In math, the importance of foundations is emphasized in every lesson. As I am often told by my girlfriend, “Sure, I can do calculus, but don’t expect me to count to four.” I relate to nothing more when it comes to my relationship with written English. I can string together sentences and write an essay, but please do not ask me the difference between who and whom, and god forbid I need to use a semicolon. Somehow, I reached my senior year in the English department and I haven’t gotten a grasp on things that are culturally considered part of a basic education. English is a lot like math. There are variables that need to be placed into a formula but we no longer teach how these variables work. In the first chapter of Mark Lester’s “Grammar and Usage in the Classroom” the devolution of grammar education in the American classroom is examined,
Grammar and the English language is taught schools across the United States. There are many different students in each classroom and as teachers we need to differentiate our instruction. English language learners; also known as ELL; students tend to struggle with grammar but we help them with learning this through implementing a few techniques. There are two types of ELL students; they are students that are not native to where they are living and students that are bilingual. The students that are bilingual are can range from being fluent to in the process of learning another language. These learners are in the process/know the English language but they have difficulty in often make mechanical errors with their grammar and syntax. The goal of the ELL program is a high intensity language program designed to help students to improve their level of English. The English language is complex and learning it is a long process. ELL students should be taught with strategies such as learning through speaking and listening. ELL teachers work with non-native speakers of the English language to help them develop the language skills as well as social skills. The programs they are going through are grammar conversational English, reading, listening comprehension, writing and vocabulary. Researchers have found the ELL students learn best relating subjects that they are interested in. They can be taught through strategies such as Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). The U.S department of Education, National Center for Education statistics states that, “The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners (ELL) was higher is 2010-11(10 percent) than in 2002-03(9 percent).”(2013). The st...
In the article entitled “How to Teach Grammar, Analytical Thinking, and Writing”, Lynn Sams (2003) voiced and suggested methods on how grammar and writing should be taught in the classroom. This article was published in the English Journal by the National Council of Teachers of English. Sams based her research on her 16 years of experience as a high school teacher and the instructional approaches she used with her sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade classes. Sams refers to grammar as “the relationship between structure and meaning” (57). The information in this article demonstrates processes of analyzing the structure of sentences and suggests students cannot completely understand writing without first understanding the basic concepts of grammar.
In the view of Chaudroncited in El Tatawy (2002) the information learners get from corrective feedback allows them to “confirm, disconfirm, and possibly modify the hypothetical, transitional rules of their developing grammars.”
It is not uncommon to say that grammar instruction plays an important role in language teaching. Regarding the status and importance of grammar teaching, a variety of opinions have been made. Batstone (1994) states that “language without grammar would be chaotic: countless words without the indispensable guidelines for how they can be ordered and modified” (p. 4). More vividly, Wang (2010) makes two similes. She compares grammar to the frame of a house, which is a decisive factor to ensure the solidness of it. Additionally, she regards grammar as a walking stick, whose function is to help and support students to learn English. Thus, the nature of grammar instruction manifests its own significance as it helps students enhance their overall language proficiency by integrating grammar into other aspects of learning, like listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Teaching strategies of a foreign language class have evolved from a long history of useless methods that do not fulfill the goal of language acquisition. The main goal of a foreign language class in terms of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards is that the students be able to communicate using the foreign language. Communication refers to the student’s ability to converse with a native speaker of the language that has been studied. In the past, it was assumed that students must first learn the rules of grammar and then use those rules to construct sentences and communicate, but there have been several linguistic theories that have refuted this methodology.
The rules and methods we are taught to be able to read and write are a big factor in determining how proper our grammar is, or our comprehension. I was taught to read, of course, left to right and then comprehend what I read. While reading, the text should be analyzed. Analyzing consists of who, what, when, where, and why. This is also called thinking critically, and how I was influenced to think. When it comes to writing, a sentence needs a subject and verb, parts of speech, etc. Complete sentences come together to form paragraphs and during the writing process a purpose in essential. Though we are taught how to speak, read, write and think properly, it does not mean we always follow through. Vocabulary is my biggest obstacle. Lack of advanced vocabulary in elementary and middle school has made it difficult in colleg...
Nassaji, H., & Fotos, S. (2011). The role of context in focus on grammar: Teaching Grammar in Second Language Classroom (pp.121-134). New York and London: Routhdge
On the other hand, teachers prefer using L1 for a more effective approach to teaching grammar and checking students’ understanding. Macaro (1997) commented that teachers often lack enthusiasm in using the target language for grammar explanation. Many students have difficulty in learning grammar, especially for those whose L1 system is entirely different from the TL. L1 can be more efficient, particularly when a teacher wants to discuss the learning contract with students, or tries to explore the needs of his/her students, especially those in the lower level (Harmer, 2007). Evidence provided by Harmer (2007) also indicates that the classroom environment can be enhanced through the use of L1 to establish a positive social relationship with students, which ultimately leads to a more effective teaching process.