В наши дни в преподавании английского языка до сих пор актуальным является вопрос подходов к изучению грамматики. Именно от эффективности подачи материала зависит качество его дальнейшего усвоения. В этой статье представлены способы презентаций по грамматике английского языка, используемые автором на уроках в Кызылском президентском кадетском училище. Цели, достигаемые использованием презентаций: дальнейшее развитие у кадет навыка грамматически правильно оформленной коммуникации, пополнение и активизация знаний по грамматике английского языка, дальнейшее формирование способности обобщать грамматический материал и давать примеры его употребления.
Во время презентации по грамматике необходимо всецело вовлечь в работу учащихся, вызвать с их стороны интерес. При этом преподаватель не должен ограничиваться лишь простым объяснением или чтением лекции, способы подачи грамматического материала могут быть самые разнообразные. Таким образом, далее представлены способы подходов к презентации грамматики английского языка из личного преподавательского опыта автора.
There are very many approaches to grammar but every approach that exists nowadays is a variation of one of four basic approaches of presenting grammar. So, there are four basic approaches to grammar.
1. Rule approach (deductive). It is a deductive approach. Deductive means that you give all the information to the students by yourself. Teacher states the topic, explains it (meaning, form). Then students do controlled practice. For example, they fill in the gaps or transform something etc. This sounds like something we did at the university. It is considered to be academic way of teaching and deprived of necessary communicative context. This is not the best way if we want to be a great teacher. Modern English language teaching gives us a huge space for creativity.
2. Text-based approach (inductive). Inductive means that students discover grammar themselves which nowadays is considered to be right, fashionable way and more effective because it involves their attention, memory more and it activates all the cognitive process. It correlates with what books do. Students read/listen to a text in the book and then they answer the questions that teacher gives about the text (comprehension questions). Teacher gives a task to discover one or two examples of a target grammar construction. Students find this construction then teacher writes it on the board and asks CCQs (concept checking questions) to check if the students actually know the meaning of the construction. For example, David has been to London. (Present Perfect) CCQs can be the following:
T: Does David have magnets or souvenirs from London? (They say “Yes”)
T: Is he in London now? (They answer “No”)
T: Do you know when he was in London? (They say “No”). Right, we don’t know WHEN but we know that he has been there and he knows what London is like.
After the meaning teacher goes to the form (shows the forms of negative, different types of interrogative sentences) then goes to controlled practice (e.g. filling in the gaps).
3. Demo (demonstration) approach. It can be deductive or inductive but most often it is chosen by teachers for its inductive form. It is also called context-based because in the beginning a teacher creates the context for a grammar item. The context may be made of visuals, pictures, videos, word prompts or actions built up context. For example, a teacher enters the classroom and says, “It’s pretty hot here! I am going to open the window.” (T. comes to the window and opens it). You show that this is your intention: you were hot and you had an intention to do something: you noticed the window. When you elicit the target language you show them that this intention (plan) is fixed in the language with be going to. Teacher writes it on the board, asks CCQs to check understanding of the meaning, goes to the forms (negative, interrogative) then clears the board, writes down key words for the context. Then he does second eliciting and after that students do controlled practice.
Let us take three different demonstration approach examples. Demonstration number one takes the teacher as the focus. He is the main hero, the character of the story which is happening. For example, let us take the construction used to. Teacher enters the classroom and says, “Do you think you know me well? Can you answer the question about me? Do you think you will guess? (The probable answer is ”Yes”) Oh, well, try, you are good psychologists!” Teacher asks something like “Do you think I eat a lot of sweets?” – “Yes, of course!” they say. “You know nothing about me. I do not eat sweets ever. But when I was a child I used to eat a lot of sweets because I guess any child has a bit of a sweet tooth.” You demo how the necessity for this construction can appear in everybody’s life in this classroom. We see that on the teacher’s own example the situation unravels. Then teacher elicits the construction asking such questions like Did you use to eat a lot of sweets when you were a child? – Yes. Do you eat a lot of sweets now? – Yes. – Yes? So you ate a lot of sweets and continue eating quite much now.” And teacher shows that it is not working if nothing changed, if the habit is the same as the past habit. And T. asks students “What did I say?” – I used to eat a lot of sweets”. Then he writes this sentence on the board and asks CCQs to check if the students actually know the meaning of the construction. CCQs can be like “Is it about my past or present habit?”, “I eat sweets every day now, don’t I?” etc. Then we go to the form and do practice.
Another demo option is the case of Joe.
Teacher comes into the classroom and draws this guy on the board and says, “What is his name?” At first students can be confused. Teacher asks, “Margaret? (He/she can hear different options). Let us call him Joe. Do you agree? As you can see it is a happy smiling person. But you know he hasn’t always been like that. When he was fifteen, it is a difficult age, he used to be gloomy, depressed quite often, he used to cry a lot”. Teacher continues with used to, unravels the topic comparing today’s Joe with the fifteen year-old Joe. Then we follow the traditional scheme: meaning- form-practice.
To demonstrate grammar we can also use visuals (pictures).
The first question may be about their relationship. “Are they brother and sister?” (No). “Are they husband and wife?” (Yes). “Compare when they were young and middle-aged. Do you think there are differences between them being young and being now middle-aged?” Students can make mistakes while giving their answers because there was no task to focus on the meaning, so building up a context teacher goes to grammar. For example, “When they were very young, they used to cycle in the city center every weekend. But now they spend most of their time with their children and grandchildren” etc. From teacher’s speech students are supposed to hear (not listen because they can listen but not hear) used to. When they manage to do it, a teacher writes it down on the board and follows the meaning-form-practice scheme.
4. Situation-based approach (inductive). It goes along with TBL (Task Based Learning) which relies on a communicative approach and involves TTT lesson shape (Task-Teach-Task). Students do a free oral practice task, teacher monitors, writes down errors, then elicits corrections, asks CCQs or pre-prepared students-centered task, shows forms and again students redo the task. For example, T. gives students a task to record an audio message recommending their friends one of the films they watched. And obviously there is some need to use should (which is a target construction). Doing the task students most probably fail to do because they do not know the topic should. Teacher writes down what students managed to do and then elicits correct option. Students might write something close to should. (May be sentence like Last week I watched a fantastic comedy and you must watch it too). Teacher corrects the word must because it shows an obligation and writes should explaining the meaning: they recommend but not insist on watching that film. Then teacher shows forms, asks CCQs, and probably gives a model dialogue where people give advice to each other or presentation exercises. And after all teach stages a teacher again gives a task. It may be absolutely the same task or a similar one. For instance, “Read the girl’s letter and give her some advice”. Advice may be given orally as well as in written form because it is not a production but also a communicative activity. This time they can see the progress. Therefore, students try to figure out the construction doing some task and the teacher gives them the answer or elicits the answer from students.
One more example of situation-based approach. For example, T. says, “Imagine you are not in the English classroom now but on a special evening when the school graduates meet after the five years of their graduation. Do you know such evenings? (Yes.) What do you think is the main topic when people gather like that? What do they discuss? Their achievements? Their news? Do they discuss their past? Do they discuss what they used to do altogether? “ . Teacher gives students some time to talk about these people. Pedagogically students would do it badly. It is fine because they are not familiar with the construction used to to talk about past habits and teacher needs to teach them. We can use a recording or a video with a real meeting then we ask students to compare it with their answers. Hopefully they will hear/notice frequent usage of used to in people’s speech. Then again a teacher follows the scheme: meaning-form-practice. As we can see, in both examples the teacher starts a lesson with a task, which is a good communicative task: he/she plants students into a communicative situation.
Summing up, there are four basic approaches to presenting grammar: explanation (rule approach) (which is not efficient), text-based, demonstration (the teacher, the case of Joe, visuals) and situation-based approach.