Grammar and its Teaching: Challenging the Myth
Please read the article is by Diane Larsen-Freeman,
who is now with the University of Michigan.http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/larsen01.html
Grammar is often misunderstood in the language teaching field. The misconception lies in the view that grammar is a collection
of arbitrary rules about static structures in the language. Further questionable claims are that the structures do not have
to be taught, learners will acquire them on their own, or if the structures are taught, the lessons that ensue will be boring.
Consequently, communicative and proficiency-based teaching approaches sometimes unduly limit grammar instruction. Of the many
claims about grammar that deserve to be called myths, this digest will challenge ten.
I want you to post a reaction
to this article; more information is provided in the discussion item Myths.
Grammaring: Form, Meaning, and Use Webcast
RealAudio web cast - Grammaring
Watch the Form, Meaning and Use Video Webcast by clicking on one the above link. The web cast takes about an hour. Then
comment on it in the Discussion item by the same name.
a. Focus your comments on the framework of Form, Meaning, and Use. In what ways do you see it being useful in analyzing
b. What are your thoughts on “Grammaring.”
Again ask any clarification questions you may have.
Note: You will need RealPlayer to view the webcast and the link tells you how to get it for free if you do not
What is Grammar Assignment Due Jan 18
1. Read chapter 1 What is grammar?
2. Complete the tasks on page 157 and 158.
3. After reading this chapter and
drawing upon what we have studied thus far (Myths; Grammaring), write 100 – 150 words on what is grammar.
write (as much or as little as you like) on what you think about conceptualizing grammar rules along the three categories
presented in the book. Will these categories be helpful to us as we think about how to present grammar to our students?
For this assignment, I am going to have you post it directly in the discussion link, What is Grammar. Post the
a. Answers to the Tasks
b. Questions about the Tasks (if any)
c. What is Grammar…(your 100-150 words
on the topic)
d. Grammar Rules…(your reaction to the three categories)
How to Analyze a Grammar Point Due Jan 21
This week we will also start thinking about how we can
best analyze a grammar point. To do so, I have prepared a worksheet that presents some of the things we should think about.
It is attached as a word file and can be downloaded below.
However, before we start working with the analysis sheet,
I would like us to do some work on parts of speech. I have taken the liberty of assigning you a part of speech. I would like
you to use your reference book to point out five things we should be familiar with about your part of speech. For example,
1. Order is something that students need to work on. While not fixed, order often goes
as follows: describing feeling, size, age, color, defining then the noun. A beautiful, green, Indian carpet or An old black
Pair One adjectives
Pair Two verbs
Pair Three nouns
Pair Four adverbs
Pair Five prepositions
Why teach grammar? pp. 14-28 Due Jan 24
1. Read chapter two why teach grammar and answer the questions on pages 160 & 161.
2. Ask any clarification questions that you might have (especially about the various methods mentioned in this chapter
and the ideas of focus on form and consciousness raising).
3. Write a paragraph or so on your thoughts about the efficiency and appropriacy factors. Do you agree with them or should
they be torn out of the book in a manner similar to the way the perfection and the importance (of a poem) were dealt with
in Dead Poets Society?
Ellis article-Current Issues in the Teaching of Grammar: An SLA perspective Due Jan 27th
can be downloaded below
This is a state-of-the art article by Rod Ellis that came out in TESOL Quarterly in March 2006. Please take a look
at it and comment on it (or ask questions about it) in the Discussion thread labeled Ellis article. Should you have trouble
making it through the article, at least focus on/read the Conclusion where he lists 10 of his personal beliefs about grammar
teaching. Do you agree or disagree with him?