Fill in the gaps with the verbs:
To reduce, to encourage, to present, to link, to help, to elicit, to give, to check, to provide, to give, to develop
_________ new language in context so that the meaning is clear
_________the new form in a natural spoken speech or written text so that students can see its use in discourse
_________the new form to what students already know,
_________ the form from students where possible and exploit their existing knowledge
_________ students memorize the form
_________ students to produce the word order
_________ intensive practice through repetition
_________ opportunities for feedback and error correction
_________ practice in pronouncing new form
_________ control and encourage students to find out what
_________ students to use the forms in expressing their own content
_________ students see the usefulness of what they have learned
_________ what has been learned and diagnose problems
(From Roger Gower, Diana Phillips, Steve Walters Teaching Practice Handbook)
There are two main approaches to grammar presentation:
Deductive (rule-driven) which starts with the presentation of a rule and is followed by examples in which the rule is applied
2) Inductive (rule-discovery) which starts with some examples from which a rule is inferred.
Study these pages from the textbooks and say what approach is used for grammar presentation:
Work in pairs. Are the following statements True or False? Change the false statements to make them true. Example:
Men live longer than women. False
‘Men live a shorter time than women’
Remember that are and than are pronounced weakly when they are part of a sentence. Remember also to emphasise the adjective or adverb which is contrasted, e.g. shorter
China is bigger than Russia.
The moon is nearer to the earth than the sun
The North Sea is warmer than the Mediterranean Sea.
Prince Charles is older than Princess Diana.
The USA have a better football team than Brazil.
In Britain it becomes dark earlier in summer than in winter.
Complete the following sentences and then check with Section 3 in the Language reference.
In adjectives or adverbs of one syllable the comparative is formed by adding _____ to the end of the adjective or adverb. This is followed by the word than.
Some comparatives are irregular: for example good becomes __________.
Some adjectives and adverbs of two syllables also form the comparative with –er. For example, early becomes _________.
Discuss the following statements with a partner and then agree or disagree, following the example below. Example:
Reading is more relaxing than watching television
‘No, I don’t agree. Watching television is more relaxing’.
Parachuting is less dangerous than water-skiing.
Austria is more beautiful than Greece.
Washing-up is less boring than cooking.
Women are more intelligent than men.
English grammar is more difficult than English pronunciation.
ouns, adjectives and adverbs
Subject and object pronouns
The subject is the person or thing doing the action:
I left early.
She went home
We said goodbye.
The object is the person or thing receiving the action:
She telephoned me.
I hit him.
We saw her.
Write the correct pronounce for these sentences:
…. Telephoned yesterday. (she)
She telephoned yesterday.
We watched ….. for hours. (he)
We watched him for hours.
Hasn’t ….. arrived yet? (she)
…… don’t understand. (I)
Are you talking to …. ? (I)
Don’t ask …. ….. doesn’t know. (she/she)
This is Julia: …. have known …. for years. (we/she)
Nobody told …. the bus was leaving. (they)
Why didn’t …. ask …. to come? (she/they)
Don’t ask … Ask … . (I/he)
….. think ….. doesn’t like …… . (I/he/I)
….. asked ….. to invite …… . (they/he/we)
It gets strait to the point and can therefore be time-saving.
It respects the intelligence and maturity of many – especially adult- students, and acknowledges the role of cognitive process in language acquisition.
It confirms many students’ expectations about classroom learning particularly for those learners who have an analytical learning style.
It requires less effort on the part of both the teachers and the students
The students are less likely to be exposed to critical remarks on the part of either the teacher or other students and therefore some students may feel secure with this approach
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 one collaboratively and in the target language the learners get the opportunity for extra language practice.
Working things out for themselves prepares students for greater self reliance and therefore conductive to learner autonomy.
(from Walker and Elsworth Grammar Practice for Intermediate Students, Longman, 1986)
Both deductive and inductive approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Study the lists of advantages of both approaches, read the statements about the disadvantages and divide them into 2 lists: deductive and inductive accordingly. Complete the chart above.
It is a boring approach and therefore less likely to attract students’ attention and so be less effective.
The time and energy spent in working out rules may mislead students into believing that rules are the objectives of language learning, rather than a means.
The time taken to work out may be at the expense of time spent putting the rule to some sort of productive practice.
Starting the lesson with grammar presentation may be off-putting for some students, especially younger ones. They may not have efficient metalanguage.
Teacher explanation is often at the expense of student involvement and interaction.
Students may hypothesise the wrong rule, or their version of the rule may be either too broad or too narrow in its application.
It can place heavy demands on teachers in planning a lesson. They need to select and organize the data carefully so as to guide learners to an accurate formulation of the rule.
Many language areas such as aspect and modality resist easy formulation.
Explanation is seldom as memorable as other forms of presentation such as demonstration/
(From ‘How to Teach Grammar’, Scott Thornbury)
Grammar presentation techniques
Analyse different presentation techniques and fill in the chart with advantages and possible problems of grammar presentation techniques.
If you were introducing the present perfect tense for the first time, which of the twelve presentation techniques would you use? (You may choose to combine several of them.)
In which order would you use your chosen presentation techniques?
Share your answers with your class and the reasons for your choices(s).
Using a song text
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Using a time line
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Using a picture
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Practising and presenting
uses Ls’ real lives;
clear explanation given
Ls begin with the use, then learn the form
some amusing questions
Ls might not understand the questions
needs good elicitation techniques from T
Ls have to be used to working in pairs
not much context provided
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Using a chart
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L1 and L2
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Activity. Answer the questions.
Questions on grammar presentations
The structure itself. Was the structure presented in both speech and writing, both form and meaning?
Examples. Were enough examples provided of the structure in a meaningful context? Are you sure the students understood their meanings?
Terminology. Did you call the structure by its (grammar-book) name? If so, was this helpful? If not, would it have helped if you had? What other grammatical terminology was (would have been) useful?
Language. Was the structure explained in the students’ mother tongue, or in the target language, or in a combination of the two? Was this effective?
Explanation. Was the information given about the structure at the right level: reasonably accurate but not too detailed? Did you use comparison with the students’ mother tongue (if known)? Was this/would this have been useful?
Delivery. Were you speaking (and writing) clearly and at an appropriate speed?
Rules. Was an explicit rule given? Why/why not? If so, did you explain it yourself or did you elicit it from the students? Was this the best way to do it?
(from Penny Ur ‘A course in Language Teaching’ CUP)
Guidelines on presenting and explaining a new grammatical structure:
In general, a good presentation should include both oral and written forms, and both form and meaning.
It is important to have plenty of examples of the structure in the context and to understand them. Visual materials can also contribute to understanding.
Older or more analytically-minded learners will benefit more from the terminology.
Depends on your own situation.
Your explanation should cover the great majority of instances, but too much detail may only confuse. A simple generalization is more helpful to learners than a detailed grammar book explanation.
These are basic and important points! Ask the observer.
You have to ask yourself which is more effective in your situation. If the learners can perceive and define the rule themselves, then let then do it. But don’t waste a lot of valuable class time, sometimes it is better to provide the information yourself
Teaching grammar at a good grammar lesson includes:
communicatively organised practice through speaking activities
production ended with a free discourse
Form and use
This task focuses on presenting both the form and the use of a new grammar point.
Read the passage opposite, Form and Use, and then do the task in pairs.
In the twelve presentations in Task3: Let me count the ways …, the form and the use were both presented. But which use of the present perfect tense was presented in each one?
Complete the table below with the use of the present perfect which was presented in each case. Two examples are done for you.
Form and Use
When we present a new grammar point to learners, it is useful to present two different aspects: its form and its use.
Form means the grammatical form of an item and the rules for it. For examples, does a word have an s at the end? When do we add an –ed to the end of a verb and when not? What is the word order of a question? When do you use do and when do you use did in a question?
Use deals with context. When or where is an item used? To discover the use of an item, ask yourself, in which situation is an item used in natural communication? For example, one use of the present simple tense is for describing actions that people do every day (I get up at 7.30), so in your presentation for the present simple tense you might include a natural situation where a person is telling someone else what they do every day, such as a learner writing to a new penfriend, telling her about a typical day at his school.
Which use of the present perfect is presented?
1. Using a song text
2. Using a time line
Unspecified time in the past
4. Using a picture
5. Using realia
7. Explaining directly
8. Practising and presenting
Questions and tag questions;
General questions in the past with ever
10. Using a chart
12. Comparing L1 and L2
Activity. Mind the difference between accuracy and fluency
Accuracy – a practice activity which is a good for improving accuracy will have these characteristics:
Attention to form: the practice activity should motivate learners to want to be accurate, and they should not be so focused on what they are saying that they have no left – over attention to allocate to how they are saying it.
Familiarity: learners need to be familiar with the language that they are trying to get right.
Thinking time: monitoring for accuracy is easier and therefore more successful if there is sufficient time available to think and reflect.
Feedback: learners need unambiguous as to how accurate they are – this traditionally takes the form of correction.
Fluency – where the meaning is the goal, practice activities should have these characteristics:
Attention to meaning: the practice activity should encourage learners to pay attention less to the form of what they are saying (which may slow them down) and more to the meaning.
Authenticity: the activity should attempt to simulate the psychological conditions of real-life language use. That is, the learner should be producing and interpreting language under real-time constraints, and with a measure of unpredictability.
Communicative purpose: to help meet these last two conditions, the activity should have a communicative purpose. That is, there should be a built-in need to interact.
Chunking: at least some of the language the learners are practising should be in the form of short memorisable chunks which can be atomized.
Repetition: for atomization to occur, the practice activity should have an element of built-in repetition, so that learners produce a high volume of the targeted forms.
Activity. Read the types of grammar practice and underline the key words
Box 6.3: Types of grammar practice: from accuracy to fluency
Type 1: Awareness
After the learners have been introduced to the structure, they are given opportunities to encounter it within some kind of discourse, and do a task that focuses their attention on its form and/or meaning.
Example: Learners are given extracts from newspaper articles and asked to underline all the examples of the past tense that they can find.
Type 2: Controlled drills
Learners produce examples of the structure: these examples are, however, predetermined by the teacher or textbook, and have to conform to very clear, closed-ended cues.
Example: Write or say statements about John, modelled on the following example:
John drinks tea but he doesn’t drink coffee.
a) like: ice cream/cake b) speak: English/Italian
c) enjoy: playing football/playing chess
Type 3: Meaningful drills
Again the responses are very controlled, but learners can make a limited choice.
Example: In order to practise forms of the present simple tense:
Choose someone you know very well, and write down their name. Now compose true statements about them according to the following model:
He/She likes ice cream; or He/She doesn’t like ice cream.
a) enjoy: playing tennis b) drink: wine c) speak: Polish
Type 4: Guided, meaningful practice
Learners form sentences of their own according to a set pattern, But exactly what vocabulary they use is up to them.
Example: Practising conditions clauses, learners are given the cue If I had a million dollars, and suggest, in speech or writing, what they would do.
Type 5: (Structure-based) free sentence composition
Learners are provided with a visual or situational cue, and invited to compose their own responses; they are directed to use the structure.
Example: A picture showing a number of people doing different things is shown to the class; they describe it using the appropriate tense.
Type 6: (Structure-based) discourse composition
Learners hold a discussion or write a passage according to a given task; they are directed to use at least some examples of the structure within the discourse.
Example: The class is given a dilemma situation (‘You have seen a good friend cheating in an important test’) and asked to recommend a solution. They are directed to include modals (might, should, must, can, could, etc.) in their speech/writing.
Type 7: Free discourse
As in Type 6, but the learners are given no specific direction to use the structure; however, the task situation is such that instances of it are likely to appear.
Example: As in Type 6, but without the final direction.
Activity . Point out the examples of
Practising how much/how many? Using a sequence of oral drills (Elementary)
Grammar practice is often associated with drilling. In this example, the teacher of an elementary class has presented how much? and how many? with uncountable and countable nouns respectively, and is now providing practice through a sequence of different types of drills.
The teacher says the following sentence two or three times:
How much milk have we got?
At a given signal, the class repeats this in chorus. Then the teacher indicates to individual students to repeat it. He corrects pronunciation where necessary.
The teacher repeats the sentence and the class choruses it again. Then the teacher supplies the prompt:
and indicates to a student to supply the response:
How much rice have we got?
The teacher supplies further prompts, such as meat, juice, sugar, spaghetti etc, and individual students provide the correct response. Note that all the examples (meat, juice etc) are uncountable – i.e. they do not normally have a plural form.
The teacher repeats Step 2, but this time uses pictures (of meat, juice etc.) rather than word prompts.
The teacher repeats Step 1, but this time with the sentence:
How many bananas have we got?
The teacher then supplies prompts that are countable nouns, such as potatoes, eggs, onions, tomatoes, etc. Initially the prompts are words, and then pictures.
The teacher then supplies prompts that are a mixture of countable and uncountable nouns, first words and then pictures. For example:
Student1: How many eggs have we got?
Student2: How much meat have we got?
Student3: How much coffee have we got?
Student4: How many apples have we got?
The teacher describes pictures to the students, who in pairs test each other.
How to test grammar
Questions and answers. Simple questions, very often following reading, or as part of an interview; may require short or long answers:
What is the (family) relationship between David Copperfield and Mr.
True/false. A statement is given which is to be marked true or false. This may also be given as a question, in which case the answer is yes or no.
Addis Ababa is the capital of Egypt.
IS Addis Ababa the capital of Egypt?
Multiple-choice. The question consists of a stem and a number of options (usually four), From which the testee has to select the right one.
A person who writes books is called
a) a booker b) an editor c) an author d) a publisher
Gap-filling and competition. The testee has to complete a sentence by filling a gap or adding something. A gap may or may not be signalled by a blank or dash;the word to be inserted may not be given or hinted at.
They (go) to Australia in 1980.
They ___________to Australia in 1980. (go)
A_____________ is someone who writes books.
I’ve seen that film. (never)
Matching. The testee is faced with two groups of words, phases or sentences; each item in the first group has to be lined to a different item in he second.
A lot big
Dictation. The tester dictates a passage or set of words; the testee writes them down.
Cloze. Words are omitted from a passage at regular intervals(for example, every seventh word). Usually the first two or three lines are given with no gaps.
The family are all fine, though Leo had bout of flu last week. He spent most of it lying on the sofa watching _______when he wasn’t sleeping. His exams___________ in two weeks; so he is ___________about missing school, but has managed to ___________quite a lot in spite ______feeling ill.
Transformation. A sentence is given; the testee has to change it according to some given instucion.
Put into the past tense: I go to school by bus.
9. Rewriting. A sentence is given; the testee rewrites it, incorporating a given change of expression, but preserving the basic meaning.
He came to the meeting in spite of his illness
10. Translation. The testee is asked to translate the expressions, sentences or entire passages to or from the target language.
Essay. The testee is given a topic such as “Childhood memories”, and asked to write an essay of a specific length.
12. Monologue. The testee is given a topic or question and asked to speak about it for a minute or two.
From Penny Ur “A Course in Language Teaching”, CUP)
There are six factors that need to be taken into account when assessing the value of a test:
Its practicality – how easy is it to set up, administer and mark?
Its reliability- does it give consistent results, e.g. do the results tally with those of similar students, and when marked by different people?
Its validity- does it test what we want to test, and not something else?
Its face validity- do the students recognize it as a fair test, and will they therefore perform to their ability?
Backwash- does it positively influence the teaching that will be done in preparation for it?
Spin-off- can the test be used subsequently for review and remedial teaching?
Where discrete-item tests lose points with regard to their overall validity, they are more reliable, practical and, from the student’s point of view, they look like tests. They can also be used afterwards for reviewing purposes. Their backwash effect is less powerful than of performance tests, however.
Sample test. Test 1. Testing grammar using discrete-item tests
The teacher of an intermediate class has been working or, the differences between yet, already, and still- adverbs that present problems not only in terms of meaning, but also in terms of syntax that is their position in the sentence and the kinds of verb structures they combine with. The teacher now wishes to test her students` command of these adverbs. She can’t decide between the following five short tests.
In each sentence chose the best place (/) to put the words in brackets:
The 7.25 train/hasn’t/arrived/. (still)
/Haven’t you/ done your homework/? (yet)
I/have/sent/all my Christmas cards. (already)
/Ben/is/doing his homework. (still)
How many cookies/have/you eaten/? (already)
/The film/hasn’t started/. (yet)
Complete this text with yet, still, or already
Preparations are underway for the Pan-World Games in Lomoka next year. Many new hotels have___________been built and tourists are __________making reservations. But the main stadium hasn’t been started _____. They are _______deciding where to put it. The Athletes` Village is_____being built, and the swimming complex isn’t completed __________.
Look at the information in the chart and decide if the sentences are true or false.
WORD CUP UPDATE
Morocco-Tunisia___ USA-Germany: in progress
S.Korea-Morocco_____ Japan-Austria: in progress
Croatia- England 0-0 Austria-USA 3-0
Tunisia-Croatia 3-1 Germany-Japan 0-0
Morocco- England 2-1 Austria-Germany 1-1
English have already played Morocco.
Tunisia hasn’t played a match.
The United States have already lost one.
South Korea hasn’t played yet.
Germany still hasn’t scored a goal.
Complete these sentences to make true statements:
Scientists still haven’t __________________________________________
People have already __________________________________________
Explores have already_________________________________________
My teacher has already_________________________________________
My best friend ____________________________________________yet
I am still___________________________________________________
Write a letter to a friend of between 75 and 100 words. Ask him/her about their news, and tell them some news of your own. Include two examples of yet, still, and already.
From Scott Thornbury “How to Teach Grammar”, Longman
2.2 Teaching Vocabulary
Aims: By the end of the session the students will have a clear idea of what vocabulary is, what is to be taught and what the stages of teaching vocabulary are.
To the Anglo-Saxons a vocabulary was a “Wordhoard”, to be owned and treasured, to the Chinese, a sea of words to be fished. How do you see your own vocabulary? Which of these words best captures that image? Explain your choice.
Activity 1. Individual work.
stock nursery store poll raft armoury
palette file mine reservoir web treasury
forest tunnel spectrum orchestra well
mountain reserve theatre field tool-kit
Activity 2. Group work
What words come to your mind when you see the word ‘vocabulary’. Write down your ideas.
Activity 3. Individual work
How is your vocabulary? Individually write down all the words you can think of that begin with a letter you see on the board (no slang, abbreviations or proper names) Stop when you hear ‘time’. How many words do you have?
Activity 4. Group work
Vocabulary as one of the language aspects is connected with grammar and phonetics. How? Draw a scheme.
Activity 5. Group or Pair work
Are all the English words necessary to be learnt? Choose the answer which you think is right.
Are all the English words necessary to be learnt? Choose the answer, which you think, is right:
How many words are there in English?
a) 10000 b) 100000 c) 250000 d) 500000
Winston Churchill was famous for his particularly large vocabulary. How many words did he use in his writing?
a) 10000 b) 60000 c) 100000 d) 120000
How many words does the average native speaker use in his / her everyday speech?
a) 2500 b) 5000 c) 7500 d) 10000
How many words make up 45% of everything written in English?
a) 50 b) 250 c) 1000 d) 2500
There are many words your students don’t need at all. And there are words they need simply to understand when they read or hear them. Finally there are words, which the students need to be able to use in speech or in writing!
What’s needed to be taught? Is it enough just to teach the meaning of a new word? Look at the list of the necessary aspects to be taught and write the characteristics of the words below next to each aspect:
The characteristics to choose from:
rich – poor;
toss a coin;
‘a dog’ has positive associations in Britain but negative in Arabia;
enjoy + -ing;
‘weep’ is used in writing more than in speech;
intelligent – bright, clever, smart;
a dark green cabbage;
fruit for orange, apple, kiwi;
brown – red, blue, green;
spring, autumn, summer for season;
Aspects to be taught:
Form: pronunciation and spelling
Aspects of meaning (1):
Aspects of meaning (2): meaning relationships
f) Word formation
Form: pronunciation and spelling
The learner has to know what a word sounds like (its pronunciation) and what it looks like (its spelling).
We need to teach grammar because a lexical (or a vocabulary item) may have a change of form in certain grammatical contexts; it is important to provide learners with this information at the same time as we teach the base form. When teaching a verb, what should we give?
(Forms (2, 3), transitive or intransitive, followed by the to –inf.
(bare inf. or -ing form), prepositions)
A collocation is a combination of two words which should go with one another and can’t be used with the other word. Collocation always implies combinability. There are a lot of dictionaries of collocations, mostly verbal. Ex.: we introduce the word conclusion we should note that we can come to the conclusion. As for the word ‘decision’ we can take a decision, make a decision but not ‘come to a decision’.
Ex.: mistake Give collocations with the word
Aspects of meaning:
The meaning of a word is what it refers to in the real world, its denotation.
Dog – denotes a kind of animal
A less obvious component of the meaning of an item is its connotation, the associations, positive or negative feelings, and its special flavour.
The word Dog understood by the British has positive connotations of friendship and loyalty. In Arab countries it has a negative connotation of dirt and inferiority.
A more subtle aspect of meaning that needs to be taught is whether a vocabulary item is appropriate to use in a certain context or not. It is useful for a leaner to know that a certain word is common or rare, or ‘taboo’ in polite conversation. It can be formal or informal.
Weep – formal (in writing)
Cry – informal (in speech)
How would you present the meanings of the words?
Childish, kid, bastard
Connotations? Appropriate contexts?
‘Childish’ means like a child usually about an adult with negative connotations
‘Kid’ means the same as ‘child’ – in informal, spoken speech
‘Bastard’ a child of parents who are not married, usually used as an insult in informal
Aspects of meaning
synonyms – items that mean the same or nearly the same
antonyms – items that mean the opposite
hyponyms – items that serve as specific examples of a general concept
Autumn is a hyponym of the seasons
co-hyponyms or co-ordinates: other items that are ‘the same kind of thing
Autumn, winter, spring, summer are co-hyponyms
super ordinates: general concepts that ‘cover’ specific items
season is the super ordinate of spring, summer, winter, autumn
Words and expressions are to be translated into the learners’ mother tongue.
Vocabulary units, whether one-word or multi\word can often be broken into their component ‘bits’.
And this information should be taught to more advanced learners. Common prefixes or suffixes can be taught.
What prefixes and suffixes do you know? How can they help understand the meaning of a word?
Another way vocabulary items are built is by combining two words to make one item: a single compound word, or two separate, sometimes hyphened words (bookcase, follow-up, swimming pool).
Activity 7. Individual or group work
Now let’s play again!
During two minutes write as many words beginning with the letters of this word as possible. How many words do you have?
Activity 8. Group work
This “Step – by – step” word puzzle is very popular with the native – speakers. Try it as well.
Look at the example:
Change a boy into a man replacing one letter on each line!
Now change sea into sky, and then land into seas. The sentences on the left will help you find the right word.
Morning is the time for the sun to rise. Evening is the time for it to ….
The policeman got into the car and … next to the driver.
What did you ….? I can’t hear you well.
I’ve forgotten to bring any money. Can you ….me some?
Some people … their friends a card at the New Year.
Good corn grows from good …
When someone looks into water he often … his face.
How do you usually remember words? Share your favourite techniques.
People tend to remember words that have personal or emotive significance
People link items together in sense units or find some associations or look for personal significance
Words at the beginning of a list tend to be remembered better, so teach more important new words first, or at the beginning of a lesson.
Teaching vocabulary starts with presenting. Now relate your vocabulary learning experiences to presenting new words or phrases in the classroom. Together make a list of elements which make an effective presentation of new vocabulary.