posted by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany
Two days ago, I asked my students to briefly outline what they consider to be important in teaching grammar in a ‘communicative’ EFL classroom environment. One group of students created the following mind map:
I think it is quite interesting to see that the students seem to be aware (perhaps not more than that) of some of the most intensively discussed problems associated with grammar instruction in communicative EFL classrooms, i.e.: CLT – approach or method?; acquisition-learning, competence-performance, contextualization, focus on meaning / form / forms, explicit-implicit and inductive-deductive learning, the necessity to integrate learners’ prior knowledge, introducing vs. practicing grammar, error correction, cultural implications of teaching grammar, etc.
However, as Larsen-Freeman (1997) pointed out many years ago, knowing/thinking and doing is not one and the same thing (and, furthermore, that this is an area crying for research).
This is why I regularly embed practice-oriented activities in my seminars; analyzing EFL textbooks used in the past and at present (to my mind, both is necessary and important); discussing examples of good practice documented on video (e.g. Siebold 2004), encouraging students to simulate sequences of grammar-oriented EFL lessons (including micro-teaching sessions, etc.). I also try to connect the seminar to the obligatory teaching practicum (if possible), etc.
Any comments or suggestions?
Larsen-Freeman, Diane (1997). “Chaos/Complexity Science and Second Language Acquisition”. Applied Linguistics, 18, 2, 141-156.
Siebold, Jörg (2004). Let’s Talk. Lehrtechniken. Berlin: Cornelsen (including DVD-videos).