Roles Of Grammar In English Language Teaching

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The role of grammar in English Language Teaching (ELT) has been a crucial and debatable issue for many years, gaining both supporters and opponents along the way. The treatment of grammar differs with various teaching methodologies and approaches (Burgess & Etherington 2002: 434). It needs to be noted that grammar is an “ambiguous term” in the language teaching field (Larsen-Freeman 2009: 518). It can refer to many things at the same time. Therefore, only one comprehensive definition will be utilized to eliminate any misunderstandings. According to Ellis (2006: 84), grammar teaching includes instructional techniques that attract learners’ attention to specific grammar forms that will help them “understand [them] metalinguistically, and/or process …show more content…
There are several methods used in teaching grammar that are based on two generally contradictory approaches; they range from the Grammar-translation Method, Audio-lingual Method, to the Natural Approach, and the Communicative Language Teaching. One approach focuses on analysing language, memorizing and applying rules, such as the Grammar-Translation Method, and the other focuses on its usage in everyday contexts. The Communicative Language Teaching is an example of the latter (Savage, Bitterlin, and Price, 2010; Richards & Rodgers, 2014). Over the years, each method gained popularity for some time and then was challenged as it deemed insufficient in fulfilling what was believed to be learners’ needs. For example, the Grammar-Translation Method focused on solely on memorizing grammar rules, with little attention paid to listening and speaking. It dominated the foreign language field for over a century (Richards and Rodgers 2014: 7). Many methods were introduced after it as an aftermath. While other methods included teaching grammar to some extent, the zero grammar approach (Ellis …show more content…
This is because there has been a gap between being well-informed in grammar and applying using it correctly and productively (Savage, Bitterlin, and Price 2010: 2). Krashen (in Larsen-Freeman, 2014; Ellis 2006: 85; Benati, Laval, and Arche, 2013: 2) maintains that grammar should not be directly instructed and will be unconsciously acquired if there is ample understandable input to the learners. However, many argue that learners learn differently: what one learns readily and easily without direct instruction, another learner may find it challenging and unachievable. Some grammar rules are more difficult than others and learners may require more instruction, practice, and time to master them. Larsen-Freeman (2009: 522) emphasizes that pedagogic approaches in different parts of the world vary, depending on both “grammatical complexities” and “pedagogic traditions”. In today’s globalized world, English has become the lingua franca for many fields, like economy, technology, and science. Non-native speakers use it to communicate with both native and other non-native speakers in numerous contexts. They are motivated to learn grammar because it will help them send clear and comprehendible messages while being able to self-correct their mistakes if needed. Accordingly, they want to gain as much as possible from grammar teaching to aid them in becoming self-sufficient learners, for it

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