PPP is seductive for several reasons: a.It makes you feel in control. b.It limits the questions you get asked. c.It creates a sense of progress. d.It’s tightly structured, but still has space for you to be creative. e.It provides us with a knowledge base.
And yet - it doesn’t work. At least not as well as we’d like it to! Why? 1.Students learn to talk about English - not talk in English!
2.The current system creates grammar fear and grammar dependency! 3.Focusing on structures in isolation distorts the reality of usage. It also means students don’t get to see how conversations develop.
4.Once is never enough! 5.The separation of grammar and vocabulary makes life harder for students - and asks much more of them! So how can we move things forward?
Keep it real! What John lost was the keys! Teach grammar in real-world situations. Don’t over-stretch structures lexically. Keep things true to what you say and hear.
Conversations - and the way they develop - have to start being given priority over the study of structures in isolation. What’re you doing tonight? Why did you decide to do that, then? Have you been to see a doctor about it?
What’re you studying? I’m going out with a couple of friends tonight. Crime is getting worse and worse at the moment. I’m doing an extra shift at work tonight to cover for someone. My boss is breathing down my neck about it. They’re denying him access to a lawyer. They certainly are stepping up their campaign. She’s not pulling her weight.
Form I am You are He / She / It is+ -ing We are They are
Function 1.To talk about an action happening around now, one that has already started but has not yet finished. 2.To talk about an arrangement with other people in the future.
Students need repeated exposure to the most common grammatical patterns Students need to do different things on different days to the same structures.
Starting from thinking about how conversations work ensures repeated exposure to grammar. More conversations in class means more recycling and encourages more noticing.
Don’t teach single words - teach words with the grammar they typically go with. Think about the examples you write up on the board.
He started out as an office boy and then slowly worked his ……… up. Now he’s the managing director! I started out working in private language schools, and got my lucky b…… about ten years ago when I moved to the university.
My parents are really strict. They never let me... And they always make me...
Students need to know different things about different grammar at different levels. Low levels need plenty of grammar-as-lexis. Higher levels need to practise grammaticalising - and to briefly explore more obscure grammar in clear contexts.
There’s more to life than tenses! Just because I’m single it doesn’t mean I’m desperately lonely! Do you fancy going out somewhere tonight? In all probability, I’ll be there sometime around 9. It was so hot I could hardly breathe!
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