Teaching English grammar : A study of approaches to formal grammar instruction in the subject English in Swedish upper secondary school

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och interkultur

Abstract: The main aim of the present study was to identify examples of practical grammar instruction methods in an EFL/ESL classroom in Swedish upper secondary school. Data was collected through classroom observations and interviews. Four interview sessions were carried out with five teachers, and twelve observations were conducted in four different English classes. There are conflicting views and attitudes towards the role and place of grammar in EFL/ESL classrooms, but the participants agreed that the main goal of grammar instruction is to help students develop communicative skills. The interview results showed that four of the participants prefer inductive approaches, while the fifth regards deductive approaches as more effective. Characteristics such as student motivation, learning style, and experiences are considered equally vital for the choice of grammar instruction and application. The grammar instruction methods chosen and discussed are based on traditional structuralism, behaviourism, and the progressive natural approaches. Consistent with previous research, an eclectic grammar instruction approach was observed that blends both implicit and explicit methods to meet different learners’ needs. The methodologies which are often practically applied include grammartranslation, audiolingualism, and content- and/or task-based instruction. Nevertheless, a communicative framework using the communicative language teaching methodologies is often in the foreground, resulting in a Systemic Functional Grammar, SFG, approach.

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