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Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers
Module One
Lecture Notes
Books/Course Packs

Grammar and its Teaching: Challenging the Myth
Please read the article is by Diane Larsen-Freeman, who is now with the University of Michigan.
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 grammar?
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 have it.

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.
4. Also, 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 following:
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 horse.

Pair One adjectives
Pair Two verbs
Pair Three nouns
Pair Four adverbs
Pair Five prepositions
Pair Six articles

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
Ellis article 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?


Click here to download How to Analyze a Grammar Point

Click here to download Ellis article

Steve Cornwell copyright © 2006