Investigating Controversies in Teaching Grammar: A Case for the Iranian High School Students

Boroujeni, Fatemeh Abbasian
August 2012
Theory & Practice in Language Studies;Aug2012, Vol. 2 Issue 8, p1570
Academic Journal
Case Study
The fact that L2 learners need to learn grammar is now a well- established fact (Celce- Murcia, 1991; Foto, 1994; Sheen, 2003; Davies, 2006; Ellis, 2006; Borg and Burns, 2008; Cullen, 2008). What has remained controversial is 'how to teach grammar to help L2 learners acquire it. The present study was designed on a qualitative-quantitative survey basis using a semi-structured interview and questionnaire on the effectiveness of different approaches in teaching grammar which was administered to 128 students and 5 EFL instructors in four high schools in Isfahan province, the city of Falavarjan. The results of the study revealed that the students and instructors preferred 'focus on form (FonF)' instructional method. The results also demonstrated that some of the participants favored a teacher fronted classroom with an emphasis on explicit grammar instruction. The results of the study is in line with the related literature in grammar teaching approaches that 'focus on form' (FonF) acts as a middle-way between the two extremes of (FonFs) and 'focus on meaning (FonM)'. Moreover, the role of L1 in the grammar instruction cannot be stigmatized as unworthy of consideration without providing enough empirical evidence. The overall results suggest that the treatment of grammar with a 'one-size-fits-all' methodology instead of utilizing a balanced perspective based on the needs and context of the learners is not expected to yield sufficient result in any language teaching contexts.


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