  13. 13. A Learning Centered Approach To Teaching Grammar  It would not be conceptually appropriate for grammar to be explicitly taught as formal, explicit rules in young learner classrooms to children under the age of 8 or 9 years.  As children get older, so they are increasingly able to learn from more formal instruction but we should remember that grammar teaching can often destroy motivation and puzzle children rather than enlighten them. 13
  14. 14. A Learning Centered Approach To Teaching Grammar 14  Good learning centered grammar teaching will be meaningful & interesting, require active participation from learners and will work with how children learn and what they are capable of learning.
  15. 15. Principles For Learning Centered Grammar Teaching The need for Grammar  Grammatical accuracy and precision matter for meaning.  Without attention to form, form will not be learnt accurately.  Form-focused instruction is particularly relevant for those features of the foreign language grammar that are different from the first language or are not very noticeable. 15
  16. 16. Principles For Learning Centered Grammar Teaching Potential conflict between meaning and grammar  If learners’ attention is directed to expressing meaning, they may neglect attention to accuracy and position. 16
  17. 17. Principles For Learning Centered Grammar Teaching Importance of attention in the learning process  Teaching can help learners notice and attend to features of grammar in the language they hear and read or speak and write.  Noticing an aspect of form is the first stage of learning it; it then needs to become part of the learner’s internal grammar, and to become part of the learner’s language resources ready for use in a range of situations. 17
  18. 18. Principles For Learning Centered Grammar Teaching Learning grammar as the development of internal grammar The learner has to do the learning; just teaching grammar does not make it happen. Grammar learning can work outwards from participation in discourse from vocabulary and from learnt chunks. Learners’ errors can give teachers useful information about their learning processes and their internal grammar. 18
  19. 19. Principles For Learning Centered Grammar Teaching The role of explicit teaching of grammar rules Teaching grammar explicitly requires the learner to think about language in very abstract, formal ways that some enjoy and some find difficult. The younger the learner, the less appropriate it is to teach explicitly. Children can master language if it is well taught. 19
  20. 20. Ways of Teaching Grammar: Inductive & Deductive  Inductive grammar - indirect grammar teaching, teacher does not provide grammar rules. There is a text where new grammatical structure is introduced. Children read the text and find out the new structure. Children’s attention is not focused on the structure, but on the text. Children work with the text, they practice new language and the focus does not have to be on the grammar. Children play with the words, sentences and they can take the new grammar in incidentally. 20
  21. 21. Ways of Teaching Grammar: Inductive & Deductive Deductive grammar - explanation of the new grammatical rules and structures to children. Teachers of young learners tend to focus on vocabulary and pronunciation the most, however, it is important not to neglect grammar in the classroom. It is important that children develop all four skills, and grammar along with vocabulary will allow them to do this. Teacher should make sure all new grammar is taught before the activity. The focus of this, should be that the children understand the meaning of the grammar. Children may learn easily but they also forget quickly. So recycle new grammar frequently to help them remember. 21
  22. 22. Stages in Teaching Grammar to EYL (English for Young Learners)  Grammar teaching includes stages that children should go through before being able to use a new grammar item (Scrivener, 2003). The grammar item in presentation should be:  Clear - there should not be any difficulties in understanding, children should understand the text.  Efficient - there should be a maximum of new grammar, children should be forced to use new language.  Enjoyable and interesting - children should be motivated on the highest level and be interested in the activity.  Appropriate - it has to be proper for language that is presented.  Productive - children should be allowed to make own sentences and questions using the grammar that they have learnt. 22
  23. 23. Teaching Techniques For Supporting Grammar Learning 1. Working from classroom discourse: Routines and classroom contexts can serve to introduce new grammar  The language for classroom management: Some very simple phrases for classroom management can be introduced and as time goes by, these can be expanded. Pupils can use some phrases originally used by the teacher when they work in pairs/ groups.  Talking with children: If a child offers a comment about a picture, for example, the teacher can respond with fuller sentences that pick up the child’s interests. Talk with children as a class can also offer incidental focusing on form. 23
  24. 24. Teaching Techniques For Supporting Grammar Learning 2. Guided noticing activities:  Listen and Notice: Filling a grid while listening to a conversation. Noticing the grammatical features are important to fill the grid.  Presentation of new language with puppets: The children listen several times to the story- dialogue: repetition + contrast. 24
  25. 25. Teaching Techniques For Supporting Grammar Learning 3. Language practice activities that offer structuring opportunities  Questionnaires, surveys & quizzes: Preparation and rehearsal of the questions are necessary to ensure accuracy; the activity must be managed so that the questions are asked in full each time. Information gap activities: An information gap activity is an activity where learners are missing the information they need to complete a task and need to talk to each other to find it.  Helping hands:  Drills: The dangers of over-using drills occur mostly if the children do not understand the content. Repetition drills can help in familiarizing a new form but substitution drills are the ones that offer more for grammar structuring. A substitution drill is a classroom technique used to practice new language. 25
  26. 26. Teaching Techniques For Supporting Grammar Learning 4. Proceduralizing activities: Polar animal description re-visited: Description of the animal they choose needs some grammatical knowledge that has already entered the internal grammar through noticing and structuring.  Dictogloss: the teacher reads out a text, students take notes and re-write the text in pairs/ groups. 26
  27. 27. Teaching Techniques For Supporting Grammar Learning 5. Introducing metalanguage:  Explicit teacher talk: Useful and possible to talk about language without using technical terms.  Cloze activities for word class: 27

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