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  1. 1. How to Teach Grammar Irene & Elly
  2. 2. How to Teach Grammar <ul><li>Chapter 1: What is grammar? - Irene </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter 2 : Why teach grammar? - Elly </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Grammar? <ul><li>All language in use can be analyzed at each of these four levels: text, sentence, word and sound . These are the forms that language takes. </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar is partly the study of what forms/ structures are possible in a language. </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar is a description of the rules that govern how a language’s sentences are formed. </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar is conventionally seen as the study of the syntax and morphology . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Texts, Sentences, Words, Sounds <ul><li>Chains and Slots – different languages have different constraints on the way chains are ordered and slots are filled. </li></ul>hospital. in is Dad bed. in am I work. at are They home. at not are We 5 4 3 2 1
  5. 5. Examples <ul><li>I want that your agency return me the money. ( wrong kind of chain to follow the verb “ want ” ) </li></ul><ul><li>I have chosen to describe Stephen Hawking, a notorious scientific of our century. ( famous; esteemed/ scientist ) </li></ul><ul><li>We ain’t at home. ( is preferred in many English –speaking contexts, but not in grammar books ) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Meaning – making potential </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate Attention </li></ul><ul><li>Baby Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Adult Language </li></ul>
  7. 7. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Immediate Attention </li></ul>Situation 1: A ticket inspector on a train says: Tickets! Situation 2 : Mandy is your sister’s friend and works in Taiwan High Speed Railway Cooperation. You are calling your sister… Tickets! or Can you ask Mandy to send me the tickets that I booked last week? ☆ The meaning is conveyed simply at the lexical or word level, tickets.
  8. 8. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Baby Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Mummy book. </li></ul><ul><li>That’s Mummy’s book. </li></ul>☆ Baby talk is centered in the here-and-now , it is generally not difficult to interpret. <ul><li>Mummy’s got a book. </li></ul><ul><li>Mummy, give me the book. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Adult Language </li></ul>A: Coffee? B: Please. A: Milk? B: Just a drop ☆ Grammar is a process for making a speaker’s or writer’s meaning clear when contextual information is lacking.
  10. 10. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Two Kinds of Meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Representational Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal Functions </li></ul>
  11. 11. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Representational Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Events or processes are conveyed by … </li></ul>The sun set . ( verb) The children are playing. ( subject ) The dog chased the cat . ( object ) The children are playing in the garden . ( adverbial; place ) The sun sets at seven-thirty . ( adverbial; time ) The dog chased the cat playfully . ( adverbial; extent ) The sun has set . ( tense )
  12. 12. Grammar and Meaning <ul><li>Interpersonal Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal Functions is typically reflected in the way we use grammar to ease the task of getting things done. </li></ul>Tickets ! Tickets, please. ( softening the force of a command ) Can you show me your tickets? ( modal verbs ) May I see your tickets? Would you mind if I had a look at your tickets?
  13. 13. Grammar and Function <ul><li>Father: Do you drink? </li></ul><ul><li>Young man: No, thanks, I’m cool. </li></ul><ul><li>Father: I’m not offering , I’m asking IF you drink. Do you think I’d offer alcohol to teenage drivers taking my daughter out? </li></ul>☆ It is necessary to be able to read clues from the context to understand the speaker’s meaning.
  14. 14. Functional Labels <ul><li>Certain form-function matches are fairly easily identifiable. </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation - </li></ul><ul><li>Regret - </li></ul>Would you like…..? If only I haven’t ……..
  15. 15. Functional Labels <ul><li>One function can be expressed by several different forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Warning - </li></ul>You’d better not do that. I wouldn’t do that, if I were you. Mind you don’t do that. If you do that, you’ll be in trouble.
  16. 16. Spoken Grammar and Written Grammar <ul><li>A: Great sausages, these, aren’t they? </li></ul><ul><li>B: Yes. The ingredients are guaranteed free of additives and artificial coloring. </li></ul><ul><li>A: had to laugh , though. The bloke that makes them, he was telling me, he doesn’t eat them himself. Want a ciggie ? </li></ul><ul><li>B: No, thanks. Patrons are requested to refrain from smoking while other guests are dinning. </li></ul>
  17. 17. For learners to communicate with non-native speakers <ul><li>Neutral English (w/o marked regional or cultural features or a strong bias to either the spoken or written mode) is for the purpose of mutual intelligibility . </li></ul>
  18. 18. Grammar Syllabuses <ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Learnability </li></ul><ul><li>Teachability </li></ul>
  19. 19. Grammar Syllabuses <ul><li>Complexity </li></ul>proceed your teaching step by step She is reading.  She has been reading.
  20. 20. Grammar Syllabuses <ul><li>Learnability </li></ul>The more simple, the more learnable. Natural order : All learners acquire grammatical items in a fairly predictable order, and this happens irrespective of either their mother tongue or the order in which they are actually taught these structures. Ex: it going  it is going ☆ Some grammar items take longer to learn than others, teachers need not insist on immediate accuracy.
  21. 21. Grammar Syllabuses <ul><li>Teachability </li></ul>ex. Present continuous tense is often included early in beginners syllabuses. It is easy to demonstrate the meaning, but it has a relatively low frequency of occurrence, to the present tense.
  22. 22. <ul><li>☆ Many course nowadays attempt to accommodate the multi-layered nature of language by adopting multi-layered syllabuses, specifying not only the grammar areas to be taught, but include functional and topical area as well. (eg., communicative approach ) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Grammar Rules <ul><li>Prescriptive Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use different to and never use different than. Always use different from . </li></ul><ul><li>Never use the passive when you can use the active . </li></ul><ul><li>Use shall for the first person and will for second and third persons. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Grammar Rules <ul><li>Descriptive Rules </li></ul><ul><li>You do not normally use “ the ” with proper nouns referring to people. </li></ul><ul><li>We use “ used to “ with the infinitive to say that something regularly happened in the past but no longer happens. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Grammar Rules <ul><li>Pedagogic Rules – rules of form & rules of use </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of form are generally easier to formulate and are less controversial than rules of use. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of use, being heavily dependent on contextual factors, are seldom captured in terms that are black and white . </li></ul>ex. To form the past simple of regular verbs, add –ed to the infinitive. ex. The simple past tense is used to indicate past actions or states.
  26. 26. Reminders for Teaching <ul><li>From the teaching point of view, we have to look at: </li></ul>☆ ways that grammar can be organized into a teaching syllabus according to such criteria as complexity, learnabilty, and teachability . ☆ ways that grammar rules can be formulated, according to whether they are prescriptive, descriptive or pedagogic , and whether they focus on form or on use .
  27. 27. Why teach grammar? <ul><li>Attitudes to grammar </li></ul><ul><li>The case for grammar </li></ul><ul><li>The case against grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar and methods </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar now </li></ul><ul><li>Basic principles for grammar teaching </li></ul>
  28. 28. The case for grammar
  29. 29. The case for grammar <ul><li>The sentence-machine argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- It is impossible to use language creatively without grammar. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar enables the learner to create an infinity of sentences . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar is kind of “ sentence-making machine ”. It follows that the teaching of grammar offers the learners the means for potentially limitless linguistic creativity . </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. The case for grammar <ul><li>The fine-tuning argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar enables the learner to convey a more intelligible and differentiated meaning than the simple stringing together of words. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar improves production skills especially in written language (punctuation). </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. The case for grammar <ul><li>The fine-tuning argument </li></ul>Examples of grammatical errors: <ul><li>Last Monday night I was boring in my house. </li></ul><ul><li>After speaking a lot time with him I though that him </li></ul><ul><li>attracted me. </li></ul><ul><li>We took a wrong plane and when I saw it was very later because the plane took up. </li></ul><ul><li>Five years ago I would want to go to India but in that time anybody of my friends didn’t want to go. </li></ul>
  32. 32. The case for grammar <ul><li>The fossilization argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Without attention to form the learner usually does not progress beyond the most basic level of communication (linguistic competence “ fossilises ”). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar enables the learner to reach a higher level of language proficiency as the learner is aware of the underlying framework of the language. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. The case for grammar <ul><li>The advance-organizer argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar serves as a prerequisite for language acquisition as it prepares the learner to notice and thereby acquire language patterns. </li></ul></ul>- Grammar instruction fosters language acquisition through its delayed effect as it raises the learner’s awareness.
  34. 34. The case for grammar <ul><li>The discrete item argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar enables a clear organization of language teaching. </li></ul></ul>- Grammar allows the dividing up of the complex language system into smaller units and thereby reduces the enormity of language to a systematic, digestible step by step learning .
  35. 35. The case for grammar <ul><li>The rule-of-law argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Grammar satisfies the need for rules , order and discipline in institutional contexts such as school. </li></ul></ul>- Grammar enables the transmission of knowledge from the teacher to the learner as this structured system can be taught, learned and tested.
  36. 36. The case for grammar <ul><li>The learner expectations argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- The learner expectation presents an intrinsic motivation for learning. </li></ul></ul>- Students expect to learn the foreign language through grammar instruction as they assume that teaching grammar is a more systematic and efficient approach .
  37. 37. The case against grammar <ul><li>The knowledge-how argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Rather than studying grammar, the learner needs classroom experience that simulates the kind of condition in which s/he is going to use the language. </li></ul></ul>- Language is learned by experimental learning – learning by doing – like riding a bike. It is not learned by simply studying the language, because learners have difficulties in transferring their knowledge into skills.
  38. 38. The case against grammar <ul><li>The communicative argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Studying the rules of grammar is [therefore] simply a waste of time”. </li></ul></ul>- Communication is learned by communicating : the language should be used in order to be learned . In this way, through activities that simulate life-like communication, the learner will unconsciously pick up the grammar.
  39. 39. The case against grammar <ul><li>The acquisition argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>☆ Success in a second language is due to acquisition, not learning . </li></ul></ul>- Krashen distinguishes between language learning and language acquisition . He argues that language acquisition is more successful than language learning, as, in comparison to language acquisition, which is a natural process , language learning results from formal institutions and is not as useful for real communication .
  40. 40. The case against grammar <ul><li>The natural order argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- The natural order argument insists that a textbook grammar is not, nor can never become, a mental grammar. </li></ul></ul>- Learners are born with a Universal Grammar (Chomsky). This (innate Universal Grammar) helps to explain similarities in the developmental order of the first and the second language acquisition , which is different to the order in which grammatical items are presented in most textbooks.
  41. 41. The case against grammar <ul><li>The lexical chunks argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Having learned language chunks makes it easier for the learner to react in real-time situations. </li></ul></ul>- Learning lexical chunks is an element of item learning like learning vocabulary or idioms and plays an important part in the language development and the acquiring of language .
  42. 42. The case against grammar <ul><li>The lexical chunks argument </li></ul><ul><li>Excuse me? </li></ul><ul><li>so far so good </li></ul><ul><li>what on earth? </li></ul><ul><li>have a nice day. </li></ul>
  43. 43. The case against grammar <ul><li>The learner expectations argument (2) </li></ul>- There are learners who want to focus on communication and not on grammar, for instance, because they want to put their knowledge of the language into use or because they do not like the learning of grammar very much.
  44. 44. Grammar and Methods <ul><li>Grammar-Translation </li></ul>- Its focus was on grammatical rules , the memorization of vocabulary and of various declensions and conjugations, translations of texts, doing written exercises.
  45. 45. Grammar and Methods <ul><li>Direct Method </li></ul>- The method would include lots of oral interaction , spontaneous use of language , no translation between first and second languages, and little or no analysis of grammar rules.
  46. 46. Grammar and Methods <ul><li>Audiolingualism </li></ul>- Language learning is a matter of habit formation . Drill! Drill! Drill! Audiolingualism is based on behaviorism . - A structural syllabus is used in class. As a result grammatical structures are brought to the forefront with meaning being neglected .
  47. 47. Grammar and Methods <ul><li>Natural Approach </li></ul>- According Krashen, formal instruction was unnecessary. - Learners are exposed to large does of comprehensive input . Grammar is irrelevant.
  48. 48. Grammar and Methods <ul><li>Communicative Language Teaching </li></ul>- is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of learning a language. - Grammar was still the main component of the syllabuses of CLT courses, even if it was dressed up in functional labels: asking the way.
  49. 49. Grammar and Methods <ul><li>Communicative Language Teaching </li></ul>Deep-end CLT - Bangalore Project - learners were given a series of problems and/or information gap activities , which were solved following teachers’ guidance in English. (TBL) - Probe didn’t focus on language forms as he believed that a focus on form could actually obstruct language learning.
  50. 50. Grammar and Methods Grammar- Translation heavy grammar emphasis Shallow-end CLT Audiolingualism Direct Method Natural Approach Deep-end CLT zero grammar
  51. 51. Grammar now <ul><li>Focus on form </li></ul><ul><li>Consciousness-raising </li></ul>
  52. 52. Grammar now <ul><li>Focus on form </li></ul><ul><li>Recent research suggests that without some attention to form, learners run the risk of fossilisation. </li></ul><ul><li>does not mean a return to drill-and-repeat teaching. A focus on form may simply mean correcting a mistake . </li></ul>
  53. 53. Grammar now <ul><li>Consciousness-raising </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike Krashen, other theorists argues that acquisition involves conscious process, of which the most fundamental is attention . </li></ul><ul><li>Consciousness-raising is the state of remembering , having understood something . </li></ul>
  54. 54. Grammar now <ul><li>Focus on form + Consciousness-raising  </li></ul><ul><li>Learning seems to be enhanced when the learner’s attention is directed to getting the form right, and when the learner's attention is directed to features of grammatical system. </li></ul>paying-attention-to form argument
  55. 55. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>The E-factor: Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>The A-factor: Appropriacy </li></ul>
  56. 56. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>The E-factor: Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency can be broken down into three factors: </li></ul>economy , ease , and efficacy . <ul><li>economy: </li></ul><ul><li>The more instructor piles on instructions, the more confused the trainee is likely become. </li></ul>the shorter the better. ☆ Be economical
  57. 57. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>In terms of planning and resources, most teachers lead busy lives, have many classes and simply cannot afford to sacrifice valuable free time preparing elaborate classroom materials. </li></ul><ul><li>ease: </li></ul>the easier an activity is to set up, the better it is.
  58. 58. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>Attention : the efficacy of a grammar activity can be partly measured by the degree of attention it arouses. </li></ul><ul><li>efficacy: will it work? </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding : attention without understanding, is probably a waste of time, so efficacy will in part depend on the amount and quality of contextual information, explanation and checking. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>Memory : understanding without memory would seem to be equally ineffective, and so the efficacy of a presentation will also depend on memorable it is . </li></ul><ul><li>efficacy: will it work? </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation : None of these condition will be sufficient if there is lack of motivation and, in the absence of some external motivational factors, it is teacher’s job to choose tasks and materials that engage the learners. </li></ul>
  60. 60. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>efficacy: will it work? </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation : None of these condition will be sufficient if there is lack of motivation and, in the absence of some external motivational factors, it is teacher’s job to choose tasks and materials that engage the learners. </li></ul>tasks and materials Are relevant to their needs Have an achievable outcome Have a element of challenge while providing the necessary support
  61. 61. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>The A-factor: Appropriacy </li></ul><ul><li>An activity that works for one group of learners is not necessarily going to work for another. </li></ul><ul><li>Any classroom activity must be evaluated not only according to criteria of efficiency, but also of appropriacy . </li></ul>
  62. 62. Basic principles for grammar teaching <ul><li>the age of the learners </li></ul><ul><li>their level </li></ul><ul><li>size of the group </li></ul><ul><li>constitution of the group, e.g. monolingual or multilingual </li></ul><ul><li>what their needs are, e.g. to pass a public examination </li></ul><ul><li>the learners' interests </li></ul><ul><li>available materials and resources </li></ul><ul><li>the learners’ previous learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>any cultural factors that might affect attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>the educational context, e.g. private / public school, at home or abroad. </li></ul><ul><li>The A-factor: Appropriacy </li></ul>