Teach English in FAngqiang Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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There are various approaches to teach grammar. Among all of them, the followings are of a great importance. However, the second and the third approach (inductive and functional) are more correspondent with ESA. The deductive approach: A deductive approach starts with the presentation of a rule and is followed by examples in which the rule is applied. The grammar rule is presented and the learner engages with it through the study and examples. It gets straight to the point, and can therefore be time-saving. Many rules can be more simply and quickly explained than elicited from examples. This will allow more time for practice. And it allows the teacher to deal with language points as they come up, rather than having to anticipate them and prepare for them in advance. On the contrary some of the disadvantages of a deductive approach are as below: Starting the lesson with a grammar presentation may be unappealing to some students, especially younger ones. Or they may not be able to understand the concepts involved. Grammar explanation encourages a teacher-fronted, transmission-style classroom; teacher explanation is often at the expense of student involvement and interaction. Explanation is seldom as memorable as other forms of presentation, such as demonstration. The inductive approach The rules learners discover for themselves are more likely to fit their existing mental structures than rules they have been presented with. This in turn will make the rules more meaningful, memorable, and serviceable. The mental effort involved ensures a greater degree of cognitive depth which, again, ensures greater memorability. Students are more actively involved in the learning process, rather than being simply passive recipients: they are therefore likely to be more attentive and more motivated. If the problem-solving is done collaboratively, and in the target language, learners get the opportunity for extra language practice. Working things out for themselves prepares students for greater self-reliance and is therefore conducive to learner autonomy. The disadvantages of an inductive approach include: The time and energy spent in working out rules may mislead students into believing that rules are the objective of language learning, rather than a means. However, the time taken to work out a rule may be at the expense of time spent in putting the rule to some sort of productive practice. Students may hypothesise the wrong rule, or their version of the rule may be either too broad or too narrow in its application: this is especially a danger where there is no overt testing of their hypotheses, either through practice examples, or by eliciting an explicit statement of the rule. It can place heavy demands on teachers in planning a lesson. They need to select and organise the data carefully so as to guide learners to an accurate formulation of the rule, while also ensuring the data is intelligible. FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR People who study and use a language are mainly interested in how they can do things with language --- how they can make meanings, get attention to their problems and interests, influence their friends and colleagues and create a rich social life for themselves. They are only interested in the grammatical structure of the language as a means to getting things done. A grammar which puts together the patterns of the language and the things you can do with them is called a functional grammar. The main objective of a functional grammar is to explain language in terms of what people do with it, how they use the language to live. It tries to do that by adopting more of a semantic Teaching Grammar through stories Everyone loves a story. Stories can be used for both eliciting and illustrating grammar points. The former employs inductive reasoning, while the latter requires deductive thought, and it is useful to include both approaches in lesson planning. In addition, a well-told story is the perfect context for a structure-discourse match, but the technique can also be used effectively for a structure-social factor match. Storytelling is one of these extremely versatile techniques, and once you get the hang of it, it can be a convenient and natural grammar teaching tool. You may even find that it is the technique that holds students' attention best, as well as the one they enjoy most. Grammar points can be contextualized in stories that are absorbing and just plain fun if they are selected with the interest of the class in mind, are told with a high degree of energy, and involve the students. Students can help create stories and impersonate characters in them. Students will certainly appreciate and respond to your efforts to include them in the storytelling process, but they will also enjoy learning about you through your stories. Stories should last from one to five minutes, and the more exaggerated and bizarre they are, the more likely students will remember the teaching points they illustrate. Storytelling is traditional in almost all cultures. We can tap into that tradition for a very portable resource and a convenient and flexible technique for teaching any phase of a grammar lesson. A story provides a realistic context for presenting grammar points and holds and focuses students’ attention in a way that no other technique can. Although some teachers are better at telling stories than others, almost any of us can tell stories with energy and interest. Students naturally like to listen to stories, and most are remembered long after the lesson is over.