Teaching grammar. Principles, procedures, exercises and testing.

Teaching grammar improves writing skills. Another argument for teaching grammar is in improving reading skills. This is where it is important to stress that grammar means grammatical analysis rather than mere error-avoidance. No speaking is possible without the knowledge of grammar.

Principles: Conscious approach This means that in sentence patterns teaching points are determined so that pupils can concentrate their attention on some elements of the pattern to be able to use them as orienting points when speaking or writing the target language. Practical approach It means that pupils learn those grammar items which they need for immediate use either in oral or written language. Structural approach Grammar items are introduced and drilled in structures or sentence patterns. Situational approach Pupils learn a grammar item used in situations. Grammar items pupils need for conversation are taught by the oral approach.

Procedures: There will be mentioned four different types of oral practice and written practice too, which are described by J.Harmer.

1) Drills are often done with the whole class, students are given sentence with a new grammatical item and they are asked for right repetition.. The aim of drill is to give students rapid practice in using a structural item. Advantage is that the teacher can correct any mistakes2) Interaction activities. Pupils often work together in pairs or in groups. They exchange information in the purposeful and interesting way. 3) Involving the personality is the way when pupils do the exercise and at the same time talk about themselves. They are asked to discuss things that involve their personality and to use this subject matter as a focus for grammar practice. 4) Games are surely the most interesting and the most favourite way how to practice grammar. Students are given a new grammatical item through the game, which is exactly the most natural way especially for children.

Testing Teacher can test students ability to speak or write, his reading or listening skills. Of course, written tests take less time and they are easier to administer. Thats why most tests are based on written skills. This could cause some problems, because so much teaching in the classroom is based on oral work. Teacher should remember this fact and try to make the tests suitable for students. Good test shows both teacher and learner how well they are all doing. Teacher who writes tests should bear in mind the rules that are offered by J.Hamer:

do not test what you have not taught\do not test general knowledge\ do not introduce new techniques in tests\do not just test accuracy\do not forget to test the test.

Teaching vocabulary. Voc acquisition and expansion. Main methods of introduction, retention and testing.

New vocabulary is one of the basic building blocks in your students' learning. Learning long laundry lists of words can be very tedious for students. On the other hand, introducing words in students' native language and then translating them into English or vice versa is not very effective, either. You have to start training them to think in English right from the start. Needless to say, the language you are teaching should be spoken at all times, even if students are absolute beginners.

Expansion: To make it easier, you can try word associations. Try to find a connection between a new word and things or people you know. Speaking about using the words, try to use the words you learn as often as possible. Also, it might be helpful to know the meaning of the word roots, prefixes and suffixes, especially if they have a Greek or Latin origin. There are many word games out there and any that you find fun are effective! crossword , Word searches ,puzzles are hugely popular .

English vocabulary through a blend of methods by taking English classes, reading books, watching movies in English, and studying English with English language software. Playing word and vocabulary games is a valuable part of learning English.

*principles of good vocabulary teaching

The Learning Environment - creating colourful,informative and interactive displays activates the episodic and emotional memory lanes

Giving a Memorable Presentation - using visuals, playing games, or through the innovative use of technology motivates and engages learners.Furthermore giving a memorable presentation activates the episodic, emotional, and automatic memory lanes.

Repetition and Recycling learners must encounter the item again within several weeks to three months otherwise the word will be forgotten.

Meaningful Tasks & Guided Induction helps them to commit language items to memory as the personalinvestment made in semantic processing has a positive effect on memorization.

Using Visuals- deeper memorization of a word because in associating pictures with a particular vocabulary item learners are more likely to remember it.

Learner Training-students must take responsibility for their own learning therefore to ensure that learners make the mostof their study, teachers must train learners to study successfully.

Why test voc: feedback, backwash effect, motivation, recycling.

Test formats: multiple choice items, error-recognition, matching, gap-filling, guessing meaning from context.


Errors in language acquisition. Typology and elimination.

In the second language teachingAeaming process the error has always been regarded as something negative which must be avoided. Making errors is the most natural thing in the world and it is evidently attached to the human being.

In language study phases, students will not always use correct English. They will make mistakes, too, when writing or speaking more freely. We can divide mistakes into three categories. Slips are mistakes which students can correct themselves, once the mistake has been pointed out to them. Errors are mistakes which they cant correct themselves - and which, therefore, need explanation. Attempts are mistakes that students make when they try to say something but do not yet know how to say it. The way we give feedback and correct such mistakes will be heavily influenced by which type we think the students are making. There are many reasons why students might make mistakes, whichever kind of mistakes they are. Perhaps - especially in a study session - they havent quite grasped the new information and so continue to make errors. Perhaps their own language gets in the way because the way English expresses an idea or uses a grammatical construction is either very different or tantalisingly similar to how it is done in their first language. As a result they might make a slip, produce error, or just rely on their first language when making an attempt.. False friends can also cause trouble.

Typology: Errors are classified according to:

modality (i.e., level of proficiency in speaking, writing, reading, listening)

linguistic levels (i.e., pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, style)

form (e.g., omission, insertion, substitution)

type (systematic errors/errors in competence vs. occasional errors/errors in performance)

cause (e.g., interference, interlanguage)

norm vs. system

Elimination Correcting students Because correction involves pointing out peoples mistakes, we have to tread carefully. If we do it in an insensitive way, we can upset our students and dent their confidence. Moreover, what is appropriate for one student may be quite wrong for another.In general, the teachers job is to point out when something has gone wrong - and see if the students can correct themselves. students prefer correction directly from the teacher. When organising practice, then, teachers need to listen out for mistakes, identify the problem and put it right in the most efficient way.

error making is a necessary part of leaming and language teachers should use the errors with a view to having better results in the classroom.


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