English Grammar Instruction in English 5 Three Swedish upper-secondary school English Teachers’ Perspectives on Grammar Instruction
Abstract: This paper presents a qualitative study investigating 1) whether ESL teachers teaching English 5 in Swedish upper-secondary schools take an explicit or implicit grammar approach to grammar instruction in their lessons, and, 2) which aspects they choose to prioritise. My initial hypothesis, based on prior, personal observation was that the ESL teachers sampled in my study would reveal preferences and tendencies more closely indicative of an implicit approach, and that this would be due to their beliefs about grammar and their own experience learning grammar as students. To find out which method ESL teachers use to instruct grammar, and to inform future practice on how to teach grammar and which aspects to prioritise, three ESL teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. The findings show that, contrary to what was hypothesised, they instruct grammar with explicit-deductive approaches, and the teachers prioritise the same grammatical aspects, of which irregular verbs and tenses were identified as being the most important. These findings are discussed, and it is proposed that it is primarily a teacher’s experience from teaching grammar that influences his/her choice of teaching practice, and that it is the students’ specific needs that determine which grammatical aspects to prioritise.
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