Author: Jim Scrivener
Publisher: Macmillan Education/Macmillan Books for Teachers
Publication date: 2010
Number of pages: 287
Format / Quality: PDF/HQ
Teachers frequently need to present new grammar to learners and grammar presentations are often at the heart of language lessons. This is part of the current general ‘communicative’ methodology, and is embodied or assumed in most current materials. Coursebooks usually provide ‘ready-made’ presentations, but teachers often want to strengthen or supplement the grammatical explanations in order to meet the particular learning events in their own classrooms. And when other materials like a reading text or an online activity are being used, there can be multiple situations in which further elucidation of a grammatical structure may be required. When this occurs a teacher has to decide w7hether it is appropriate to deal with this and if so how to insert it elegantly into ongoing work, and whether to do it now or later.
This places a constant demand on teachers to identify quickly:
1) the new structure and its possible forms
2) the meanings imparted by the structures in context
3) the core of what the student needs to learn
4) and then, crucially, ways to present and practise the structure and to check that the core concepts are understood. Teaching English Grammar aims to help teachers meet these demands by offering quick access to key aspects of structures, ready-to-use presentation ideas,contexts for first and subsequent exposure to new language and insights on checking understanding.
Teachers with less experience often struggle with providing contexts for the new language they are presenting, and the activities here aim to provide simple and effective situational contexts for such language at this point in the lesson. This is important, because if the situation is chosen so that the human meanings conveyed within it are compelling and transparent, then the meaning of the grammatical point can almost ‘teach itself’, reducing the need for verbal re-explanation from the teacher, and allowing the teacher to attend to the practice of the forms of the structure.At this point the teacher faces a second challenge: incisive checking of learners’ understanding of the language point. The agile selection and use of concept questions to do this is also a crucial and often elusive skill for a new teacher to develop, the lack of which easily leads instead to a habitualised over-reliance on the misleading question ‘Do you understand?’The illustrative concept questions
in this book aim to help teachers to develop their confidence and facility in using these to check understanding. More experienced teachers will be able to use the material here to review7 and overhaul the texture and elegance of their repertoire of presentation activities and approaches, streamlining their approach and developing their confidence and effectiveness.