Language teachers sometimes wonder if being fluent in the language they teach might be all that is needed to be successful in their chosen profession. However, one can be fluent in a language and yet not know how its grammar system works which in turn could impede us from explaining grammatical structures to our students. For instance, a fluent speaker might know intuitively that the following sentences are incorrect but might be hard pressed to explain the underlying rules of grammar which make these sentences incorrect: *She eat an orange. *I am knowing the grammar of this language. Even when one can explicitly articulate the rules that govern the grammar of a language, a lot of thought needs to go into how these might be meaningfully presented to students so as to result in effective learning.
In this course, you will adopt a very hands-on practical approach toward addressing these and connected concerns. You will familiarize yourself with the rules of some of the most common grammatical structures of the English language. This will be done mainly through reading and homework assignments and through quizzes to check comprehension. Even more importantly, you will engage in the planning and demonstration of effective and meaningful ways of teaching particular grammatical structures to students. These demonstrations will also include addressing specific problems that ESL learners exhibit while learning these structures. By the end of the course all students will have compiled a comprehensive list of effective grammar teaching activities and lesson plans. In addition, you will have also honed your skills in evaluating the efficacy of grammar textbooks and in thinking critically about authentic language use and how this might be brought to bear upon your pedagogical practices.
Student learning goals
Increase your knowledge of the forms, meanings and uses of grammatical structures most crucial in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages;
Develop an extensive and practical repertoire of techniques for teaching grammar in meaningful contexts;
Apply your knowledge of the structures studied to classroom situations (student errors, student questions, lesson planning, etc.);
Practice evaluating and critiquing pedagogical grammar books;
Increase your skills in noticing authentic language use.
General method of instruction
All the classes will be run as discussion seminars within which you will engage in teaching demonstrations, question and answer sessions, small group work, and above all in a safe and thoughtful exchange of ideas and experiences about how best to meaningfully incorporate grammar teaching into your language teaching.
Class assignments and grading