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ERIC Number: EJ854585
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Knowing English Grammar--An Important Aid in Second Language Learning
Cleary, Colin
Babel, v38 n3 p30-34, 38 Sum 2003-2004
This article discusses a small-scale study that explored students', teachers', and university lecturers' beliefs about the value of studying English grammar in foreign and second language learning. A major debate in second language acquisition literature has been concerned with experiential (implicit) learning as opposed to analytical (explicit) learning. With regard to the former, an important question is whether Chomsky's theory of a "universal grammar"--the manner by which students acquire their native language--extends into the field of second language acquisition (Chomsky 1975). Related too, is Halliday's research (1979) with its emphasis on the social aspect of language learning, as it supports Chomsky's view of universal grammar, and so strengthens the case for the experiential learning approach to second language acquisition. As well, Krashen's (1981) ideas on immersion theory strengthen the arguments for experiential language learning. Krashen's central idea is that what is involved in second language acquisition is acquisition approach to second language acquisition. DeKeyser (1998) suggests that if the focus on form rather than just learning. He considers that second language acquisition is "initiated" in extensive conversation which needs to be free from conscious attention to form. A related line of argument in the literature does in fact suggest the need for at least a part-analytical is not part of universal grammar, then successful language learner rule-based learning is required. If second language acquisition involves this cognitive and constructivist learning process, then analytical learning of grammar seems necessary. Williams (1999) stresses the importance of "learner-generated attention to form", and maintains that positive attitudes towards explicit grammar teaching are important in achieving learner success. Related too are the practical considerations involved with analytical instruction--particularly with regard to direct teacher instruction. The research question for this study focuses on the beliefs of teachers and students about the relevance of a knowledge of first language grammar in the second/foreign language learning process. (Contains 1 table.)
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A