Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Our Beloved Grammar!

Why do we use grammar so much, if fact, why do you think we have fallen in love with it in the first place? We should bear in mind that if we choose to concentrate only on grammar, we are not seeing the wood for the trees.

John and Liz Soars, authors or Headway, give a list of reasons to teachers to explain the prominence of grammar in their materials. Let's try to answer some questions to reflect on our teaching, in fact, I will mention some of them and I want to see if you agree with me or not, and if you have the chance to see the list, please leave a comment. Thanx


  1. Which of those would concur with your own views? It is a tangible system, and can provide one element of a systematic approach to teaching a language.

  2. Are there any with which you would disagree? There is one of the statements in which I don't completely agree: "It conforms students' expectations of language learning, and meets an often-heard request for 'more grammar'" Though I have had some students who asked for grammar all the time, they were the least. Almost all my students try to avoid grammar one way or the other, they want to learn more vocabulary or set expressions (even though they are within the field of grammar, they think they are not)

  3. Would you wish to add further reasons for teaching grammar explicitly in your own classes? Students need to know explicitly why they are making mistakes as regards accuracy when they speak. We need to explain how the rule is conformed so that they can understand when we correct some aspects of their speech.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Bibliography

HEDGE, Tricia (2000), Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom, UK, OUP; Chapter 5 (Discussion Topics and Projects # 5- pp. 180,182)

2 comments:

Gladys Baya said...

I do agree with you, Lore, that awareness of the rule usually helps students monitor their own production in a lot more systematic way... I don't agree, however, that this necessarily involves explanation of the rule by the teacher, or teacher-correction. Nevertheless, I believe it's high time we FL teachers all agreed there're four language systems (not just syntax), and such they all have rules which can be taught to facilitate learning!

I'll keep in touch,
Gladys

Loreley said...

Excellent observation! There are 4 language systems (now that I've learnt the labels I can tell you which ones!) and we should include them, as you said, to facilitate learning.
I'll also keep in touch,
Lore