Why you should change your approach to Grammar Instruction | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

Introduction

In most MFL and ELT classrooms grammar is usually taught deductively following a PPP (presentation, practice, production) model. A typical PPP sequence unfolds as follows:  (1) the target grammar rule is explained through a few examples (Presentation); then, (2) the structure is practised in a controlled manner, e.g. through gap fill exercises, substitution drills, sentence transformations, reordering sentences, or matching a picture to a sentence (Practice); finally, (3) students engage in controlled activities such as, surveys, interviews and other information gap activities…

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Why you should change your approach to Grammar Instruction | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

Introduction

In most MFL and ELT grammar is usually taught deductively following a PPP (presentation, practice, production) model. A typical PPP sequence unfolds as follows:  (1) the target grammar rule is explained through a few examples (Presentation); then, (2) the structure is practised in a controlled manner, e.g. through gap fill exercises, substitution drills, sentence transformations, reordering sentences, or matching a picture to a sentence (Practice); finally, (3) students engage in controlled activities such as, surveys, interviews and other information gap activities which will…

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Why we have been teaching Listening wrongly for decades | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

Please note: this is the introduction to my latest article on http://www.tes.com (full article, at link below)

Introduction

Listening is often described as the ‘cinderella skill’, as it is by far the area of language instruction that language teachers neglect the most. The reasons for this neglect are manifold. First and foremost, as much research has shown, listening is the skill MFL teachers understand the least and consequently do not feel confident teaching. Add to this the fact that instructional materials are often uninspiring, poorly designed and usually under-exploited by…

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Why we have been teaching Listening wrongly for decades | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

Please note: this is the introduction to my latest article on http://www.tes.com (full article, at link below)

Introduction

Listening is often described as the ‘cinderella skill’, as it is by far the area of language instruction that language teachers neglect the most. The reasons for this neglect are manifold. First and foremost, as much research has shown, listening is the skill MFL teachers understand the least and consequently do not feel confident teaching. Add to this the fact that instructional materials are often uninspiring, poorly designed and usually under-exploited by…

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Seven minimal-prep/high impact techniques to focus students on function words and less salient morphemes – Teaching grammar through listening (part 2) | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

(co-authored with Dylan Vinales of Garden International School and Steve Smith)

In a blogpost I published two months ago, ‘Teaching grammar through listening’, I discussed the benefits of teaching grammar through L.A.M. (Listening-As-Modelling) tasks I devised. In a more recent article, ‘They can’t learn what they can’t notice’ posted last week, I concerned myself with the issue of salience, discussing how the extent to which an L2 item or morpheme is ‘noticeable’ will affect its acquisition, making the point that L2 students are less likely to learn what they can’t perceive or hear…

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Seven minimal-prep/high impact techniques to focus students on function forms and less salient morphemes – Teaching grammar through listening (part 2) | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

In a blogpost I published two months ago, ‘Teaching grammar through listening’, I discussed the benefits of teaching grammar through L.A.M. (Listening-As-Modelling) tasks I devised. In a more recent article, ‘They can’t learn what they can’t notice’ posted last week, I concerned myself with the issue of saliency, discussing how the extent to which an L2 item or morpheme is ‘noticeable’ will affect its acquisition, making the point that L2 students are less likely to learn what they can’t perceive or hear clearly. I concluded that post suggesting a few activities that may enhance student…

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They can’t learn what they don’t notice – on the role of salience in language learning | Gianfranco Conti, Phd (Applied Linguistics), MA (TEFL), MA (English Lit.), PGCE (Modern Languages and P.E.)

The extent to which a target language structure is salient (i.e. is noticeable, stands out) is likely to affect its chances to be acquired by a learner. This is consonant with Schmidt’s (1990) Noticing hypothesis (concisely discussed here) which states that noticing a given grammar structure is the starting point for its acquisition.

A number of factors concur to making certain items more salient than others; some refer to frequency and regularity of use, some to their semantic importance, some to how easy it is to hear or perceive them, some to the challenges that the items themselves or…

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