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Grammar as Process

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  • sthornbury@wanadoo.es
    Things have been a bit quiet for a while - so I thought I d post something I have been working on - it is the last paragraph of the last chapter of a book I
    Message 1 of 6 , May 4, 2000
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      Things have been a bit quiet for a while - so I thought I'd post
      something I have been working on - it is the last paragraph of the
      last chapter of a book I have been working on. You saw it here
      first!:


      A presentation-transmission approach to teaching grammar
      assumes that there is something the learners don’t know, and that
      the teacher’s role is to provide them with that knowledge. It is a
      deficit model of learning. An emergent view of grammar, on the
      other hand, starts from the assumption that there is something the
      learners can already do, and that the teacher’s role is to help them
      to do it more effectively, to uncover their emergent language-
      making faculty. It could therefore be described as an empowering
      model of learning.

      An emergent view of grammar has the following implications

      · work from texts and topics rather than a structural syllabus
      · generate language and then look for items and patterms
      · talk to the learners, and scaffold their emergent language

      But will all the grammar be covered - or even uncovered? you may
      be wondering. I believe it will. The assumption is that, if a fairly
      wide range of topics are chosen, and if a fairly representative range
      of texts are used, and if there is ongoing work on item learning and
      pattern detection, and if the input-output-feedback cycle is in
      constant motion, then all the grammar that the learners will ever
      need will emerge in time. This is a big assumption, with a lot of ifs.
      Nevertheless, traditional grammar teaching is also based on some
      fairly sweeping assumptions - number one being that what the
      teacher teaches, the learner learns. Generations of frustrated
      language learners (as well as many frustrated language teachers)
      can attest to the dodginess of such a view. What, therefore, is to
      be lost by adopting – instead of a deficit model of learning – a
      model that empowers?
    • Richard Bradford
      Dear Scott, Just a quick note for you, rather than dogme: are you still a teacher trainer and if so do you have any CELTA or DELTA places left for the summer,
      Message 2 of 6 , May 8, 2000
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        Dear Scott,

        Just a quick note for you, rather than dogme: are you still a teacher
        trainer and if so do you have any CELTA or DELTA places left for the summer,
        and if so could you please forward dates/prices?

        Thanks and I will write for dogme again shortly.

        Regards,

        Richard Bradford
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