ERIC Number: ED121100
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Jun
Reference Count: 0
English Structure in Context: An Area of Research for ESL Specialists. Workpapers in Teaching English as a Second Language, Vol. 9.
This paper points out the irrelevance of the sentence-based grammatical explanations found in most grammar reference books and ESL textbooks with regard to answering questions such as: (1) when and why do native speakers of English use the passive rather than the active voice, and (2) when and why does the native speaker of English use the present perfect tense rather than the simple past or the simple present? These questions represent exactly the type of information the ESL teacher must transmit in grammar lessons. A strategy for answering such questions is suggested and demonstrated with examples from relevant studies. The strategy includes researching the literature, analyzing appropriate data, constructing hypotheses and testing them out. Language learners should get grammar and usage rules based on fact and statistical consensus, and not on outdated prescriptions, native speaker intuition or hypothetical analysis. The paper argues the need to get linguistically talented ESL students to carry out ESL-centered investigations of English structure in context and describes some of the recently completed and forthcoming studies undertaken by TESL students at UCLA at the Master's level. (Author/CLK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Dept. of English.