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Grammar

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Alejandra Luz Tursi

on 11 November 2014

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Transcript of Grammar

Grammar and language learning.
Learners internalize grammar gradually.
Why grammar?
What is grammar?
• It is an integral part of the language we use in everyday communication, major influence in syllabus design and focal point of many classroom exercises.
Syntax
How words can (or cannot) be combined in sentences, bringing meaning into a degree of focus.
Which grammar? Product and process
Grammar as product:
Focusing on particular grammatical forms and their associated meanings.
Grammar
Think of....how an understanding of grammar helped you to learn English
Just as
Hymes
(1972) was able to say that there are rules of grammar that would be useless without rules of language use, so we feel that there are rules of language use that would be useless without rules of grammar”
(Scarcella & Oxford)
Important parts of Grammar which help us to identify grammatical forms which serve to enhance and sharpen the expression of meaning:
The ways in which words can be systematically modified through alternations and additions. It helps us to convey time, number and gender.
Morphology
The ability to understand and use morphology and syntax. It has come to include all aspects of language dealing with vocabulary and mechanics, as well as with morphology and syntax. Grammar is teachable […] although it is impossible to alter developmental sequences in the acquisition of grammar. The optimum development of grammar competence requires that grammar be presented in meaningful, authentic language contexts.
(Scarcella & Oxford)

GRAMMATICAL
COMPETENCE

Product Perspective
(noticing and structure by focusing on forms and meanings)
Three approaches to grammar teaching.

Teaching grammar as product
Noticing activities
• Clear framework.
Strengths of Product Teaching:
Two types of activities:
Activities which have learners working around target grammar, carefully structured FOR the learner.
Activities which require active structuring BY the learner.
• We cannot be sure that the activity will lead to the ability to use grammar in real-life communication.
Weaknesses of Product Teaching:
Skills and strategies of the discourse process.

Teaching grammar as process
• Meaningful and purposeful language use.
‘Task-based’. Candlin (1987)
Characteristics:
Careful attention to task design.
Teachers should:
Regulate planning time.
Teaching Grammar as a skill
Teach learners the skill of using and attending to grammar in language use.
Noticing
.
FOCUS ON FORM IN CLASSROOM SLA – Daughty & Williams
Should there be any attention to L form at all?
Goal:
attention to form but is not isolated from communication
Classroom Learning contexts and condition:

Pedagogical decisions:
1. WHETHER OR NOT TO FOCUS ON FORM (FOF)
Proactive: in advance
2. REACTIVE VS. PROACTIVE FOF
Reactive:
3. THE CHOICE OF LINGUISTIC FORM.

The learning context
Bibliography:
Batstone, Rob. 1994. Grammar. Oxford.

Doughty, C. & Williams, J. 1998. Focus on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition. CUP.

Scarcella, R. & Oxford, R. 1992. The tapestry of Language Learning. Heinle and Heinle Publishers.

Willis, D. and Willis, J. 1996. Challange and Change. Heinemann.
THANKS FOR LISTENING!!!
Consciousness-raising activities
(Willis & Willis)
It has been part of the language teaching for a very long time
Definitions of C-R:
Children
Adults
Adolescents
4. BILL STOOD UP AND ANNOUNCED THAT HE AND JANE WOULD BE MARRYING IN THE SPRING.
3. BILL STAND UP ANNOUNCE THAT HE AND JANE MARRY IN THE SPRING
2. UP AND HE THAT THE IN BILL JANE STAND ANNOUNCE SPRING MARRY
1. X P T A Q E W T
Read carefully the four sentences:
Language without grammar would leave us handicapped.
E.g. Bill stand up announce that he and Jane marry in the spring.
E.g. Bill stood up and announced that he and Jane would be marrying in the spring.
Grammar as process:
The ways in which grammar is deployed from moment to moment in real-time communication.
Grammar in language use (
process perspective): Practice in language use to use it effectively in communication.
Descriptive Grammars
(product perspective): ‘finishing post’ grammar (the grammatical knowledge and skills employed by the fully proficient user of the language) (
Static view of Grammar)
• T
eaching Grammar as Skill
(carefully guidance to utilize grammar for their own communication) For example: learners may work in groups reflecting on the quality of the language they have just used in a process task.

Process Perspective
(practice in the skill of language use to proceduralize knowledge)
Consciousness-raising activities.
- Multiple representation model:
analysis (figuring out the rules) and restructuring (organising those rules for efficient and fluent use)
 Alternative views
- The “noninterface position” (Krashen)
- Critical Period
- The form is part of UG and so cannot result in real change:
- Unnecessary
 Instructions may be inefficient because:
3. Task essentialness: the structures must be used, even though they are more easily incorporated into comprehensions tasks.
2. Task utility: it is possible to complete a task without the structure, but with it, the task becomes easier.
1. Task naturalness: the grammatical form arises naturally.
3 degrees of involvement of a linguistic form in a task (Loschky and Bley –Vroman 1993)
good – *the goodest/most good
expensive – the most expensive
beautiful – *the beautifulest
cute – the cutest
Ex: Overgeneralization
• FOF causes later noticing in the input and so facilitates internalization.
• Learners acquire knowledge first and then gain control over it
• Learners do internalise advance L (input for future restricting)
• Impractical, given the wide range of learner abilities
- The teacher should be aware of the constraints of the developmental readiness. However, Lightbown argues against this idea:
- Few studies on the effectiveness of unplanned instructional intervention.
- On-demand nature
- Difficult
 Disadvantages:
- Recasts of learner utterances are more effective than teacher models. However, recast is not the most effective feedback technique.
-Choosing the form to focus on is restricted to classroom errors that are “pervasive”, “systematic”, and “remediable”
 Advantages:
The teacher should notice and be prepared (have ready techniques) to handle learning difficulties as they rise draw learners’ attention to them (Long 1991)- Lesson is focus in meaning (CLT).
Hypothesis: rules with high reliability and broad scope (most useful and recommended to be selected first for syllabus) are acquired before these with low reliability and narrow scope.
Reliable rules are easier to learn and teach.
Complexity is related to reliability (Hulstijn & De Graaff 1994) which refers to how dependable a rule is.
3. Rare structures across Ls are likely to be acquired late and those that are relatively common will be acquired early.
2. Some “core” meaning may be acquired before more peripheral ones.
1. staged acquisition of a system ≠ relative order of acquisition of forms /structures.
 Processing Explanations:
Reactive Approach: decide which problematic form not to react to.
Proactive Approach: decide which form to focus on.
Factors
- Automatization
- Hypothesis testing
- Restructuring
- Cognitive comparison
- Noticing gaps or holes
- Noticing
The learning process to be engaged
- Status in IL, e.g., emergent ,errored, stabilised
 Relation to L1 form
 Frequency in the input
 Nature of the rule
- Inherent characteristics
The form
- Educational goals
- Educational background
- Proficiency
- Age
The learners
- Classroom constraints
- Availability of input
 Typological explanations:
Process:
 The requirement that learners ‘utilize intellectual effort’ to understand the targeted feature.
 The provision of data which illustrate the targeted feature
 The attempt to isolate a specific linguistic feature for focused attention ( we identify particular features and draw the learners’ attention specifically to these)
Experiment
Hypothesize
Observe
• Flexibility: vary emphasis given to form and meaning
• Quite rapid learning of explicit grammatical forms.
• Focus on specific aspects, without all the demands of real-time language use.
• Motivating effect on learners.
• It has little effect on spontaneous language use.
• It offers no explicit opportunity for proceduralization.
• It is only selected features of language use which the learners work with.
‘Task-based’. Candlin (1987)
Self-expression of language use.
Self-discovery, facilitated by consciousness-raising
• They raise learners’ awareness of the processes of language use, and encourage them to reflect on their own language use.
• They are challenging, yet not excessively demanding.
• They involve learners.
• Flexibility in resolving problems their own way.
Encourage self-expression, through arguments and debates.
Regulate context-gap.
Regulate topic and familiarity.
Regulation of language use.
Principled process activity, as opposed to unprincipled process activity.
Interlanguage stretching.
Opportunities for language use.
Guidance.
Re-notice and restructure
.
Reflection
.
Grammaticization.
Classroom ESL / Classroom EFL
Which takes you most time to read and which least?
Gold- Preliminary English Test-Coursebook- Clare Walsh & Lindsay Warwick-Pearson
Enterprise-Grammar2-Virginia Evans & Jenny Dooley- Express Publishing
English File-Third Edition (Intermediate Student's Book)- Christina Latham-Koenig & Clive Oxenden- Oxford University Press
Magic Time 1- Davis, Gerngross, Holzmann & Puchta- Longman
Three Phases in learning grammar:
Noticing: input-intake-significant language
Structuring: formulating hypothesis, restructuring, re-noticing
Proceduralization: automatic processing- fossilization
Opportunities for language use in the classroom are vital
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