Teaching Grammar through Tasks in Situational contexts

全文总计 8472 字,阅读时间 22 分钟,快速浏览仅需 5 分钟。

副标题:——A Case Study in a Secondary School in Beijing

内容摘要:Grammar teaching in situational contexts through tasks,which pursues the real practical use of a certain grammatical item in a teachergenerated situation,is what I have been experimenting since September of 2003.And I have created some efficient ways

GB/T 7714-2015 格式引文:[1].Teaching Grammar through Tasks in Situational contexts.[J]或者报纸[N].中小学英语活页文选,(07)


  Grammar teaching in situational contexts through tasks,which pursues the real practical use of a certain grammatical item in a teachergenerated situation,is what I have been experimenting since September of 2003.And I have created some efficient ways of involving students into situational grammar learning.Besides,culture involvement makes the situational grammar teaching more lively and instructive.

  The following section will mainly focus on my practical application of grammar teaching in situational contexts among secondary school students.In order to get students' responses to this teaching approach,a small-scale survey among students in the form of questionnaires has been conducted.

  1.Application process

  Owing to the fact that there is not good enough sociolinguistic environment where my students can communicate with native speakers,I make efforts to generate real-life like English speaking situations in which students can learn grammatical structures through tasks and activities in a natural way so that they can communicate among themselves.For example,while teaching the simple question form of direct and indirect speeches,I design a task which often happens in daily life called"Go Between".

  Table 1:


  It should be noticed that teacher presents the task to the whole class with two other students as a modal before students take up the job.In the presentation,the teacher should make the best of pronunciation,intonation,stress,facial expressions and other body languages to emphasize changes in pronouns,word sequence,tense and the use of"if"or"whether".

  Let's take a look at another task that I designed for "Direct and indirect speeches"learning called"Say sorry for others".This is a task that needs higher integrated skills and that might also happen in real life.The task description below shows that this is a task of completing information gap.Students need to negotiate for meaning in order to complete the task.

  Table 2:


  While designing tasks,I follow the following basic principles:(1) the situation in which the task takes place should have the possibility to happen in real life;(2) the task should involve communicative factors which can help students work together to solve a certain problem;(3)students' individual ideas and ways of solving problems are worshipped;(4) cultural issues should be involved into grammar teaching where.possible as I strongly believe in Graves(2001)and other linguists' idea that language learning cannot be separated from cultures of the target language.Therefore,students are given opportunities to acquire grammar skills through communication and negotiation for meaning in real-life like situational contexts.With accomplishing tasks and activities in real-life like situations becoming the focus of each class,grammar classes will show the following features:

  (1)The process of learning is a process of obtaining information,dealing with information,analyzing problems and solving problems.

  (2)The ending of language learning is not just learning grammar knowledge,but the practical use of grammar knowledge.

  (3)Co-operative learning becomes accessible.

  (4)Student-centred class is highlighted.A teacher is no longer a dominator in class but"a facilitator of learning"(Littlewood 1981).

  (5)Students' individuality(creative way of thinking and personal views in understanding and solving problems)is worshipped.

  These are only goals that I expect to achieve.Students' attitudes towards the teaching method are what I am concerned.Thus,I did a survey in the form of questionnaires to get students' attitudes.

  2.Methodology,findings and discussions

   Since the aim of my study is to explore students' attitudes and opinions on grammar teaching and learning through tasks set in situational contexts,the research approach I chose for this study is a small-scale survey through questionnaires done with 87 students.The 87 student respondents are students in my two classes,who accept the way of grammar teaching through tasks set in situational contexts.

  8 statements were designed to get students' response towards the way of teaching grammar through tasks Set in situational contexts.After analyzing the questionnaires,I found that students' responses towards the first 4 statements mainly fall on Agree or Strongly Agree,while their responses towards the last 4 statements fall more on Neutral.

  Question 1:Learning grammar through tasks in situational contexts is more interesting than just memorizing rules.

  Question 2:I can learn grammar more efficiently when I am involved in communicative tasks set in situations.

  Question 3:Tasks offer us opportunities to put grammar into practical use.

  Question 4:My individual ideas are worshipped in this kind of grammar class.

  Chart 1


  From chart 1,we can see clearly that most students show an affirmative attitude towards learning grammar through tasks set in situational contexts.Among the 87 respondents,68 believe that this way of learning is more interesting than just memorizing grammar rules.59 of them think this way more efficient.64 of them can find room in such a class for putting grammar rules into practical use and another 69 believe that their ideas get worshipped.

  Question 5:Learning grammar in this way is a waste of time.

  Question 6:The grammar I learn this way can stay long.

  Question 7:This way of grammar learning can replace traditional paper exercises.

  Question 8:Good performance in tasks means high achievements in paper exams.

  Chart 2


  Compare with students' responses to the first four statements,students' responses to the latter four statements mainly concentrate around neutral attitude,as it can be seen quite clearly from the above chart.When asked to say something freely about their personal views,15 students hold a view that traditional way of teaching and learning should be abandoned.42 out of 87 respondents hope that grammar teaching through tasks set in situational contexts should be combined with traditional way of teaching,with an intention on the former.25 out of 87 share the same view of combination,while holding that the intention should be on the traditional side.And 5 students show a negative view upon grammar teaching through tasks set in situations and maintain their preference of the traditional way.52 out of 87 students are not sure that good performance in tasks can lead to high achievements in exams and only 35 respondents have confidence.


  From the findings described above,we can see that most students hold an optimistic view on grammar teaching and learning through tasks in real-life like situations.But it seems that a combination of the old and the new may be better welcomed.Teaching grammar through tasks in situational contexts,with its focus on knowledge,practical use of knowledge in real-life like situations,learning strategies,worship of individual ideas and culture involvement,should be promoted.Just as Harmer says,it is vital that both teacher and students have confidence in the way teaching and learning take place.When either loses this confidence,motivation can be disastrously atffected,but when both are comfortable with the method being used,success is much more likely.

  (本文选自2004年中国第四届中国英语教学国际研讨会基础教育论坛论文“Grammar Teaching in Situational Contexts-A case study in a Secondary school in Beijing”)

  A County Magistrate Paints a Tiger

  A county magistrate liked to paint pictures of tigers,but the tigers looked more like cats.

  One day he painted a tiger and pasted the picture on the wall.He called a constable and asked,"What does this look like?"The constable said,"A cat,sir."The county magistrate was so annoyed that he ordered the man flogged.

  Then the county magistrate called another constable."Tell me what this is,"he said.

  "I dare not say."

  "What are you afraid of?"

  "I' m afraid of you."

  The magistrate was angry and said,"Then what am I afraid of?"

  "You are afraid of the emperor."

  "What is the emperor afraid of?"

  "The emperor is afraid of Heaven."

  "What is Heaven afraid of?"

  "Heaven is afraid of clouds."

  "What are clouds afraid of?"

  "Clouds are afraid of the wind."

  "What is the wind afraid of?"

  "The wind is afraid of a wall."

  "What is a wall afraid of?"

  "A wall is afraid of a mouse."

  "What is a mouse afraid of?"

  The constable pointed at the painting hanging on the wall,and said,"A mouse is afraid of that painting."