Presentation on theme: "Grammar & Communication in the FL Classroom"— Presentation transcript:
1 Grammar & Communication in the FL Classroom Maria Sheila ZamarUH-Manoa, SEASSICOTSEAL Conference 2008
2 I. Goals:1. Discuss the role of grammar teaching in FL classrooms (HL and non-HL)2. Review some of the most influential ideas in foreign language teaching3. Describe some examples of communicative activities for teaching specific grammar points
3 II. What do we teach in the FL classroom? -language-communication skills-socio-cultural functions-target culture
4 Which variety do we teach? -standard-conversational/colloquial-academic-literary
5 III. Heritage v. Non-heritage classrooms Some differencesbackgroundresourcesenvironmentmotivation(varying) proficiencyknowledge of the target culture
6 Heritage v. Non-heritage L2 classrooms Some similaritiesneed for production practiceneed to focus on literacyneed for accuracy
7 VI. Settings for language learning Natural acquisition contextsTraditional instructional settings(grammar-translation or audiolingual)Communicative instructional settings(content-based ortask-based)- The learner is exposed to the TL at work or in social interaction.- If the learner is a child, s/he is in a school situation where most of the other children are native speakers of the TL and the instruction is directed toward native speakers.The language is being taught to a group of L2 or FL learners.The focus is on the language itself, rather than on the use of the TL for communicative interaction.The instructional goal is for students to learn the vocabulary and grammar of the TL.- The language is being taught to a group of L2 or FL learners.- The focus is on leading learners to use the TL in a variety of contexts, rather than on teaching specific features of TL.- The goal is for students to develop their ability to get things done in the TL.
8 Settings for language learning CharacteristicsNatural acquisitionTraditional instructionCommunicative instructionError correction-++-/+Learning one thing at a time+Ample time available for learningHigh ratio of native speakers to learnersVariety of language and discourse typesPressure to use the TL correctlyAccess to modified input(often in L1)(often in TL)
9 VII. 5 influential ideas in L2 teaching Getting it right from the beginningGrammar-translation & audiolingual methodsNegotiating meaningCommunicative language teachingInput processingComprehension-based programsTeaching what is teachableSetting realistic expectationsGetting it right in the endFinding the balance between meaning-based and form-based instruction
10 Five influential ideas in L2 teaching Getting it right from the beginningExclusively grammar-based approaches do not guarantee high levels of accuracyOveremphasis on accuracy usually results in learners who are inhibited and some unable to communicateNegotiating meaningLearners produce more quantity and greater variety of speech and language function in learner centered activitiesModified interaction leads to higher levels of comprehension than modified input
11 Five influential ideas in L2 teaching 3. Input processingTPR gives learners a good startComprehensible input is effective in learners’ development of comprehension skills, fluency and confidence in the TL but not enough to bring them to high levels of accuracyInput flood help learners add something new to their interlanguageEnhanced input makes little differenceLearners who received comprehension-based processing instruction achieved higher levels of performance on both comprehension and production tasks than learners who did production exercises to practice the form. ***Input processing (explicit focus on form within input-based instruction) shows better comprehension practice over production practice
12 Five influential ideas in L2 teaching 4. Teaching what is teachableLittle/no data on developmental and variational language features5. Getting it right in the endForm-focused instruction and corrective feedback provided within the communicative contexts are more effective in promoting L2 learningExplicit, guided form-focused instruction is needed when features in the TL differ from the L1 in subtle ways
13 IV. Grammar-based v. Content-based/ Task-based approaches Focus on the language (accuracy)grammar translation and audiolingual methodsordering of skills (receptive-productive)deductive learningerror prevention is emphasized
14 Grammar-based v. Content-based/ Task-based approaches Focus on communication (fluency)communicative language teaching (CLT)comprehensible inputinductive learningerror is viewed as natural part of interlanguage development
15 V. Key issues-Do I have a grammar-based, task-based, function-based/content-based curriculum?-How much time do I devote to teaching grammar explicitly?-How much metalanguage do I expect my students to handle?
16 Key issues-How much time do I devote to communicative activities with focus on form? What activities do I have my students participate in?-How much time do I devote solely to communicative activities without grammar instruction? What type(s) of activities do I have my students engage in?-What comprises the bulk of my teaching materials?-How do I handle errors?
17 VIII. Things to consider in teaching grammar -Providing communicative contexts-Addressing the four skills-Varying activities-Using (semi-) authentic materialsContextualizing error correction
18 IX. Some grammar-based communicative activities Information gapInterviews and reportsGuided speaking: responding to specific questions and listening activitiesStructure focused reading: questions focused on eliciting specific structuresGuided/Controlled writing: story with promptsStructure focused listening: questions focused on eliciting specific structures