ERIC Number: ED278218
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Teaching of Grammar: The Relationship of Structure to Communication. ACTFL Master Lecture Series.
Higgs, Theodore V.
Teaching grammar for its own sake is largely counterproductive when the goal of instruction is to have students communicate spontaneously, fluently, and accurately in the target language. The ideal foreign language program is one providing the best possible environment for language acquisition to take place. Explicit teaching about the language should be tailored to the students' level. Sensitivity to grammar is generally limited at the beginning of language study, but increases with overall language proficiency. An overriding principle on which to base instructional decisions is that the teacher's responsibility is to provide for his students only the parts of the total picture that they cannot provide for themselves. These include feedback, correction, encouragement, motivation, supporting examples, realia, cultural interaction and information, situations in which the language is used, the language (as distinct from its forms alone), opportunities for real information exchange, authentic communication/ conversation strategies, alternative and supplementary pronunciations, vocabulary, and structure, and authentic language as used by a native speaker, and, above all, a warm, supportive, human contact with the language. Classroom grammar study should be used for clarifying points of grammar, when grammar is defined as the system through which meanings are converted into speech. (MSE)
Descriptors: Communication Skills, Communicative Competence (Languages), Difficulty Level, Educational Objectives, Grammar, Language Proficiency, Postsecondary Education, Pronunciation Instruction, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Structural Grammar, Teacher Developed Materials, Teacher Role, Vocabulary Development
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Defense Language Inst., Monterey, CA. Foreign Language Center.