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  1. #1
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    Default How should grammar be taught?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm teaching a few groups of students (approx. 96 of them) who joined our Intensive English Language programme where they're required to study Grammar as a subject (other than Listening/speaking, Reading and Writing) each trimester. Duration: 3 months. At the end of the trimester, they've to sit a comprehensive final exam.

    I'd like to find out how teachers in other countries teach grammar in an exam-oriented environment. We have three different levels - elementary, intermediate and advanced.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How should grammar be taught?

    I think a good way to teach grammar is through the reading of good authors like Tolkien and Lewis.

  3. #3
    nedira's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should grammar be taught?

    I think that a good way to teach grammar is to teach it indirectely through a

    meaningful context.

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    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How should grammar be taught?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedira View Post
    I think that a good way to teach grammar is to teach it indirectely through a

    meaningful context.
    Nedira, please provide a few examples of teaching grammar via contexts...
    Would you be kind enough to elaborate of this, by telling about such a session which you have taken...?

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    Default Re: How should grammar be taught?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I think a good way to teach grammar is through the reading of good authors like Tolkien and Lewis.
    ========

    Hi, thanks for the response. Well, I only wish that I could use literary texts to teach grammar but most of my students are weak in English. The majority do not use English in their own country.

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    Default Re: How should grammar be taught?

    Grammar is not taught, it is learned.

    Think about your students: you know them, nobody else on this forum does. One size fits all solutions are recipes for disasters.

  7. #7
    Trance Freak's Avatar
    Trance Freak is offline Senior Member
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    Cool Re: How should grammar be taught?

    piece of cake, grammar is the easiest subject to teach ever, & since you are a teacher, bet you are familiar with different methods, methodologies & approaches.
    4 e.g. the old GTM(Grammar Translation Method):
    Grammar Translation Method is a way of studying a lge that approaches the lge: 1st through detailed analysis of its grammar rules; followed by applications of this knowledge to the task of translating sentences and txts into & out of the targuet lge. True, reading & writing are the major focus, however, little or no systematic attention is bad 2 speaking or listening. Therefore, you may follow this procedure:
    Listen--> Speak-->Read-->Write.
    Moreover, your vocabulary selection must be based solely on the reading txts: words are taught through bilingual -word-lists dictionary study and memorization. YET, even though the translation of certain words into the Native Lge might seem 2 be efficient, it is pedagogically counterproductive (rltship btw Lexical & grammatical morphemes Vs. Motorperceptual & Motorconceptual Systems).
    when you introduce the learner to a new foreign word, this word is not based on the learner's own neurophysiological system.
    + some teachers use:
    the Accuracy-above-lge method: where grammatical correctness is emphacized. Students are prevented from manipulating lge, always stopped when making mistakes & expected 2 attain high standards in translation as well as 2 adjust grammar rules.
    student: Yesterday; I goed to the ..
    Teacher: NO NO NO NO it is NOT GOED! it is went!
    however, there is a better method; the Lge-above-Accuracy mothod where students are let to construct their own rules of accuracy & grammar & given the opportunity 2 build their mental grammar.
    Student: yesterday, I goed to the market.
    Teacher: Yes, you went!
    Student: Yes, I goed.
    Teacher: I know, you mean went.
    Student; Ah! Yesterday, I WENT to the market!

    Now this is not a method but a simple approach; the Direct method!
    It is a principle that may be explained as the association of word with "thing" in concept without using the L1/ directly introducing the "thing" in the TL.
    e.g. I use the "pen" ( you show them the pen) to write. ( & you write)
    Perception/conception
    there is an intensive focus on tapes, lge labs & visual aids; pronunciation is given a great importance & very little of the Mother tongue by teachers is permitted.
    There is also a tendency 2 manipulate lge forms & grammar rules & disregard context + little or no grammatical explanation = grammar is taught by inductive analogy rather than deductive explanation.
    dependence on imitation, memorization of set of phrases & over learning.

    HTH

  8. #8
    pmrozik is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How should grammar be taught?

    Trance Freak has already provided you with a short, but succinct overview of what teaching grammar may look like.

    I personally prefer the direct method and I've never used a student's native language to explain grammar. I always do it within context and to make sure it sticks, I try to make it personal. By making things personal I mean that you can't work on Business English examples with a teenager.

    Then again, I have the privilege of teaching one-on-one lessons, but I can easily imagine it would work just as well in groups, assuming that everyone gets involved.

    At the end of the day I think it's a 50/50 deal between teacher and student and both have to put in some effort.

    I remember having an excellent Spanish teacher back in high school, but was in a group of 40 students. I tried hard and learned quite a bit, but there were others who never got much out of it, so don't be too hard on yourself.

    Going back to grammar though, I've found that some of my more advanced students often reach a plateau and although they're fluent, they still tend to make a mistake here and there...and those mistakes are sometimes quite difficult to eliminate.

    What you really have to think about is the goal. Most of my students care very little for language certificates and exams, and may study and prepare for the sole purpose of getting some extra motivation. In many academic environments, it's a whole different ball game so if your students need to be able to answer test questions correctly, then focus on that.

    Hope this helps.

    Pawel

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