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The way we teach grammar


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The way we teach grammar

  1. 1. “ The Way We Teach Grammar” Presented by: Ivan Aguilar
  2. 2. Biography of an idea <ul><li>Grammar Dimensions (Diane Larsen Freeman) </li></ul><ul><li>ECCE results. </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom observations. </li></ul>
  3. 3. &quot;Theory and practice should inform each other&quot; (Andy Curtis)
  4. 4. CONCEPTS
  5. 5. What is Grammar? <ul><li>a. Internal mental grammar allows speakers of the language understand and create new sentences. This is the kind of grammar we develop as we acquire our native language. </li></ul><ul><li>b. A prescriptive grammar contains rules about what is and what is nor acceptable in any given language. </li></ul><ul><li>c. A descriptive grammar tell us how people actually use the language, not how they are supposed to </li></ul><ul><li>d. A linguistic grammar is grammar associated with a particular linguistic theory. Some linguistic grammars are more concerned with describing grammatical structure. These are called formal grammars. Other linguistic grammar is more concerned with the use of grammatical structure. These are called functional grammars. </li></ul><ul><li>e. A reference grammar is a comprehensive collection of the rules that apply to a particular language. In other words it is to grammar what a dictionary is to words. </li></ul><ul><li>f. A pedagogical grammar is usually a subset of the total number of rules on that has been compiled for teaching grammar to language learners. A pedagogical grammar usually draws on a number of different linguistic theories In other words it is eclectic. </li></ul><ul><li>g. A teacher’s grammar is also a pedagogical grammar, but it is usually more comprehensive and detailed that a student’s pedagogical grammar. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Grammar in the curriculum <ul><li>“ Grammatical skills are thus seen as a component of language PROFICIENCY rather than an end in them. In conclusion, although grammar should always play a central role in language teaching, its importance can be derived from and related to the proficiencies we plan as the outcomes of the language curriculum.” (Richards: 156) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Grammar for teachers <ul><li>Which of these verbs are followed by –ing, infinitive or both? </li></ul>Infinitives -ing Both Appreciate, enjoy, want, prefer, hate, agree Enjoy Appreciate Agree Want Prefer Hate
  8. 8. Grammar for teacher <ul><li>Did you know ? </li></ul>When we can choose between an infinitive and an -ing form, we sometimes choose the infinitive in order to stress that something is more speculative or hypothetical. We chose an -ing form more to describe what actually happens or has happened. I hate to write long reports. (And probably I’ll do this today at work) I hate writing long reports. (And I’m doing so in this moment) They prefer to go to school in the mornings (And probably they will sign up in that schedule). They prefer going to school in the morning (They have already signed up at that schedule).
  9. 9. Grammar for teachers <ul><li>It is evident that the first step to good grammar teaching is for teachers to be really acquainted with the grammar rules, their exceptions, and reasons why these rules exist. Course books and Teachers’ manuals only give pedagogical grammar in their descriptions, but, as we saw before, pedagogical grammar has limitation due to its own necessity of being simple and understandable for learners. It is then an important responsibility for any language teacher-including native speakers- to get to learn deeply the grammar rules governing the target language. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Grammar for learners <ul><li>From competence to proficiency… </li></ul><ul><li>“ CAN understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/her self to others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person speaks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.” (CEFR A1 DESCRIPTOR) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Grammar teaching concepts <ul><li>In which context did this grammatically correct sentence take place? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Colorless green ideas sleep furiously ” </li></ul><ul><li>Chomsky </li></ul>
  13. 13. Grammar teaching concepts <ul><li>Context : As context we understand the real (or imaginary) situations in which certain language patterns naturally occur. In fact, there is no language that occurs in an isolated or not contextualized way. All utterances produced by any speaker are related to a specific context. In terms of language teaching, this refers to the environment surrounding the grammar structures that students have to learn. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Grammar teaching concepts <ul><li>Three Dimension of grammar </li></ul>Context Context Context Context Context Context Context Context Context Context
  15. 15. Grammar teaching concepts <ul><li>How would you explain the English passive voice in its form, meaning and use? </li></ul><ul><li>Form: auxiliary verb Be or Get. Followed by past participle. Add by before agent. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning: Focus construction-defocuses agent. </li></ul><ul><li>Use: Agent is unknown. Agent is redundant. Agent is new information. To provide objectivity i.e., “scientific voice” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Major approaches <ul><li>a. PPP. - Probably the most widespread way of teaching a language going from the presentation of the new structure, its controlled practice, and freer productive practice. This ‘model’ has been criticized because it doesn’t reflect the features of interlanguage which is not a linear process of development. </li></ul><ul><li>b. Inductive “An inductive approach is one in which students infer the rule or the generalization from a set of examples.” </li></ul><ul><li>c. Deductive .-“In a deductive activity the students are given the rule and they apply it to the examples” </li></ul><ul><li>d. Texts.- In many course books the main way to contextualized grammar is through texts. Ideally, learners should be able to understand the meaning of the new grammar structure within the text it is presented. Later, they should recognize its form and use due to the context provided by the text. Finally, learners should be able to use these structures into more productive activities. </li></ul><ul><li>e. Stories .- This is a technique used very often with young learners, but it also can be effective with older students. In this case, a story that contains the grammar structure is read/told to the learners who later will identify the type of grammar structure the teacher wants them to identify. An important feature of this technique is that the teacher has to prepare the right kind of questions in order for students to be able to recognize the desired grammar structure. </li></ul><ul><li>f. Task-based .-Opposite to the previous techniques described, in task based learning a communicative activity is given first for students to complete. During this activity, learners are supposed to use the language they have, but ideally they will need some specific grammar structures which the teacher will introduce after the completion of the activity. Learners are supposed to notice the new structure and its value in the light of the first communicative task. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Grammar practice activities <ul><li>Controlled drills </li></ul><ul><li>Structure based free sentence composition </li></ul><ul><li>Guided meaningful practice </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Structure based discourse composition </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful drills </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled drills </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful drills </li></ul><ul><li>Guided meaningful practice </li></ul><ul><li>Structure based free sentence composition </li></ul><ul><li>Structure based discourse composition </li></ul>
  18. 18. Suggestions <ul><li>Traditionally language teaching has taken great advantage of the use of materials, realia, an visual aids. They are very common when teaching vocabulary and need to be used whenever it is possible to teach grammar. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Suggestions 2.Grammar teaching doesn't have to be a mere display of forms and rules. Ideally, teachers and students should be actively involved in the co-construction of the grammar lesson. This can be done through the use of other techniques rather than elicitation. Ruth’s Ideas: -Problem framing: setting a problem-solving task for the learner. -Providing data: giving sufficient examples to help the learner. -Focusing attention: drawing learners’ attention to key features of data. -Asking leading questions: using questions to guide the learners to a solution. -Making connections: referring to and building on what the learners already know. -Giving feedback: providing messages on the state of the learners theory building -Recapping/summarizing.
  20. 20. Suggestions <ul><li>3.Isolating grammar from its context is for linguists. Language teachers need to provide learners with a rich context from which the grammar structures will arise naturally. Moreover, the connections between context and structures make the information more memorable. </li></ul><ul><li>What do these sentences have in common? </li></ul><ul><li>I will sleep early. </li></ul><ul><li>I will go to USA. </li></ul><ul><li>I will play the piano. </li></ul><ul><li>I will see the concert. </li></ul><ul><li>I will need a car. </li></ul><ul><li>I will sort my files. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>4. It would be too extended and complex for learners -and teachers- to deal with the three grammar dimensions at once. However, teachers have to identify the learning challenge (Freeman) and work accordingly . </li></ul>Suggestions Present Perfect learning challenge : Form: Have+Past partciple Meaning: indefinite past, finished and unfinished actions, periods of time. Use: Socially Pretty Neutral .
  22. 22. Suggestions <ul><li>5. Pragmatic knowledge is as important as the other grammar aspects. This should be also part of all grammar teaching lessons . </li></ul>You’re supposed to be his interpreter. You should be his interpreter. You’d better be his interpreter. Context Chinese student asking his american friend to help his classmate during a visit to New York. Better option: Would you please…?
  23. 23. Suggestions <ul><li>7. Drills and Meaningful drills are the most common grammar practice activities provided to students right after grammar presentations. Teachers can, if considered necessary, implement more communicative types of practice to help students internalize the new structures </li></ul>
  24. 24. Planning: Grammar Lesson Checklist Instructions: Tick on your answer(s) PRESENTATION How will I get all my students’ attention? Will I use any material to help my students understand the grammar point? Will/did I use any of the next strategies while explaining the grammar point? Elicitation comprehension checks confirmation checks Asking leading questions Making connections (old-new) Giving feedback
  25. 25. <ul><li>REFERENCES </li></ul><ul><li>-Diane Larsen –Freeman: “Teaching Language: from grammar to grammaring” </li></ul><ul><li>-Jack C Richards: “The Context of Language Teaching” </li></ul><ul><li>-Penny Ur: “A course in Language Teaching” </li></ul><ul><li>-Penny Ur: “Grammar Practice activities” </li></ul><ul><li>-Marianne Celce-Murcia: “Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language” </li></ul><ul><li>-Scott Thornbury: “How to teach Grammar” </li></ul><ul><li>-Martin Parrot: “Grammar for English Language Teachers” </li></ul><ul><li>-Liu-Master: “Grammar Teaching in Teacher Education” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Thanks a million for your attention