The What, Why and How of Teaching Grammar

The What, Why and How of Teaching Grammar

This is a synopsis of my webinar talk on the teaching of grammar. The webinar, hosted by Vietnam National University on 30 May 2020,  and attended by some 500 language teaching professionals from Asia, began with an overview of grammar:

  • What is grammar?
  • Why is grammar important?
  • How to go about teaching and assessing grammar?

After the brief overview on the what, why and how of grammar, the moderator, Dr Joyce Nha, engaged the speakers, Prof Le Van Cahn and me, in an extensive and stimulating discussion on a variety of issues related to the teaching of grammar in diverse second language teaching contexts.

Listed below are some of the most important issues that Dr Nha brought up for focused discussion with the two speakers and also with the webinar participants:

  1. What is the difference between sentence and text level grammar? Which of the two should teachers be focusing on?
  2. What is explicit grammar knowledge? What is its contribution to students’ language development?
  3. What is implicit grammar knowledge? What is its role in language acquisition?
  4. How can teachers promote the acquisition of implicit grammar knowledge?
  5. How much grammar is needed for students to speak the target language?
  6. How can grammar be taught in a more integrative manner?
  7. etc.

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