2008 CONCEPTIONS OF L2 GRAMMAR: THEORETICAL APPROACHES AND THEIR APPLICATION IN THE L2 CLASSROOM

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    Introduction
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2008-01-01) Katz, Stacey ; Watzinger-Tharp, Johanna
    What do we mean when we talk about grammar? What exactly is grammar? And how should it be taught? This chapter begins with a discussion of why the concept of grammar teaching is problematic, outlining the attitudes that often emerge when the topic is broached. Next, it highlights the various types of grammar that exist—prescriptive, academic, pedagogical, and instructional— focusing on the needs of scholars, learners,and teachers.The later sections of this
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    Developing advanced formal language abilities along a genre-based continuum
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2008-01-01) Maxim, Hiram H.
    Advanced grammar instruction in collegiate foreign language (FL) departments typically consists of a review of the grammatical canon, often relying on an advanced grammar textbook that both reviews and expands the traditional paradigms studied in lower-level instruction. Holding firm to the belief that reviewing these paradigms yet again will finally result in the mastery long considered necessary for upper-level study, this approach nevertheless fails to take into account the (con)textual nature of language use that permeates all levels of language use and that inherently requires an inextricable link between grammar and meaning, and between function and form.This chapter addresses this lack of textuality in upper-level grammar instruction by exploring how formal language development at the advanced level in one departmental context is treated from a genre-based perspective, in that the language features inherent to particular genres considered appropriate for advanced language instruction provide the basis for developing students’ formal accuracy. Specifically, this approach adheres to the belief that the development of advanced language abilities proceeds along a continuum that moves from the narrative, verbal-oriented language use emphasized at the lower levels to more argumentative, nominal dominated forms of expression.As a result, this narrative–argumentative continuum serves as the basis for selecting and sequencing genres across the curriculum.The chapter focuses on one upper-level course that was recently redesigned with this continuum in mind and that used the genres selected for the course as blueprints for the students to follow to develop more linguistically advanced forms of expression.
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    A conceptual approach to promoting L2 grammatical development: Implications for language program directos
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2008-01-01) Negueruela, Eduardo
    Based on Vygotsky’s theory of concept development (Vygotsky,1986) and Gal’perin’s (1992) systemic–theoretical instruction (STI), it is argued that second language (L2) development, and specifically the teaching of L2 grammar, should be constructed and defined as a conceptual process.The central moment in L2 development is the use of the concept (i.e., meaning categories) as a tool for learner understanding. L2 pedagogical activities should emerge from this fundamental principle.This chapter outlines four basic pedagogical principles for instantiating a conceptual approach for the teaching of L2 grammar. First, the notion of pedagogical grammar is situated and defined in connection to prescriptive, descriptive, metalinguistic, and linguistic grammars.Next, a conceptual approach is proposed based on finding pedagogical activities and classroom dynamics that foster “semantic reflection”—that is, thinking through concepts, and not just about concepts. Instead of teachers presenting grammatical issues, such as the numerous rules for the use of Spanish definite and indefinite articles, conceptual categories should be the basis for teaching the meaning of grammar.A conceptual approach to teaching grammar leads to the internalization of a more sophisticated semantic understanding of grammatical meanings, thereby promoting learners’ ability to use effectively and creatively relevant grammatical features in spontaneously produced written and oral discourse.
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    Applications of corpus-based linguistics to second language instruction: Lexical grammar and data-driven learning
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2008-01-01) Kerr, Betsy J.
    Although the use of corpora and concordancing as a research method to discover patterns of language use in real-world language data is somewhat familiar to applied linguists (e.g., Di Vito, 1997; Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman, 1998), the potential pedagogical uses of these tools appear to be unfamiliar to practitioners in second language education in the United States, especially in comparison to their European counterparts and to ESL specialists. This chapter describes some of the potential uses of these technologies in second language education and their relevance to language program directors and classroom teachers. In addition to describing potential uses of corpora and concordancing (also referred to as data-driven learning), it argues for a greater emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and a better integration of lexical and grammatical aspects of language instruction, following certain insights from the field of corpus linguistics. Of special interest is the notion of the centrality of lexical phrases in speech production, as articulated in Sinclair’s lexical grammar and later brought to bear on second language instruction in Lewis’s lexical approach. In addition, language program directors should be aware of the ability of corpus-based analyses to describe more accurately native-speaker usage and, therefore, to contribute to the formulation of appropriate pedagogical norms for grammatical instruction.With respect to classroom instruction, the chapter illustrates through sample activities (in English and French) how online corpora and concordancers can be used to provide student-centered consciousness- raising activities based on authentic language. An appendix suggests appropriate online concordancers for French, German, and Spanish.
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    Socio-pragmatic competence in Russian: How input is not enough
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2008-01-01) Hacking, Jane F.
    This chapter reports results from a study on the acquisition of socio-pragmatic competence by adult learners of Russian and, based on these results, proposes concrete methods for integrating instruction in socio-pragmatic aspects of L2 into the language classroom. Learners in the study had all spent 18 to 24 months living in a Russian-speaking environment and were highly proficient in Russian.They were given a discours completion task that focused on three types of speech act: apology, refusal, and request. Native-speaker ratings of participant performance indicated that, despite their extensive in-country experience, participants’ performance diverged from that of native speakers. The ratings also revealed that the speech acts tested produced varying results. For example, participants performed least well on apology scenarios.The chapter suggests reasons for the varied performance across speech act type.This assessment and rater comments were used to formulate a concrete approach for presenting socio-pragmatics in the classroom.The plan proposed consists of five types of activities, which can be adapted to various proficiency levels depending on the student population.