Cultura Study Group

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STUDY GUIDE (“Teaching Grammar” by Diane Larsen-Freeman)

“Teaching grammar means enabling language students to use linguistic forms accurately, meaningfully, and appropriately.”


1. In the Three-Dimensional Grammar Framework, which dimensions must concern us? (p. 252)
2. Think of a grammar topic. Try to identify the three dimensions involved. Which dimension would offer the biggest challenge to our students?
3. Which are the 3 insights she mentions about the Learning Process? (p.255)
4. When talking about the Teaching Process, she mentions some noticing techniques such as enhancing the input, consciousness-raising task, the garden path and input processing. Can you describe them? (p. 257)
5. What activities does she suggest when the focus is on FORM? (p. 258, 259)
6. If the focus is on MEANING, what are the suggestions? (p. 260)
7. What are relevant practice activities when the challenge is the USE of a structure? (p. 260, 261)
8. What problem does she point out with the way the PASSIVE VOICE is taught? (p.261, 262)
9. What´s the difference between a deductive approach and an inductive approach to dealing with grammar? (p. 264)
10. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “Teachers should concentrate on teaching reasons, not rules.” “ Reasons are meaning based and use based”. (p. 265)

14 comments:

Danubia Bull
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Reflections

1- I believe all parts of the pie should be our concern, bearing in mind, of course that; one should not exceed the other. The three dimensions of form, meaning and use make explicit the need for students to learn to use grammar structures accurately, meaningfully, and appropriately.

2-Let's take the present perfect as an example. We (students and teachers) need to understand and explore: tense and aspect (perfect / progressive)
Form: It is important that Sts know we need HAVE + the past participle to form PP. Most of us work primarily at the sentence level. However, we should also show students how the system operates; where this tense and aspect fit compared to others (timeline)
Meaning: Put students into situations which they talk about past experiences, tell each other recent news (I have bough a new car... really? when did you buy it?) (I would start teaching from here first then go into form =)
Use: I’d think meaning and use walk together. However, here I’d contrast whether we need the past simple or the present perfect in a certain situation, or if both can be used (appropriateness). Any suggestions???? Distinguishing between SP or PP is the biggest challenge I have noticed our students have (thus, meaning and use)
3- The three insights are:
A- Since learning a language is a gradual process, Ss are able to learn combined structures.
B- Backsliding - overgeneralization of rules and language hypothesis
C- Teach what is relevant to the level of your students. Overloading is negative.

4- enhancing input: it seems to me that this would be giving emphasis to the target language in a way that the students perceive it as being the language the teacher wants them to learn, whether it is oral or written, new language or correcting mistakes.
Consciousness-raising task: learing a topic/piece of grammar inductively.
Garden path: teaching bit by bit - forming knowledge and concepts step by step.
Input process: performing an activity or tasks being aware of the meaning whether than grammatical structure. The other way around or combined would be output process.

5- Make up questions, problem-solving, in sum, games in which students are actively engaged and meaningfully motivated.

6-Associating form to meaning:
Sentence formation derived from visual prompts (flashcards, words to form sentences, etc.)
Performing an action task

7- Making students aware of pragmatics: have them choose from a set of forms the one most suitable to perform a particular situation (register: formal, informal, aspect: progressive or perfect, tense: past or present, and so forth).

8-Perhaps we focus too much of form and not on how to use it. Like it has been stated on the article, the passive voice is more likely to be used on written form, and we tend to have our students produce more oral sentences. In which situations would we encounter the passive voice? Articles on a newspaper? Headlines? Perhaps Sts could create an article based on prompts.

9- Inductive: students make a general rule for themselves based on example sentences (a text or piece of language, situation, is given from which students are asked to retrieve the language and work out the rules)
Deductive: Presenting of rules from which students produce example sentences (grammar rules are presented first, then students practice)

These are just some thoughts I had while studying. I would appreciate any comments on how to improve or on sharing different ideas.
Thanks Ana Maria and Luis for the opportunity given to us to learn and share together!

Danubia Bull

 
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Anonymous

Larsen-Freeman's Teaching Grammar? Will you tell me the reference? Thank you.

 
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