The Role of Grammar in the Curriculum Michael E. Rudder, Ph.D

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The Role of Grammar
in the Curriculum
Michael E. Rudder, Ph.D.
Regional English Language Officer
U.S. Embassy
Pre-CLT:
Post-CLT:
-Prescriptive
-Descriptive
-Correction (accuracy)
-selection (appropriate
option)
-minimal context
(utterance/sentence)
-broad context
(discourse)
-formal (rules/forms)
-functional (use in
communication)
Pre-CLT:
Post-CLT:
-taught deductively
-taught inductively
-discrete items of study
-integrated with skills
-decontextualized
-contextualized
Grammar: To teach or not to teach?

What is unconsciously absorbed by natural
acquisition is refined by conscious learning.
(Stephen Krashen)

The importance of grammar can be derived
from the proficiencies developed by the
language curriculum.
(Jack Richards)

Grammar affects performance in all four skills:
listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
(Diane Larsen-Freeman)
Deductive vs. Inductive
Deductive
 Individual learning styles/preferences
 Favored by some older and analytically-minded
learners
Inductive
 More like natural language acquisition
 Conforms more to concept of interlanguage
development
 Communicative “feel” for language
 Intrinsic motivation
Grammar Practice (Larsen-Freeman)
 Form-based
 Meaning-based
 Communicative-based
Form-based
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Production (Penny Ur)
Awareness
Controlled drills
Meaningful drills
Guided meaningful practice
Structure-based free sentence
composition
Structure-based discourse
Free discourse
Other Considerations
 Mode
of presentation (oral/written)
 Terminology
 Language (L1 or L2)
 Explanation (balance between accuracy
and simplicity)
Some Recommendations





Practice reflecting authentic language
in real life contexts
Integration with four basic skills
Use of visual aids
(charts/graphs/maps/pictures/realia)
Attention to purpose and communicative need
Motivation
(humor/games/“personalization”)
Alabama Love Poem
Non-standard Grammar

1. Emphasis: Ain’t = negative + BE (am/is/are + not)

2. Ellipsis:
(often used with double negative)
Done + verb form (...done fell/eat/left)
(used for present perfect tense)
yo’ = your
‘bout = about
mo’ = more
ya’ = you
Other vocabulary
just as soon = rather
half brother / sister = having one parent in common
but with a different father or mother
kin = family relation
gal = girl
father = pa, pappy, pop, pops, dad, daddy
mother = ma, mama, mammy, mom, mommy
Alabama Love Poem
Anonymous
Susie Lee done fell in love;
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy ‘bout it all
She told her Pappy so.
Pappy told her, “Susie gal,
You’ll have to find another.
I’d just as soon yo’ Ma don’t know,
But Joe is yo’ half brother.”
So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, “There's trouble still.
You can’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell your Mother,
But Will and Joe and several mo’
I know is yo’ half brother.”
But Mama knew and said, “My child,
Just do what makes ya’ happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe.
You ain’t no kin to Pappy.”
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