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Learning English Grammar through Texts and Tasks

Learning English Grammar through Texts and Tasks
Han, Jihee
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Most Korean EFL learners have learned English from their middle school years, but they are not confident enough to communicate in English in real life. From my experience, I realized that many Korean students were better in grammar classes than students from other EFL countries such as Europe or Latin America, when I studied at a language school in Canada. However, ironically they were very quiet in conversation classes because they had been accustomed to the traditional Grammar Translation Method (GTM) for a long time. Korean students have mainly studied English grammar to prepare for the university entrance exam. As the result of such studying methods they are not good at applying their grammar knowledge to language use. Above all when we learned English grammar in the Korean classroom, we learned them at the sentence level with model sentences, not at the discourse level. Hong (2007) stated that the main focus of English education in specialized high schools is to prepare for the university entrance exam or TOEIC or TOEFL tests and most of the English education system has been constructed accordingly. Hong added that that is the reason why they cannot teach practical English in the classroom, which means that Korean teachers and students do not have enough opportunities to apply their teaching and learning to real language use. To sum up, Korean learners learn English grammar at the sentence level with test-type model sentences, not at the discourse level. Due to this situation, I believe that Korean EFL learners should have a chance to learn English grammar at the discourse level to understand how to use them in real communication as well as how to apply their grammatical knowledge to real conversation. Therefore, I would like to design a grammar book based on the ‘Focus on Form’ approach. According to Long and Robinson (1998), the teacher starts the lesson helping students understand the meanings of texts and occasionally shifts the students’ attention to the linguistic features. Through this shift, students are repetitively exposed to the target language items in the real contexts, and the teacher should help students notice the target items. In this textbook, authentic reading materials are used to present the target languages, so that learners will be able to become aware of target languages at the discourse level and understand how they are used in real contexts. Additionally, meaningful tasks will be given for students to practice using the target language items in their own communication. The intended target audience of this grammar book are Korean adult learners in the upper intermediate level of ACTFL scale, who have already learned English basic grammar in their school years and that can understand general meanings of listening and reading materials. The age group of this target would be 20 to 30 year olds. I designed a grammar book to aid this target audience’s learning of English grammar both in a classroom setting and in their own study, since some Korean 20 to 30 years old adult learners could not have had enough time to regularly attend an English course due to their busy routine. Therefore, I have basically designed the activities for group work but they can also be conducted individually. As it is necessary for second language learners to understand and produce the target language in real communication, I would like to take a ‘Focus on Form’ approach to my grammar book for Korean adult learners to understand grammatical forms as well as their functions. For this, I would like to use authentic reading materials such as novels, essays, lecture notes, speeches, etc. In addition, through task type activities, I would like learners to produce and apply the target language to their own communication.
석사학위를 수여받기 위해 제출된 포트폴리오임;☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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