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ERIC Number: ED505388
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
Teaching Grammar to Adult English Language Learners: Focus on Form. CAELA Network Brief
Gallup Rodriguez, Amber
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
Many adult English language learners place a high value on learning grammar. Perceiving a link between grammatical accuracy and effective communication, they associate excellent grammar with opportunities for employment and promotion, the attainment of educational goals, and social acceptance by native speakers. Reflecting the disagreement that was once common in the second language acquisition research, teachers of adult English language learners vary in their views on how, to what extent, and even whether to teach grammar. Recent focus on communicative instruction and task-based approaches to teaching has at times resulted in explicit grammar instruction playing a limited role in second language acquisition. However, most research now supports some attention to grammar within a meaningful, interactive instructional context. This brief begins with a brief history of grammar instruction in the United States, including the shift from explicit to implicit approaches. It then describes the contemporary approach, called focus on form, and explores the reasons and research-based evidence for drawing learner attention to language structure while remaining focused primarily on meaning. It offers examples of instructional activities that can help raise learner awareness of grammar, and concludes with suggestions about areas for future research within the focus-on-form movement.
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: 202-355-1500; Fax: 202-363-7204; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition