From Published Elt Materials English Language Essay

Grammar has ever been a outstanding issue in English linguistic communication learning. Several inquiries have been raised in literature refering its instruction. The first is whether grammar should be taught. Based on the research into realistic L2 acquisition rule, Krashen ( 1981, as cited in Ellis, 2001 ) and subsequently Schwartz ( 1993, as cited in Ellis, 2001 ) claimed that langue should be learned by natural exposure and grammar direction is of small value. However, subsequent research has indicated that grammar instruction could lend to scholars ‘ attainment in both truth and eloquence ( Ellis, 2006 ; Nho, 2005 ) .

The 2nd is when it should be taught. There are two contradictory positions. One of them suggests that grammar should be taught from early phase, since it is hard for scholars to acquire rid of an wrong wont one time they have formed it ( Ellis, 2006 ) . The other supports that it is better to get down with meaning-focused direction and get down grammar instruction when “ scholars have already began to organize their lingua francas ” ( Ellis, 2006, p 90 ) .

Another contention is how it should be taught. By detecting lessons, varied processs for grammar instruction can be found. The Teacher may foremost explicate a preselected grammatical construction to scholars and allow them pattern it ; he/she may steer scholars to detect grammar regulations through exposure to reading or listening stuffs with theoretical account forms ; they may rectify scholars ‘ grammatical mistakes and give pattern on them after scholars perform a communicative undertaking ( Ellis, 2006 ) .

Different processs for grammar instruction are shaped by different attacks to languge direction. In general, there are two types: form-focused and meaning-focused ( Ellis, 2001 ) . The former refers to “ direction where there is some effort to pull scholars ‘ attending to grammar ” while the latter refers to instruction where scholars merely “ attend to the content of what they want to pass on ” ( Stern, 1990, as Cited in Ellis, 2001 ) . Form-focused direction can be farther divided into focus-on-forms and focus-on-form ( Long, 1991, as cited in Ellis, 2001 ) . Among assorted learning attacks, the Grammar Translation Method and the Audio-lingual Method belong to the former ; Communicative Language Teaching ( CLT ) , Content-based Instruction ( CBI ) and Task-based Instruction ( TBI ) belong to the latter. Meaning-focused direction includes the Natural Approach and the Immersion plan.

The rubric seems to bespeak that this essay has to analyse assorted attacks and happen out the best 1s instructors can utilize for learning grammar. However, it is evident that it fails to denominate a specific group of scholars. There does non look to be one or certain effectual attacks providing to all contexts. Elementss such as scholars ‘ degrees, ages and demands influence the manner instructors teach grammar in their lessons ( Celce-Murcia, 1991 ) . In consequence, the essay will research the nature of different attacks and the instruction of grammar within them while besides taken into history specific acquisition and learning contexts they can suit in. It will be divided into four chief parts. The first portion will analyze in item the variables instructors should take into history when doing picks of learning attacks. The following subdivision will discourse five learning methods which are focus-on-forms. The 3rd subdivision will research focus-on-form attacks: CLT and TBI. This paper will non discourse meaning-focused direction because small instruction of grammar is involved in this attack. It is deserving detecting that the essay is non an dog-tired study of learning methods and the attacks or methods analyzed are by no means the lone 1s relevant to each type of attack to grammar.

Variables related to picks of attacks

When taking an attack for a lesson, a instructor ‘s determination should be based on the characteristics of his/her scholars. The instructor has to take into history many scholar variables. These are scholars ‘ ages, larning manners, proficiency degrees, educational and cultural background and acquisition intents.

Learners of different ages have varied demands, competencies, and cognitive procedure ( Harmer, 2006 ) . For case, immature kids have higher language-acquiring ability, which means that they are really likely to go adept talkers through adequate exposure to the linguistic communication ( Harmer, 2007 ) . However, striplings or grownups may necessitate “ some expressed focal point on signifier ” to ease their acquisition ( Ellis, 2006, p463 ) .

Students learn new things in their ain ways. For illustration, scholars of an analytic manner learn best by “ formulating and proving hypotheses or regulations ” ( Ellis, 2006, p463 ) . In this instance, linguistic communication should be taught in an inductive manner. Some possibly concrete cleaners and prefer to larn linguistic communication from direct experience of utilizing it ( Harmer, 2006 ) .

Often scholars are divided into novices, pre-intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced scholars harmonizing to their degrees of proficiency. Materials and activities used have to fit their degrees. For illustration, it is unwise for novices to discourse an abstract or complex subject with respect to the linguistic communication available at their degree ( Harmer, 2006 ) . Drill concentrating on a simple form can be feasible for novices, but is possibly inappropriate for advanced scholars ( Harmer, 2007 ) .

Cultural and educational background to big extent decide scholars ‘ attitude toward larning, larning manner and schoolroom behaviour. Learners who are good educated may necessitate more focal point on the “ formal facets of the linguistic communication ” ( Ellis, 2006 ) . Learners from educational civilizations being used to “ larning by rote ” may prefer deductive acquisition of linguistic communication.

Learning intent is another factor to see. There are general English, survival English, English for Specific Purposes ( ESP ) and English for Academic Purpose ( EAP ) . For EAP scholars, their English is expected to achieve high degree of truth. Consequently, their instruction needs more focal point on signifier.

These five variables all affect the importance of grammar for scholars and the effectivity of a instruction attack. In add-on, there are still several other factors related to pick of learning attacks, such as scholars ‘ motive and larning contexts ( EFL or ESL, school types, category sizes ( Harmer, 2007 ) . This essay will non explicate them in item.

2. Focus-on-forms Approach

Focus-on-forms is based on the premise that “ acquisition is a procedure of roll uping distinguishable entities ‘ ( Ellis, 2001 ) . The purpose of such direction is to larn a preset linguistic communication point. Depending on whether the grammatical regulations are generalized and presented to scholars, it can be divided into expressed focus-on-form ( regulations presented ) and inexplicit focus-on-form ( regulations non presented ) ( Dekeyser, 1995 as cited in Ellis, 2001 ) . Further, regulations can be imparted to scholars both deductively and inductively. If scholars arrive at regulations themselves by “ analysing informations incorporating examples of the characteristic in inquiry ” , they learn inductively ; if regulations are presented to them, they learn deductively.

2.1 The Grammar Translation Method

The Grammar Translation Method, used to be a method for learning Latin and Greek, became a prevailing method in Europe for learning modern linguistic communications such as English and French ( Richards, Schmidt, Kendrick & A ; Kim, 2005 ) . It emphasizes the truth of linguistic communication and shows a bias towards composing and reading competencies. Although it is regard as antique and criticized for its disregard of communicative usage of linguistic communication, it is still used today at some universities in a few states such as Japan and China ( Keita, 2009 ; Wang & A ; Cheng, 2009 ) .

By this method, grammar is taught explicitly and deductively as sets of regulations which are presented and explained in scholars ‘ first linguistic communication ( L1 ) and practiced through written exercisings ( Lowe, 2003 ) . A typical process would be like this: the instructor preselects one or more sentences out of the “ text for today ” , points out the constructions of them, explains the regulations of the constructions and gives pupils some sentence -making and sentence-translating exercisings on the constructions. In add-on, the text is frequently accompanied by a bilingual word list. The lesson Net income of Praise ( Appendix 1 ) is taken from College English: intensive reading ( Qu, 1999 ) , a text edition used at most universities in China merely several old ages ago. It could be a lesson stuff for the Grammar Translation Method. First, it presents a long transition without any pre-reading undertakings. Followed the transition is a list of vocabulary with pronunciation, portion of address, and interlingual rendition in Chinese. Next are some notes for the transition chiefly to high spot and explicate the cardinal constructions. The last portion consists of more than ten written exercisings such as sentence revising, clean filling and sentence translating. Normally, the instructor attaches great importance to the Chinese- to-English interlingual rendition exercising which will be left for scholars as written assignment He/she will look into and give feedback on their replies.

Despite much unfavorable judgment it has received, this method has helped legion people learnt English to a high degree ( Bowen, n.d. ) . True, it is non suited for learning scholars of general English who want to larn it for day-to-day communicating or merely for a travel to an English-speaking state. However, sing its systematic intervention of grammar regulations, it is advisable to integrate this method into certain ESP classs such as English for academic authorship and English for legal paperss which demand high grammatical truth.

2.2. The Direct Method

The Direct method, one of the Natural Methods, was developed as a reaction against the Grammar Translation Method. It emphasizes talking and listening and advocators target linguistic communication merely in the schoolroom ; it encompasses the thought that a 2nd or foreign linguistic communication could be learned by following the manner native-speakers learn it ( Richards & A ; Rogers, 2001 ; Richards, Schmidt, Kendrick & A ; Kim, 2005 ) .

By this method, although no expressed instruction of grammar regulations is involved, right grammar is emphasized ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) . Normally the instructor presents a duologue or short text at the beginning of the lesson ; so phrases and sentences in it are taught through the manner of the instructor inquiring inquiries and scholars replying ; significance of linguistic communication points are demonstrated through the usage of objects, images and action merely like how a babe learns its female parent lingua ( Richards & A ; Rogers, 2001 ) .

Since the Direct Method operates on the rule of realistic L1 acquisition, that is to larn the linguistic communication as its native talkers, it is hard to implement in EFL schoolrooms of regular schools. For one ground, there are non adequate instructors “ who are native English talker or who have native-like eloquence ” ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001, p13 ) . For another, due to large category size, clip restriction and unequal exposure to English, it is impractical for such EFL scholars to larn English through the manner native talkers master it. However, it could be a executable method to be applied to learn immature scholars in bilingual schools or in ESL environment for such scholars have much more clip and chances to pass on native English talkers. Even for these scholars, larning would be more effectual if the method could be combined with some grammar-based activity, for illustration, prep on grammar. It is besides a feasible method for lower-level unwritten classs in private preparation centre, in which scholars merely want to pick up some day-to-day English.

Due to the fact it distorts the “ similarities between realistic L1 acquisition and schoolroom foreign linguistic communication acquisition, it bit by bit declined though it is still used in some private linguistic communication schools ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) . Subsequently, the Audio-lingual Method in American and the Structural-situational Method in UK came into laterality.

2.3 The Audio-lingual Method

The Audio-lingual Method was developed from the method American ground forces used to develop its military man over the universe in foreign linguistic communications during the Second World War. It draws on the behaviourist theory of larning that linguistic communication acquisition is a procedure of wont formation ( Harmer, 2006 ) . Similar to the Direct Method, it emphasizes talking competency and advocates that scholars be taught in L2 straight ; the difference is that this method focuses on the usage of grammatical constructions ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) .

By this method, grammar is taught implicitly. Grammar forms, sequenced from basic to complex, are learned trusting on unwritten drills, for illustration, repeat, permutation, completion and transmutation ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) . By little stairss, scholars are doing new sentences of mark forms. By the design of drills, the possibility of mistakes is reduced. Once there is an mistake, it will shortly be corrected. After scholars have practiced a construction in assorted contexts, scholars get to cognize the functions without consciousness ( Harmer, 2006 ) . Take the form “ I went to + topographic point + clip ” as an illustration, a typical Audio-lingual drill will be like this:

Teacher: I went to the film last Sundayaˆ¦ repetition

Students: I went to the film last Sunday.

Teacher: The library

Students: I went to the library last Sunday.

Teacher: The infirmary

Students: I went to the infirmary last Sunday.

Teacher: The twenty-four hours before yesterday

Students: I went to the infirmary the twenty-four hours before yesterday.

Critics of this method suggest that linguistic communication constructions are de-contextualized and their map and usage are neglected. It is besides criticized for its effort to ostracize errors, which is against the belief that larning from mistake is portion of the acquisition procedure ( Harmer, 2006 ) . Consequences of practical direction were found to be unsated: scholars frequently felt tiring in category and were unable to use the forms in real-life communicating ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) . Therefore, all grounds seems to bespeak that the Audio-lingual Method is non an effectual attack for scholars to internalise and use grammar forms.

2.4 The Structural-situational Method: Presentation, Practice and Production

In UK, there appeared a instruction method referred to as the Structural-situational Method about at the same clip as the Audio-lingual Method did in America. These two methods are similar except that the former contextualize the mark linguistic communication, giving it the societal significance ( Lowe, 2003 ) . This attack led to the well-known process: Presentation, Practice and Production ( PPP ) .

While the process is based on expressed grammar course of study, grammar is really taught implicitly. Teachers foremost situationalize the mark linguistic communication point, and show it to the scholars. Learners so pattern the point under instructor ‘s control through “ accurate reproduction techniques ” which are similar to the Audio-lingual drills mentioned above but carry more significance as they are put in contexts ( Harmer, 2006, p80 ) . In the production phase, scholars are given free pattern to utilize the new linguistic communication point, for illustration, doing their ain sentences or executing a function drama.

A lesson program for simple degree by Barroso ( 1985 ) on the present tense of must for showing duty illustrates the PPP process ( Appendix 2 ) . The lesson is on the present tense of must for showing duty. The linguistic communication is ab initio contextualized by a image and a recorded duologue between two work forces in the image. The instructor so draws scholars ‘ attending to the average looks in the duologue. The looks are practiced through chorus and single drills, blanking make fulling exercising and at last a function drama as freer pattern. Concept look intoing technique is employed to clear up the significance of the looks.

Despite the earlier unfavorable judgment that it is teacher-centered and explains linguistic communication larning procedure as line drive, PPP and its fluctuations, such as ESA, are still used in ESL and EFL schoolroom ( Harmer, 2006 ) . It could be effectual to learn lower-level scholars who lack sufficient linguistic communication and need the instructor ‘s usher and control ; but it does non work at higher degree, for such scholars may experience drills are tiring and unchallenging, and therefore may be demotivated.

2.5 The Deductive Learning and Inductive Learning

The Deductive Learning is an attack to linguistic communication learning stressing the survey of grammar regulations. By this attack, scholars are foremost presented with regulations and modals of the mark linguistic communication point and so use the regulation to bring forth right linguistic communication ( Ellis, 2006 ; Richards, Schmidt, Kendrick & A ; Kim, 2005 ) . It is claimed that errors can be avoided if an expressed account of regulations is given at the beginning ( Peck, 1998 ) .

In contrast, the Inductive Learning emphasizes the usage of linguistic communication instead than the survey of linguistic communication regulations. By this attack, scholars are exposed to examples of mark form ; Grammatical regulations are left to be discovered and generalized by scholars themselves ( Ellis, 2006 ; Richards, Schmidt, Kendrick & A ; Kim, 2005 ) .

The undermentioned two grammar learning stuffs on the inactive signifier severally represent these two attacks of grammar instruction ( Appendix 3 ) . The one taken from New cutting border: intermediate ( Cunningham & A ; Moor, 2008 ) follows an inductive manner, in which scholars are guided to generalise regulations through analysing the average sentences while the one from Grammar and vocabulary for Cambridge advanced and proficiency ( Side & A ; Wellman, 1999 ) demonstrates the Deductive Learning by naming out complex regulations foremost.

Research consequences back uping both attacks have been found ( Ellis, 2006 ) . Therefore, refering which one to be employed, every instructor has to see the acquisition manners of scholars. The Deductive Learning caters to those may larn efficaciously by reading and memorising regulations, while the Inductive Learning is feasible for those of analytic manner merely every bit mentioned in the first subdivision.

2.6 Consciousness-raising

CR is a learning attack concentrating on facets of grammar without leaving regulations and rules straight ( Yip, 1994 ) . It is similar to the Inductive Learning ( Butler-Tanaka, 1998 ) . It is based on the thought that schoolroom instruction is to assist scholars to notice and go cognizant of the linguistic communication characteristic small by small instead than to learn it for immediate command ( Lowe, 2003 ) . By this attack, scholars are first given one or more C-R undertakings. Through the completion of the undertakings, they are expected to detect and generalise for themselves the regulations of the mark linguistic communication point. Ellis ( 1993 ) divides C-R undertakings into three types: grammar consciousness-raising undertakings, reading undertakings and focussed communicating undertakings.

A transcript of stuff ( Appendix 4 ) on utilizing traveling and will for future connotations ( Soars & A ; Soars, 2000 ) is a good illustration of reading undertakings, which focus on “ an facet of reading ” ( Nitta & A ; Gardner, 2005, p5 ) . Through the exercisings, scholars are expected to detect the inexplicit difference between will and traveling to constructions when they are used to show connotations.

3. Focus-on-form attack

In focus-on-form lessons, the primary focal point is on significance and attending to signifiers is to run into the demand of communicative undertaking ( Ellis, 2001 ) . It is different from focus-on signifiers whose overruling focal point is on grammatical points and mean-focused direction which rejected any sort of expressed grammar instruction.

3.1 Communicative Language Teaching

Communicative Language Teaching was developed in two phases: the functional-notional type in the 1970s and the proficiency orientation in the1980s. The first type groups spots of linguistic communication harmonizing to communicative maps such as inviting, kicking and offering. This portion merely focuses on the 2nd type. Embracing the position that the ultimate end of larning a linguistic communication is communicating instead than command of linguistic communication signifiers, CLT is an attack concentrating on developing scholars ‘ communicative competency through interaction in the mark linguistic communication ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) .

In CLT lessons, the instructor chiefly uses games, function dramas, stimulations, and reliable stuffs such as advertizement and newspapers, to advance active linguistic communication usage ( Harmer, 2006 ) . Learners are encouraged to utilize a assortment of linguistic communication signifiers when interacting in groups to execute activities ; the instructor ‘s function is to ease communicating when it is needed ( Harmer, 2006 ) . As CLT emphasizes eloquence, it merely focuses on linguistic communication on occasion when there are linguistic communication jobs originating by the way out of public presentation on undertakings. Although small research have been done on the effectivity of communicative attack in bettering truth, a survey by A-geyik and DoAYruer ( 2009 ) shows that it is utile among scholars at intermediate degree.

CLT has been criticized for its comparatively uncontrolled rang of linguistic communication usage and for its chase of eloquence at the disbursal of truth ( Harmer, 2006 ) . However, merely because of this “ uncontrolled ” characteristic which could make a more interesting acquisition environment, it could be applied on occasion in regular categories, in unwritten workshops or in spoken preparation classs. It seems uneffective in some civilizations where it is a instructor ‘s cardinal function to command the instruction procedure and impart cognition.

3.2 The Task-based Direction

TBI, the weak signifier of the Communicative Approach, is a learning attack focal point on the successful completion of real-life or pedagogical undertakings based on which the lesson is organized and linguistic communication direction is arranged ( Nunan, 2004 ; Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2006 ) . Language acquisition is taking topographic point when scholars are engaged actively and purposefully in interaction to finish a undertaking.

A typical TBI lesson can be split into three basic phases: the Pre-task, the Task- rhythm and Language focal point ( Willis, 1996 as cited in Harmer, 2006 ) . By this attack, grammar instruction may be occurred before and/or after scholars ‘ acting of the undertaking. In the Pre-task, after presenting the subject and undertaking to scholars, the instructor may give brief pattern on some utile words and phrases if needed. In the Task-cycle, scholars perform the undertaking in braces or groups, plan the undertaking study and at last study on the undertaking in verbal or in composing signifier ; teacher ‘s function is to supervise scholars ‘ public presentation and note down the mistakes to be right and successful linguistic communication usage for ulterior pattern. In the last phase, instructor analyzes both scholars ‘ mistakes and good linguistic communication usage and giving pattern on them.

A lesson program on Planing a circuit in the book Task-based acquisition ( French republics, 2006 ) serves as a good illustration of TBI lesson ( Appendix 5 ) . The instructor first asks lead-in inquiries to elicit scholars ‘ involvement in the subject. Following, he/she introduces the undertaking and recommends a five-day circuit of England as an illustration of the undertaking. He/she arranges an exercising to pre-teach utile forms for the undertaking. Much of clip is devoted to scholars ‘ readying, dry run, and presentation of the undertaking. At last, the instructor gives feedback on good linguistic communication usage and farther betterment.

Critics suggest that TBI is non applicable at lower degree because it is excessively demanding for scholars who do non hold adequate linguistic communication cognition to finish the undertaking independently ( Harmer, 2006 ) . However, this job could be solved by choosing undertakings within their competency. Good illustrations are undertakings designed by the Bangalore Project, for case, pulling figures and formations or building a floor program of a house harmonizing to verbal instructions ( Richards & A ; Rodgers, 2001 ) . This method can be applied in concern English class with concern activities as the undertakings such as telephoning, client-entertaining, advertisement and negotiating, for the larning intent of such scholars is likely to pass on with certain truth.

This subdivision introduces nine instruction methods. Nature of the methods is discussed. Their intervention of grammar is explored and illustrated by published instruction stuffs. However, these methods are merely a little a little part of the instruction attacks and methods available to instructors. There are many other methods such as the Natural Approach ( different from Natural methods ) , the Lexical Approach, CLT and the Cooperative Language Learning. The essay will non discourse them in item.


As clarified at the beginning, it is improbable to happen the most effectual attacks available to instructors for learning grammar without a clear specification of the instruction and larning contexts. The rubric ( inquiry ) is based on an premise that all scholars can utilize the same attacks. However, it can be concluded from above treatment that no individual attack caters to all types of scholars. Learners have varied acquisition manners, degrees of proficiency, larning intents, educational and cultural background. In add-on, to different types of scholars, grammar is non every bit of import. These factors all influence the suitableness and effectivity of the attacks and methods. When a instructor makes pick of attacks, he/she have to take these elements in to careful consideration.

As can be seem, different instruction attacks and methods are based on different rules and premises, and dainty grammar in different ways. Some focal point merely on grammar, peculiarly the Grammar Translation Method while others integrate intending with grammar such as teach the grammar explicitly such as TBI. Some teach linguistic communication signifiers explicitly, for illustration the Deductive Learning while others do it implicitly such as the Audio-lingual method. Some present grammar regulations deductively while others do it inductively. It seems arbitrary to province which sorts of intervention is superior to others.

Recently, there is a voice advocates modern integrated instructors who are “ able to utilize any attacks from the past every bit long as it is appropriate and utile ” ( Lowe, 2003 ) . It merely reflects that there are no most effectual attacks fit in all contexts, but merely approaches appropriate in specific state of affairs.

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