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The importance of grammar for learning a foreign language. Aims of teaching grammar
Questions and topics for discussion
1. Why is teaching vocabulary important? What does it mean to know the word?
2. How are the words to be taught and learnt selected? What is the difference between active and passive vocabulary?
3. Speak on the main ways of presenting vocabulary
4. What exercises for vocabulary consolidation does the teacher use? How do you learn new vocabulary?
5. What modern technologies are used for vocabulary assimilation?
6. To see how the students assimilate the form, meaning, use of words the teacher uses tests. Give examples of tests.
Objectives: SWBAT examine aims , principles, ways of grammar teaching; distinguish between 3 stages in teaching grammar
Grammar has always been central to teaching a foreign language. It was even synonymous with teaching a foreign language. However for some time after the rise of communicative language teaching the status of grammar in the curriculum was rather uncertain. Some linguists stated that it was not necessary to teach grammar, that it would develop automatically. Nowadays it is widely accepted that grammar is an important resource in using language communicatively.
The aimof teaching grammar is to teach grammar forms and structures in relation to meaning and use for the specific communication tasks.
Without the knowledge of grammar learners can’t understand the meaning of a sentence. For example without the knowledge of the “complex object” the learners can’t understand the sentence: We saw him book a ticket. Without grammar learners are not able to understand a listening text, speak, read and write in the foreign language.
When focusing on a grammar structure the teacher considers the following:
1. form - part of speech; regular/ irregular; spelling; pronunciation; word order;
2. meaning - it is important to show the exact meaning and the function: for example, the past simple tense can be used to talk about the past: Last year I was in London and to ask a question politely: What was it you wanted?
3. use- how and when the structure is appropriately used; in what contexts, by which people, on which occasions? For example, compare Would you like to come to the cinema on Saturday? (an invitation) and Would you come with me?( an instruction).
For example, form is-must+ main verb; meaning is- obligation, necessity, duty; use is- It is your duty to do smth/you must do smth
2. Communicative approach to the selection of grammar material. Principles of grammar teaching.
There exist principles of selecting grammar material for teaching speaking knowledge (active grammar) and for teaching reading knowledge (passive grammar). The main principle of selecting grammar material is frequency (how often the grammar item occurs). The syllabus determines what to teach. The textbooks emphasize how to teach and present grammar patterns or structures.
The teacher should know some principles of grammar teaching:
Conscious approach- the teacher draws students’ attention to some elements of the structure, so that students will be able to use them as the orienting points when speaking or writing. This is ensured through contrasting one grammar item with another, giving the example and a rule.
Practical approach- students learn those grammar items which they need for immediate use
Structural approach- grammar items are introduced and drilled in structures or sentence patterns. It allows the students to use the same pattern for various situations.
Situational approach- different situations are selected for a particular grammar item
Different approach to the teaching of active and passive grammar- if students need grammar for conversation they perform different oral exercises, read and write sentences. If grammar is for reading it is taught through reading.