Published on February 21, 2014
Presenting & Practicing Grammar Prepared & Presented by: Mohamed Ramadan ELT Supervisor
Presenting & Practicing Grammar 1. 2. 3. 4. Main Ideas to be discussed What is grammar in ELT The importance of teaching grammar Methods of presenting grammar Grammar practice
What is grammar in ELT • the study of the classes of words, their inflections, and their functions and relations in the sentence • a system of rules that defines the grammatical structure of the language. • a set of principles or rules that define the structure of speech or writing.
The importance of teaching grammar • People use English for their day-to-day ordinary needs of speaking and writing. They may want to know how to take part in a conversation in English, or how to write a letter, or fill an application form. Such people need the plan (grammar) of English, though not perhaps as deeply as someone like the grammarian. • So grammar helps to know the plan of the language. You will have greater control of the language when learning grammar.
Grammar Presentation It refers to how the teacher introduces the meaning & form of a certain grammatical structure
Grammar Presentation There are two main methods for presenting grammatical structures: •The deductive method and •The inductive method
The deductive method Explicit presentation • teaching through rules (the rule is provided followed by the provision of examples in which the rule is applied).. The teacher presents and explains the rule clearly, then gives examples to apply the rule
The disadvantages of deductive method • Grammar is taught in an isolated way; • Little attention is paid to meaning; • The practice is often mechanical.
The advantages of deductive method • It could be very successful with selected and motivated students. • It could save time when students are confronted with a grammar rule which is complex but which has to be learned. • It may help to increase pupil’s confidence in those examinations which are written with accuracy as the main criterion of success.
The inductive method implicit presentation • teaching through examples (students are provided with several examples from which a rule is inferred).. The teacher gives many examples including the rule, then asks students to derive the rule from the examples
The inductive method • In the inductive method, the teacher encourages the learners to realise grammar rules without any form of explicit explanation. • It is believed that the rules will become clear if the students are given enough appropriate examples. • It is believed that the inductive method is more effective because students discover the grammar rules themselves while engaged in language use.
Presenting grammar inductively • • • • Use actions Set up situations Make dialogues Ask students to listen to a dialogue, and then answer questions highlight the target structure • Ask students to read a text, and then answer questions highlight the target structure
Grammar practice • Practice is defined as any kind of learners’ use of the language with the objective of consolidating learning
Six factors contribute to successful practice: 1. Pre-learning. Learners benefit from clear perception and short-term memory of the new language. 2. Volume and repetition. The more exposure to or production of language the learners have, the more likely they are to learn. 3. Success-orientation. Practice is most effective when based on successful guide.
4. Heterogeneity. Practice should be able to elicit different sentences and generate different levels of answers from different learners. 5. Teacher assistance. The teacher should provide suggestions, hints and prompts. 6. Interest. an essential feature that is closely related to concentration
Two Categories of Practice: Mechanical practice and Meaningful practice
Mechanical practice Mechanical practice involves activities that are aimed at achieving accuracy. e.g. • Substitution, and • Transformation drills:
Substitution Substitute the underlined part with the proper forms of the given words: green lawn clean house pretty garden nice flowers Mrs Green has the largest house in town.
Transformation Change the following sentences into the past tense. Use the adverbs given in the brackets. • Now he lives in London. (last year, Paris) • We have English and maths today. (yesterday, music and P.E.)
Meaningful practice • In meaningful practice the focus is on the production, comprehension or exchange of meaning, though the students “keep an eye on” the way newly learned structures are used in the process. e.g. After the presentation and mechanical practice of adjective comparatives and superlatives:
Pair work: Look at the table below. Rank the items on the left column according to the criteria listed on the top. Cheap Water Healthy Important √ √ √ × × × Fruit Cigarettes Alcohol Milk
The students may come up with: • I think water is healthier than fruit. • No, no, I think fruit is healthier than water.
Examples of Grammar Practice
1- Using chain of events Teacher: Now lets play a game. The first student starts a sentence with a second conditional clause. The next student takes the result of the sentence, reforms it into another condition and suggests a further result. For example, the first student says “If I had a million dollars, I would buy a yacht”. The second students says “If I bought a yacht, I would go for a sail”. …
The students may come up with: • If I went for a sail, there might be a storm. • If there were a storm, my yacht would sink. • If my yacht sank, I would die. • If I died, my parents would cry. •…
2- Using prompts Practice based on prompts is usually meaningful practice. • Using picture prompts. • Using mime or gestures as prompts. • Using information sheet as prompts. • Using key phrase or key words as prompts. • Using chained phrases for story telling. • Using created situations.
Using information sheet as prompts Names Favourite subjects Favourite sports Favourite food Hobbies Lily Maths basketball pork music Susan Chinese Ping-pong eggs reading David English football ice-cream collecting stamps Teacher: What about you? Tell your neighbour.
Using created situations: for simulative communication • You are a stranger in this town. You want to buy some fruit, you want to post a letter, and you also want to see a movie at night. Ask about the places.
• There was a robbery yesterday in the neighbourhood. A policeman is asking some questions to three of the neighbours, A, B, and C. Write the questions A: at work; came back at 6:30 p.m.; did not see anybody. B: a student; came back at 4:30 p.m.; saw a young man going upstairs… C: an old man; stayed at home; heard some strange noise at 5:00 p.m.; came out to find a tall young man…
Some suggestions about teaching grammar 1. Teach only those rules that are simple and typical. 2. Teach useful and important grammar points. 3. Teach grammar in context. 4. Use visible instruments such as charts, tables, diagrams, maps, drawings, and realia to aid understanding; 5. Avoid difficult grammatical terminologies as much as possible. 6. Allow enough opportunities for practice. 7. Live with the students’ mistakes and errors.
A task for you • Suppose you have just presented the simple past tense to pupils in the prep. school. Design a meaningful practice activity.
For further reading You may start with any of these pages. • • English Grammar Blog English Grammar - What it is and How Much it Covers • Understanding English Sentences
End of Presentation Thank you!
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