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A contrastive study of grammar translation method and communicative approach in teaching English grammar.

Summary:

This article makes a comparison between Grammar Translation Method and Communicative Language Teaching in relation to teaching English grammar. The researcher aimed to find the best method of teaching grammar in Taiwan. Experiment results showed that a combination of both methods could improve teaching grammar.

Critique:

Even though the researcher conducted the study in Taiwan, results and findings can be applied to foreign learners, who are studying English. The author provided a detailed description and proved the importance of Grammar Translation Method in achieving accuracy and importance of Communicative Approach in achieving fluency. The significance of learning grammar to master a language on a professional level was also emphasized in this article. As Chang (2011) indicated, "without grammar, words hang together without any real meaning or sense" (p. 21).

My essay discusses the importance of teaching grammar and explains the relevance of this article. The role of the teacher is also emphasized throughout the discussion. The article contributes to this section by providing information about efficient ways of teaching grammar that could be adopted by language teachers.

Teaching grammar to adults and second language learning research

Summary:

Fitch discoursed about general approaches to grammar education for adult learners. She also evaluated and criticized these methods and recommended certain changes. The researcher questioned whether grammar should be taught in isolation or through composition. The question was addressed in the context of teaching native speakers. The researcher explained that there was a connection between teaching English to native speakers and teaching English to foreigners.

Critique:

The author revealed a problem that native speakers who learn English have insufficient understanding of the effects that grammar rules have on writing skills of learners. Two factors were identified as the main causes to this problem: lack of professional teachers and inefficient education system as some states ignored teaching grammar. Native speakers encountered only some difficulties in learning grammar and emphasized the importance of learning its rules. Foreign learners, on the other hand, faced more difficulties and put more emphasis on teaching grammar so that they could reach the desired level of proficiency in the language. This article is relevant to my paper because it discusses the importance of teaching grammar and problems that are associated with this kind of education. This is exactly the subject of my paper.

Are you organizing groups that work? Revisiting 3 beliefs

Summary:

This newsletter provided tools for teachers to organize effective working environment. It gave practical advice about successful use of groups in classrooms. Three beliefs were discussed to ensure effective usage of groups in language classes.

 Critique:  

This article reflected organizational issues rather than teaching techniques. It explained three working principles related to using groups. According to the writer, group work is a vital part of language classes and is also helpful for developing learners' communication skills. These principles are recommended to be used in grammar teaching. Teachers should consider them to make grammar lessons more enjoyable and understandable. Thus, this source is useful for the section that describes teachers' role in my paper.

The efficacy of grammar instruction in EFL classes in Japan (Doctoral dissertation)

Summary:

This dissertation was written by Mitsuko Takahashi under supervision of Joseph Emonds. It was presented to the English Linguistics Department of graduate school in Japan to satisfy requirements for a doctorate degree. The aim was to accentuate the importance of English language grammar and to compare historical and modern approaches to linguistic education in Japan.

Critique:

This dissertation stresses that teaching grammar is essential for learning English as a foreign language, which is also the main argument of my essay. The importance of grammar in mastering four skills of English – reading, writing, speaking, and listening – is highlighted throughout the dissertation. Takahashi claims that "teaching English to Japanese students without grammar instruction is fruitless" (2005, p. 11). This is the case for all foreign language learners around the world. They need and want rules to understand how languages work. In addition, the author discusses challenges, which are frequently related to teaching grammar. Questions and concerns about the significance of teaching grammar and its complications have contributed to my argument as well. Therefore, this dissertation serves as a primary source of arguments for my essay.

The study of language

Summary:

In his book, professor George Yule incorporates basic approaches and techniques applied in the field of foreign language education. It consists of 20 chapters that illustrate language origin, development, acquisition, and learning. Other professionals in the field highly praised Yule’s book due to its clarity and usefulness.

Critique:

Yule’s work has many advantages: English language is not accentuated and the research of professor Yule is appropriate for educators of any foreign language. It is clear, concise, and easy to follow. Some of the concepts discussed in the book are covered in my paper. For example, concepts of English syntax and grammar as well as the difference between second and first language acquisition are discussed. Yule also introduces the concept of grammatical competence, which refers to accurate use of words and structures as the first component of communicative competence. Therefore, the vital role of grammar in learning a foreign language is stressed, even if the purpose was to learn the language communicatively. This is another contribution to my argument about the importance of teaching grammar to adult foreign English learners.

Second language learning and teaching of grammar

Summary:

The article discussed some topics relevant to the role of grammar in learning a language. The aim was to explain different processes related to acquisition of the first language and the second language. Then it emphasized usefulness of grammar instruction to achieve fluency  while learning the language. The researcher also mentioned some of the problems encountered by foreign learners of English.

Critique:

This study was interesting for me. This is because in contrast to other modern and contemporary studies that neglect the role of grammar and focus mainly on communication, it stresses the significant role of grammar in acquisition of language other than the native one.

Zhongganggao (2001) explained that "grammar is always an aid to facilitate effective and smooth communication" (p. 333). This statement proves the importance of teaching grammar. The researcher also explained the problem of time being a challenge for adults, who study the language. The learning process is long and boring because, in contrast to children, adult learners are busy. Time management is stated as one of the difficulties in my essay. Thus, the article is a supportive source, which provides information about the difficulty of time management in teaching grammar to adult foreign students.

Code: Sample20

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