Grammar as Process
- 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
A presentation-transmission approach to teaching grammar
assumes that there is something the learners dont know, and that
the teachers 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 teachers 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?
- 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.