Teachers' Practices and Awareness of Grammar Teaching Principles

Authors

University of Tehran

Abstract

Despite consensus on the important role of grammar instruction, there are debates about teaching it. Teachers' perceptions about grammar and how it should be taught influence their teaching. Classroom observations indicate that regardless of teachers’ experience and proficiency, their grammar teaching practices are not usually void of problems. Identifying language teachers’ areas of weaknesses in grammar teaching, finding such problematic areas, raising their awareness and providing solutions in line with effective grammar teaching principles can enhance the effectiveness of grammar instruction. This qualitative study aimed at identifying the main problems in the grammar teaching practice of 34 experienced Iranian English teachers through observing their classes, exploring their awareness of effective grammar instruction principles using a semistructured interview and finding mismatches between their grammar teaching knowledge and practice. The most frequently observed problems in grammar lessons and teachers’ corresponding beliefs were reported, and suggestions for alternative practices were made. The findings suggest that teacher educators should provide more focused training to preclude posttraining grammar teaching complications, and language teachers should be more reflective about the effectiveness of their grammar teaching practices.

Keywords


Ahmed, S. (2013). The current practices of teaching grammar in CLT at secondary school level in Bangladesh: Problems and probable solutions. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(8), 1328-1334.
Akbari, Z. (2015). Current challenges in teaching/learning English for EFL learners: The case of junior high school and high school. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 199, 394–401.
Alghanmi, B. & Shukri, N. (2016). The relationship between teachers' beliefs of grammar instruction and classroom practices in the Saudi context. English Language Teaching, 9(7), 70-86.
Al-Mekhlafi, A. & Nagaratnam, R. (2011). Difficulties in teaching and learning grammar in an EFL context. International Journal of Instruction, 4 (2), 69-92.
Bauducco, D. (2017). Teaching grammar in the post communicative approach era. Retrieved from https://eflmagazine.com/author/dianabau
Behroozi, M. & Amoozegar, A. (2014). Challenges to English language teachers of secondary schools in Iran. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 136, 203–207.
Borg, S. (2001). Self-perception and practice in teaching grammar. ELT Journal 55(1), 21-29.
Borg, S. (2003). Teacher cognition in language teaching: A review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, and do. Language teaching, 36(2), 81-109.
Borg, S. (2006). Teacher cognition and language education: Research and practice. London: Continuum.
Borg, S. (2018). Teachers' beliefs and classroom practices. In P. Garrett & J. Conts (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of Language Awareness, (pp. 75-91). London: Routledge.
Borg, S., & Alshumaimeri, Y. (2017). Language learner autonomy in a tertiary context: Teachers' beliefs and practices. Language Teaching Research.
Borg, S., & Burns, A. (2008). Integrating grammar in adult TESOL classrooms. Applied Linguistics 29(3), 456-482.
Braine, G. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching English to the world: History, curriculum, and practice. New-York: Routledge.
Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. New-York: Longman.
Burgess, J., & Etherington, S. (2002). Focus on grammatical form: Explicit or implicit? System, 30 (4), 33-58.
Cruz Corzo, C. (2013). Formal grammar instruction: Theoretical aspects to contemplate its teaching. Profile Issues in Teachers Professional Development, 15(2), 215-224.
Dendrinos, B. (2015). ELT methods and practices. Dealing with grammar in a communicative context. Athens. Retrieved from http://opencourses.uoa.gr/courses/ENL4
Ebrahimpourtaher, A. & Eissaie, S. (2015). A survey of Iranian EFL learners’ opinions about problems in learning English as a foreign language: the case of vocabulary, grammar and L1 use in learning L2 skills. Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences, 5(2), 986-991.
Ellis, R. (2005). Measuring implicit and explicit knowledge of a second language: A psychometric study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(2), 141-172.
Ellis, R. (2006). Current issues in the teaching of grammar: An SLA perspective. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 83-107.
Ellis, R. (2009). Implicit and explicit learning, knowledge and instruction. In R. Ellis, S. Loewen, C. Elder, R. Erlam & J. Philp (Eds.), Implicit and explicit knowledge in second language learning, testing and teaching (pp. 3-26). Bristol, UK
Farrell, S. C. (2016). The teacher is a facilitator: Reflecting on ESL teacher beliefs through metaphor analysis. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 4(1), 1-10.
Farrell, S. C., & Ives, J. (2015). Exploring teacher beliefs and classroom practices through reflective practice: A case study. Language Teaching Research, 19(5), 594-610.
Farrell, S. C., & Yang, D. (2017). Exploring and EAP teacher's beliefs and practices in teaching L2 speaking: A case study. RELC Journal.
Farrell, T. S., & Lim, P. C. P. (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: A case study of teachers' beliefs and classroom practices. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, 9(2), 1-13.
Ferreira, P. (2014). Beliefs and practices towards teaching and learning grammar: A multicase study. Journal of teaching and learning language and literature, 7(3), 14-29.
Hymes, D. H. (1972). On Communicative Competence. In Pride. J. B., & Holmes, J. (Eds.), Sociolinguistics, 269-293. Baltimore, USA: Penguin Education, Penguin Books Ltd.
Krashen, S. (1981). Second language acquisition and second language Learning. Pergamon.
Larsen-Freeman, D. (2001). Teaching grammar. In Celce-Murcia, M. Teaching English as a second or foreign language 3rd edition (pp. 251-266). Bostone: Heline & Heline.
Lee, K. M. (2008). The role of grammar in the teaching of English in Hong Kong secondary schools: a study of form 2 ESL teachers' beliefs and practices. HKU Theses Online (HKUTO).
Liviero, S. (2014). Teachers' reported beliefs about the role of grammar and their observed pedagogical practices of Foreign Languages teaching in England. Submitted to the University of Exeter as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education. Retrieved from https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/16005/LivieroS.pdf;sequence=1
Mishra, P. (2010). Challenges and problems in the teaching of grammar. Language in India, 10, 169-181.
Nassaji, H., & Fotos, S. (2004). Current developments in research on the teaching of grammar. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 126-145.
Nassaji, H. & Fotos, S. (2010). Teaching grammar in second language classrooms: integrating form-focused instruction in communicative context. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Nazari, A. & Allahyar, N. (2012). Grammar teaching revisited: EFL Teachers between Grammar Abstinence and Formal Grammar Teaching. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 73-87.
Park, H. (2002). Grammar instruction in task-based classrooms. The Korean Language in America, 7, 7-24.
Phipps, S., & Borg, S. (2009). Exploring tensions between teachers' grammar teaching beliefs and practices. System, 37(3), 380-390.
Salimi, E. A., Safarzadeh, M. M. & Monfared, A. (2016). Teaching grammar: language teachers' cognition and classroom practice. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(4), 1-18.
Teevno, R. (2011). Challenges in teaching and learning of English at secondary level class X. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 1 (2), 27-35.
Underwoord, P. (2017). Challenges and change: integrating grammar teaching with communicative work in senior high school EFL classes. Sage Open, 1-15. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244017722185
Volume 13, Issue 2
Summer and Autumn 2019
Pages 213-246
  • Receive Date: 12 February 2019
  • Revise Date: 03 October 2019
  • Accept Date: 17 November 2019