Educ 1820 teaching grammar

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Information about Educ 1820 teaching grammar

Published on February 27, 2014

Author: cynhatch33



Teaching grammar communicatively to adult ELLs

EDUC 1820: Teaching Grammar American Culture & Language Institute, TESOL Certificate Program Northern Virginia Community College

Overview • Approaches to Teaching Grammar – Grammar in earlier language-teaching approaches – Contemporary views of grammar instruction • Grammar Structure and Language Function • Teaching Grammar Implicitly vs. Explicitly • Put it into Practice

Reflection and Discussion • When and where did you learn grammar (English or other languages)? – Do you remember how it was taught? – Did learning grammar improve your fluency/ability to use the language to communicate? • What do you think is the most effective way to teach grammar?

Earlier Grammar Approaches Approach/Method Grammar-Translation Method (1800-mid 1900s) Advantages • • Explicit teaching of grammar rules Attention paid to lang. forms Limitations • • • Direct Method (early 1900s) • • • Grammar taught explicitly Lessons begin with a story Use of visuals to convey meaning • • No communicative practice Reliance on translation Focus on reading Inductive presentation is unsuitable for Ss who need rules Minimal reading and writing

Grammar Translation Activity • Instruction and grammar explanations occur only in the L1. • Production occurs through translation from L1 to L2. – Hast du mein Buch? – Do you have my book?

Earlier Grammar Approaches Approach/Method Audiolingual Method (1950s-1970s) Advantages • • • Emp. on oral production Teacher models pronunciation Use of drills to reinforce grammar patterns Limitations • • Rote exercises reduce cognitive engagement Activities designed to prevent learner errors = reduced negotiation of meaning

Audiolingual Approach Activity • Drills using target grammar. – – – – – – Teacher says: TV ELLs say: TV Teacher: watching TV ELLs: watching TV Teacher: She is watching TV. ELLs: She is watching TV.

Earlier Grammar Approaches Approach/Method Advantages Limitations Cognitive Approach (1970s) • Grammar must be • taught inductively or deductively • Natural Approach (1980s) • Language is presented in a “natural” sequence • • Emphasis on analyzing structure Reduced communicative practice Grammar not explicitly taught Focus on input (listening) can delay output (speaking)

Cognitive Approach Activity • Focus on structure first: Comparatives big cheap small bigger cheaper smaller • Focus on memorizing irregular forms. good better

Current Grammar Approach Approach/Method Communicative Language Teaching (1970s-Today) Advantages • • • • • Communication is the • goal Emphasis on meaningful interaction Course includes language functions Use of authentic texts and contexts Grammar is taught after context is presented (Focus on Form) Limitations Student buy-in can be limited initially as there isn’t the focus on rules first - Savage, Bitterlin, & Price, 2010

Communicative Language Teaching Activity • Dialog substitutions with photographs – Student 1 shows a photograph & asks a question to elicit the target grammar: • What’s Brian doing? – Student 2 answers the question using the same target grammar: • He’s walking his dog. – Students switch roles after 5 turns. – Teacher notes errors and follows up with a Focus on Form.

Not ALL Grammar Matters “As teachers, we need to be aware of how the language is changing and adjust our grammar syllabus to reflect those changes. We should avoid spending time on grammar that is not commonly used.” - Savage, Bitterlin, & Price, 2010

Grammar Structure & Language Function • How do people in the students’ environment actually use the grammar? • How frequently is the grammar used? • Does the grammar occur in all four skill areas? – Spoken and written grammar are different. • Is grammar essential to conveying meaning?

Identify the Environments The environment impacts the grammar we teach. • Where do students speak English? – – – – Community Work School Home • With whom do they speak English? – – – – – Co-workers Friends Teachers Children Teachers

Function-Based Grammar The students’ functions impact the grammar we teach. Language Function Grammar Structure Describe past activities Past tense Request permission/information Modals can (informal) or may (formal) Give directions Imperatives Describe future wishes Future tense Ask questions Wh/How word order Give advice Modals should or ought to

Frequency of Use The frequency of exposure to/use of English impacts the grammar we teach. Frequency in Speech Grammar Structure Frequent exposure be going to + verb Some exposure will + verb Little exposure be + verb + -ing

Conveying Meaning Teach grammar that has the greatest impact on meaning in the mode students use most often. Impact on Speech Grammar Structure Greatest Impact: Verb tenses Past tense verbs Present tense verbs Future tense verbs Smaller Impact: Third person singular verbs Verb + -s Smallest Impact: Case Unreal conditional Subject: who Object: whom If I was vs. If I were

Teaching Implicitly or Explicitly? • Implicit teaching exposes ELLs to material containing the target grammar = context. – Helps teacher and students identify what the ELLs already know. • Explicit teaching exposes ELLs to grammar without context. Assumes students do not know the target grammar. – Less effective at identifying what ELLs know.

Teaching Implicitly or Explicitly? (cont.) • Language level – Grammar terminology doesn’t help ELLs write/speak. – It helps them talk about the structure. • Educational background – Have they learned grammar in their L1? – Do ELLs use the same terminology?

Teaching Implicitly or Explicitly? (cont.) • Goals for studying English – Employment or higher ed? • Hybrid approach of implicit and explicit meets most ELLs’ needs: – Introduces the grammar implicitly in context – Follows with explicit explanation/correction based on ELLs’ production.

Teaching Grammar Implicitly • Promotes fluency. • Pretask: – Students view, listen to, or read material containing the target grammar • teacher created or student created • photographs, podcasts, fiction/non-fiction

Teaching Grammar Implicitly (cont.) • Task: – Students identify and interact with the target grammar: • • • • Tell a story about the photograph. Circle the past tense verbs. Correct the past tense verb errors (orally or in writing). Write a paragraph about your last weekend.

Teaching Grammar Implicitly (cont.) • Post Task: – Focus on Form: • Respond to any errors created. • Provide a clear explanation with examples from Task.

Put it into Practice • Work in pairs/small groups to create a 10 min mini lesson – Focus on one grammar point. – Consider how you will group students (pairs, small groups) – Consider how you will assess what students have learned. • Teach us!

Useful Sources • Grammar Practice Activities, Ur 1988 • Teaching Grammar in Adult ESL Programs, Savage, Bitterlin, & Price 2010 • .html

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