ERIC Number: ED184361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
A Realistic Look at the Function of Grammar in the Foreign Language Classroom.
Heilenman, Laura K.
The role of grammar in foreign language study should be shaped by realistic expectations of what academic study of a second language can accomplish. The temptation to emphasize grammar instruction above all else is reinforced by the patness of grammar instruction, by the measurability of student proficiency in grammar, and by the teacher's own history of learning the language through a grammar-based method. Grammar, on the other hand, must be understood as an outgrowth of language usage which only imperfectly reflects the same. The determination of the place of grammar in the classroom should be based on an awareness of the duality of the conscious monitoring process and the unconscious acquistion process which accompany language learning: the former is amenable to grammar instruction but differs widely from individual to individual; the latter is nearly universal but is not easily dealt with in a classroom situation. Grammar should retain a place in the language classroom because of its value to the student with a strong monitoring system, and because it lends itself to an academic context. A judicious combination of grammar and practice in the target language will not impart total communicative competence, but will prepare the student for future language experiences. (JB)
Descriptors: Communicative Competence (Languages), Grammar, Language Usage, Learning Processes, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Teaching Methods
Not available separately; See FL 011 156.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Minneapolis, MN, April 19-21, 1979).