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Let’s Recall Grammar in Communication!

Let’s Recall Grammar in Communication!
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외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
Warren Euwon Chung
1. Introduction The aim of this portfolio is twofold. First, the text will allow Korean female high school students to notice and retain grammatical knowledge inductively through authentic reading materials. Second, students can improve productive skills by applying such grammatical knowledge to real communicative contexts appropriately through task-based activities. Most Korean EFL learners have learned English since elementary school, but they are not confident enough to communicate in English in real situations. Additionally, Korean students have mainly studied English grammar to prepare for the university entrance exam (KSAT). However, they are not proficient at applying their grammatical knowledge to real language use, because in most Korean classrooms, students learn grammar not at the discourse level, but only at the sentence level with model sentences. Therefore many Korean public school and private English academies have adapted the Communicative Language Teaching Approach (CLT). However, we cannot simply neglect English grammar teaching in the Korean EFL context because grammar is one of the key elements of language for second language learning. Furthermore, we still need a book to remind them of grammatical knowledge they acquired, which can lead to real communication at the discourse level. According to Thornbury (1999), it is necessary to understand the language in terms of both the whole meaning and function through context because language cannot be isolated from the context in which it used. Without attention to form, the learner is unlikely to progress beyond the most basic level of communication. However, this doesn’t mean that grammar should be the goal of teaching, nor that a focus on form alone is sufficient. (Thornbury, 1999)Thus, the aim of this textbook is to give Korean EFL learners a chance to learn English grammar at the discourse level to understand how to use it in real communication. The target students of this book are Intermediate level to Intermediate High according to ACTFL. They are all female Korean high school students, aged 17 to 19. They are able to understand information in the texts and recognize the main idea and details without much difficulty. Since they have been taught English grammar and prepared for exams focusing on accuracy, they are familiar with basic grammar forms and structures. Thus, they are accustomed to deductive grammar teaching. Since they have been taught English through the explanation of grammar rules in teacher-centered classes, they are not confident in their abilities to acquire communicative competence. Hence, I have designed the activities for pair or group work and individual work to help students benefit from cooperative language learning. Additionally, through task-based activities, learners can also improve productive skills by applying the target language to communicative contexts. 2. Method and Rationale This text book focuses on inductive and deductive grammar teaching with intensive reading strategies and task-based activities to help students notice meaning and functions of grammatical knowledge through authentic reading material, and to use that grammar in communicative situations (CLT). As Long and Robinson (1998) stated, a lesson should start with a focus on communicating meaning but the learners’ attention has to be drawn to language forms and functions to learn how the language item is used. Consequently, they can better understand how the target language is used in real contexts and furthermore, they will be able to use it in their own interactions with others. Learners are not only required to produce the language but use it properly as well. A grammar focus can help students understand the grammatical features in a meaningful way. Through the reading passage, students can discover the grammar features instead of being exposed to grammar forms from an explicit statement of grammar rules. According to Grass and Selinker (2008), noticing leads the learners to reassess what they know about language. When learners notice how language is used in real contexts, they can more easily use the target items when they communicate. The main objective of my textbook, therefore, is to enable learners to naturally use target language items in authentic contexts. Learners will be provided with ample opportunities to utilize language targets both in comprehension and production. To motivate target students, topics and themes have been chosen considering teens’ common interests. Hence, more magazine articles than works of literature have been selected as reading materials to generate a lot of interest as well as motivate the target students (Alan & Loren,1985). Although the articles are interesting topic of and derived from magazines for teens, the linguistic load of unfamiliar vocabulary and syntactic complexity can make such texts impenetrable, and ultimately very demotivating. That is the reason why I strived to simplify them in ways to retain their genuine flavor and not destroy the authenticity. Before reading, in activity ‘get ready’, learners’ schema will be activated by guessing what is contained in pictures or titles. While reading passages, students will answer inductive grammar questions as well as reading strategies such as guessing the meaning of some language from context and checking comprehension. According to Thornbury (1999), rules learners discover for themselves are more likely to fit their existing mental structures than rules they have been presented with. It ensures a greater degree of cognitive depth. Through inductive grammar leaning, students are more actively rather than being simply passive recipients to be more attentive and motivated. However, deductive questions are designed to test the learner’s grasp of the rule and to prepare them for independent practice. After reading, they will reflect on what they have learned from the text. They will complete writing and speaking tasks expressing their own ideas both individually, and in pairs or groups. During the post activity, learners are allowed some less teacher-led practice, with the opportunity of providing their own content to the exercise offering the students a chance to personalize the language point. (Thornbury, 1999) By completing communicative tasks, students will be able to practice the language functions recognized in reading passages. Students will be encouraged to work collaboratively, developing communicative competence through interactive activities.(Richards & Rodgers, 1986) 3. Expected Outcome Learners will be able to become aware of target languages inductively 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 on their. In my textbook, students will be encouraged to increase their motivation through interesting and authentic topics, such as skin care tips or how to relieve stress. Also, this textbook will motivate students to enjoy reading using authentic materials. By this textbook, students will be able to not only understand meaning but also recognize language features. Students can be more autonomous learners who will not only improve their receptive skills, but they will also have ample opportunity to develop their productive skills. The students are also encouraged to cooperate with each other to complete the follow-up activities and the tasks in this book, which will be able to provide an opportunity for peer-teaching and improve students’ communicative skills as well. Additionally, deductive language accuracy activity in pair work helps students to communicate about grammar. During pair communicative activities, if one doesn’t understand the other’s questions or answers, both of them can have the potential for negotiation which triggers restructuring. (Thornbury, 1999) 4. Conclusion This portfolio is aimed for female Korean female high school students who wish to retain and use grammatical knowledge properly at discourse level and communicative situations by interesting authentic reading materials, such as Teen Vogue magazine. Both inductive and deductive grammar teaching approach are used to make students acquire English language competence. Additionally, intensive reading is used to make learners understand contents meaning and grabs language features. By using those teaching methodologies, this textbook will lead students to having confidence of their English language competence they need as high school students. Also it will lead students to language acquisition by natural repetition and reinforcement.
☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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