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Page 1

“Teaching Grammar to Young Learners”

An Internship Report

Submitted to the Department of English and Humanities

Of BRAC University

Submitted by

Mehbuba Jahan Surovee

ID: 10103004

In Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for the Degree


Bachelor of Arts in English

April 2014

BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Page 2

“Teaching Grammar to Young Learners”

Mehbuba Jahan Surovee

ID: 10103004

Department of English and Humanities

April 2014

BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Page 9

rather than output processing for production and requires the use of ‘interpretation tasks’. (p. 88)

Brown (1972) suggested that language learning should be meaningful from the beginning stages.

He also suggested, “The distinctive items of a lesson must be related to existing cognitive

structure, "subsumed" into an organized whole, or else they will be very easily forgotten.”

(Brown, 1972, p. 268)

Use of Realia:

Schneider (2005) suggested that bringing community issues into the classroom can be effectively

used to teach grammar. He claimed, “It offers a way to give local culture and local concerns a

prominent place in the English language classroom” and “provides an opportunity to make

learning more engaging and relevant, because students have the opportunity to understand new

material in terms of their own lives and realities.” (Schneider, 2005, p. 298)

Total Physical Response:

Scrivener (1994) claimed, “TPR, in fact, a whole methodology and has proved to be very

successful, especially at low levels. Initially learners are given restricted exposure to a large

number of instructions. Gestures and demonstration quickly help learners to understand the

meaning.” (p. 182)

Use of Literature:

Kalivoda (1990) suggested that the teacher should consider the level of students carefully before

using literature for grammar teaching. He claimed, “Much of the literature assumes an audience

of learners presumed proficient in communication.” (Kalivoda, 1990, p. 267)

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Use of Mathematics:

Williams (2006) proposed the use of mathematics to teach grammar. He claimed that English

structures often behave in ways parallel to numbers. From his teaching experience he concluded

that for a majority of the international and immigrant students in advanced writing classes, such

mathematical concepts are already crystal-clear and have long been part of students’ academic

lives. (Williams, 2006, p. 23)

Theories into practice:

I have worked as an intern for three months at an English medium school. During my internship I

have observed several English language classes of class I. The students of this level hardly have

any knowledge of grammar, so the basic things such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and articles are

taught in the class. Since it was an English medium school, the teacher always used English to

communicate with the students. Though the students had Bangla L1 background and they were

very young, the teacher could communicate in English effectively to teach grammar.

Inductive Approach:

I have observed that the language teacher usually uses inductive method for teaching. At first she

provides some examples to the students. For instance, in one class she pointed at a student and

asked them, “What is her name?” They replied “Archita.” Then she pointed at other students and

asked their names. After that she started pointing at different things such as chairs, tables, and

schoolbags and asked them what those things were. The students answered her questions. After

listening to their reply she told them that everything has a name. These naming words are called


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From my observation and teaching experiences I have concluded that teaching children is

absolutely different from teaching adult learners. Children are hardly interested in grammar.

Moreover they are unable to stay focused for long time. Therefore, teaching them grammar is

really difficult.

However teaching grammar at this level is very important since it can help them to improve both

their productive and receptive skills, so the teacher should try to make the class interesting by

using colourful pictures and materials. Trying to make the lesson meaningful is also important.

The teacher can use interpretation tasks to make the lesson meaningful. Contextualization is

another effective way to help young learners to understand the lessons better.

On the contrary, decontextualization can make the class lessons difficult for the learners. Use of

literature to teach beginners can also make the grammar item appear more complex to the

children. Using implicit grammar instructions can be very useful in some situations. However the

teacher should try to avoid it when possible. Both prescriptive and descriptive approach can be

useful to a certain extend. In brief the teacher should use a number of appropriate teaching

techniques to teach different grammar elements.

Page 18

Works Cited:

Borg, S. (1999), Teachers' theories in grammar teaching, ELT Journal, 53(3), 157-167

Brown, H. D. (1972), The Psychological Reality of ‘Grammar’ in the ESL Classroom, TESOL

Quarterly, 6(3), 263-269

Close, R.A. (1982). English as a foreign language. London: George Allen and Unwin.

Dickins, P. M. & Woods, E. G. (1988), Some Criteria for the Development of Communicative

Grammar Tasks, TESOL Quarterly, 22(4), 623-646

Ellis, R. (1995). Interpretation Tasks for Grammar Teaching, TESOL Quarterly, 29(1), 87-105

Kalivoda, T. B. (1990). Teaching Grammar in the Target Language, Hispania, 73(1), 267-269

Nunan, D. (1998), Teaching grammar in context, ELT Journal, 52(2), 101-109

Petrovitz, W. (1997), The role of context in the presentation of grammar, ELT Journal, 51(3),


Scheffler, P. & Cinciała, M. (2011), Explicit grammar rules and L2 acquisition, ELT Journal,

65(1), 13-23

Schneider, J. (2005), Teaching grammar through community issues, ELT Journal, 59(4), 298-


Scrivener, J. (1994), Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching (3rd

ed.). Oxford: Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Williams, H. (2006), Maths in the grammar classroom, ELT Journal, 60(1), 23-33

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