Teaching grammar

 

 The grammar of a language is the description of the way in which words change their forms and are combined into sentences in that language. If those rules are violated, communication suffers. (Nunan, 2003)

 

 

 

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Teaching GrammarDo Tuan Minh, M.A. Nguyen Huyen Minh, M.A.English DepartmentCFL - VNUWhat is grammar?	The grammar of a language is the description of the way in which words change their forms and are combined into sentences in that language. If those rules are violated, communication suffers. (Nunan, 2003) 1. Take a look at the three examples below (1) Everybody is ready now, aren’t they?(2) You’ve got a sister, have you?(3) Someone has deliberately made themselves homeless.Are they grammatically correct? If not, how would you correct them?Prescriptive GrammarAn approach to grammar presents authoritative norms about the structure of a language and determines language use correct or incorrect, good or bad according to those sets of rulesDescriptive Grammar An approach to grammar looks at how language is actually used by native speakers and from that draws out the rules of language use2. Compare these two sets of language(1) Do you understand me? (2) May I help you? (3) I want to talk with you! (1) Know what I mean?(2) Need a hand?(3) Got a second? ABSpoken & Written grammarsWritten grammar	set ASpoken grammar	set BReflection1. What would you prefer as a teacher, a descriptive or a prescriptive grammar? Why? 2. What difficulties would you encounter if you are to include spoken grammar in your teaching?No “feeling” of language like native speaker teachersTesting and assessment still based on written standard grammarLack of established materialsWhat to teach about grammar?Form: how a particular structure is formedMeaning: its meaning expressed through word or grammarUse/pragmatics: the reason why and the situation in which a particular structure is usedReflection1. Does English grammar teaching at secondary schools embody three dimensions discussed earlier? Why / why not?***2. Which dimension among them receives most attention and which one is often neglected? What might be the reasons?***Implicit and/or explicitExplicit teaching	stating directly, usually at the beginning of a particular activity, what the grammar is Implicit teaching	the learners are ‘led’ to discover the grammar for themselves through a series of guided stepsAdvantages & DisadvantagesExplicit teaching- it takes less time to prepare and teach- it makes learners feel more relaxed- it is suitable even for weak learners Implicit teaching- it is demanding for teachers and learners- it is interesting- it may help learners remember longerPPP Presentation: guided discovery of the target language in context. Practice: isolating the target language and practicing it on its own in a controlled way. Production: the learners produce the new language they have learnt on their own without the teacher Reflection1. Why do you think PPP is popular in secondary schools in Vietnam?clear and straightforwardhelpful for novice teachers2. What are some disadvantages of PPP? learners’ previous knowledge is not checkedlearners are not actively engaged until production stageteachers are the centre of the teaching and learning processDeep-end approach Production 1: teachers elicit to find out what learners don’t knowPresentation: give learners more languagePractice & Production 2Advantages and disadvantagesAdvantagesit is more learner-centredit is more interesting and motivating as it involves students moreit helps teachers and learners realize what learners don’t knowit then creates a purpose for students to learn the language. Disadvantagesit is difficult for novice teachers Task-based approach Pre-task: communicative task without specific attention on formTask cycle: report and discuss on how task is doneLanguage Focus: specific attention on features of language formPresenting grammarPresenting rule and examplesPresenting visually Presenting through situationPracticing grammarPurpose	To get students to say the new language accurately and fluentlyProcess	controlled practice  less controlled practice  free practiceSome types of practice exercisesControlled practiceRepetition; substituation; single word prompt; picture promtLess controlled practiceInformation sheet; find someone who; mapped dialogueFree practiceRole play, communicative gamesPrinciples of teaching grammar Integrate both inductive and deductive methods to your teachingUse tasks that make clear the relationship between grammatical form and communicative functionFocus on the development of procedural rather than declarative knowledgeAvoid using unfamiliar grammatical termsQ & AShould we focus on pronunciation when teaching grammar?

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