Professional Development Workshops forTeachers of English Communicative Learner-Centred Grammar Peter Lucantoni
Peter Lucantoni • Started teaching in 1979 in UK, lived and worked in Europe and Middle East, now based in Cyprus • MA TESOL (Edinburgh) – Dissertation: Expectations of Cypriot Teachers of English • Author & Teacher Trainer • Cambridge University Press (IGCSE English as a Second Language levels 1 & 2, Our English Levels 1, 2 & 3, Teaching and Assessing Skills in IGCSE E2L) • Longman (KET Practice Tests Plus) • Macmillan (Super Skills A, B & C) • Hodder Murray (International English Levels 1, 2 & 3 • Cambridge TKT, CELTYL, CELTA & DELTA trainer, CELTYL assessor & examiner for speaking tests • Classroom teacher
Workshop overview • What is grammar? • What is a mistake? • Who decides what’s wrong? • Why do learners make mistakes? • Grammar activities • Conclusions
Activity 1 • What is grammar? Discuss with your colleagues and try to agree on a working definition.
Use the words provided here to complete the gaps in the paragraph below. grammatical parts of speech meaning rules • Grammar is a set of …………… for combining words to express ……………. . Words are given “labels” to help us to identify their …………… roles. These labels are known as …………… .
Grammar is a set of rules for combining words to express meaning. Words are given “labels” to help us to identify their grammatical roles. These labels are known as parts of speech .
Words carry more meaning than grammar, so, in general, words determine grammar Michael Lewis, The Lexical Approach, LTP 1999 Grammar is a process for making … meaning clear when contextual information is lacking Scott Thornbury, How to Teach Grammar, Longman 2001
Activity 2 Language without grammar would … leave us seriously handicapped (Batstone, 2000) up and he that the in Bill Jane stand announce spring marry
Activity 3 Can you understand the following ‘grammar-less’ exchange? A Coffee? B Please. A Milk? B Just a drop. A Sugar? B I’m on a diet. A Juice? B Mmm.
What is a mistake? • 6 + 7 = 14 can never be right • Did you go to the beach yesterday? Yes, I go yesterday wrong structure, but effective communication, comprehensible • usefully he kitchen like black the by wrong and incomprehensible
Who decides what’s wrong? • English is constantly changing, acquiring new words and usages from other languages, and excluding others • English has wide variety of dialects, variations, registers, modern vs old-fashioned • Dictionaries do not always agree • Anybody’s knowledge of language can only ever be partial
Mistakes are part of learning a language • They are inevitable • Teachers/learners may be able to eliminate some mistakes, but not all
Activity 4 • “Some mistakes should be encouraged”(Bartram & Walton, 1994) Do you agree? Which ones?
I’m sorry sir, I did a mistake. You didn’t DO a mistake, you idiot, you MADE a mistake!
Why do learners make mistakes? An L2 learner … • is exposed to language • forms ideas about how language works • tries out language using ideas • is exposed to more language • changes original ideas • tries out new ideas Adapted from Bartram & Walton, 1994
Approaches and methods in teaching grammar • The grammar-centred approach, grammar translation • Communicative language teaching CLT • And now … a return to grammar …
Principles • There is a need for grammar • If learners’ attention is directed solely to expressing meaning, they may neglect attention to accuracy and precision • Noticing an aspect of form is the first stage of learning it – teachers can help learners do this • But, learner has to do the learning – just teaching grammar doesn’t make it happen • There is a role for the explicit teaching of grammar and metalanguage
Noticing – an active process in which learners become aware of structure and notice connections between form and meaning • Structuring – bringing new grammar patterns into learners’ internal grammars. Usually requires controlled practice • Procedurising – making the new grammar ready for instant and fluent use in communication Rob Batstone, Grammar, OUP 2000
You are going to participate in some more activities which involve ‘grammar’. What do you like/dislike about each one? Which of your classes could/n’t you use the activities with? Why/not? What variations can you think of?
Sloobie A sloobie is a brumpting silop which draches in a layod. It okuls from Klooblie, an ert in Fring. In order to ning a sloobie, the layod is larted by a ticfrous layoder.
Sloobie Use these words: country, fish, dancing, river, comes, Asia, lives A sloobie is a brumpting silop. It draches in a layod. It okuls from Klooblie. Klooblie is an ert in Fring.
Conclusions • Grammar is more than lists of labels and rules found in grammar books – it is closely tied to the meaning and use of language and interconnected with vocabulary • Communicating through a language and learning a language can conflict – focussing on meaning does not guarantee language development on all fronts
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