Grammar nazis?


#21

[quote=“tomthorne”]Well, I believe the ‘myth’, Bled. Error analysis research shows that over 50% of errors with Chinese speakers are interference errors. This drops to 3% for Spanish speakers.

OK, it’s difficult to determine whether these errors are the result of transfer or intralingual process, and I don’t believe the 3% figure is accurate (other research puts it closer to 30% for Spanish and German speakers). However, pretty much everybody involved in SLA research thinks that L1 interference - either negative or positive transfer - has a significant impact on L2 acquisition and this is particularly noticable with Chinese speakers.[/quote]

Selinker & Gass in their text show studies that show both results–of L1 causing interference and L1 not causing interference. How does one know, really know, that the error is the result of the L1? For example, it is routine to hear: “I no have beer.” from both L1s that have this negation (say Spanish) AND L1s that do not have this negation. It’s a normal stage of development. Native children growing up even go thru this stage! But perhaps some researchers (or teachers) jump to quickly to the conclusion that it is the L1. That’s why so many studies show such different %'s of L1 interference (from very low to very high). I think it is pretty low. A factor, but not a big one. And even if it was a large factor–what are we going to do about it? Go back in a time machine and move Chinese babies to America so that their Chinese L1 doesn’t intefere??

One interesting study, in fact, had Czech speakers (I believe) making more errors in Russian than in English. Certainly Czech is closer to Russian than to English. The reasoning is that Czech speakers may assume (falsely) that Russian does it the same way as Czech. However, English is so different that they do not try to assume this.

It’s not so clear. I agree with you tomthorne that probably L1 has an impact but we’re at the stage in SLA that we should question everything, to what degree, and to what results.

And here’s my .02 --if you ask a learner to do something they cannot do in the L2 --what are their choices?? They either can’t say jack – or they fall back on their L1. Okay, okay I admit in German class, I found myself throwing in Spanish. I suppose my learning Spanish (gasp) interfered with my learning German?? Oh really.

In Spanish, if I was asked to talk about a high level subject–when I came to a word that I did not know in Spanish, I would use the English word and add “ista” or "ismo’ e.g., “communism” becomes “communismo” (in this case it actually works). Now does this prove that my English is “interfering” with my Spanish. I don’t buy it–what is the Spanish it is interfering with ? It’s not there. I either use English (Spanglish?) or there’s a blank spot in my conversation. However, an eager researcher could use my Spanglish to show how my English is interfering with attempting to speak Spanish. Silly researchers.

What I object to is blaming students and teachers for the language teaching failures we see. Like Edward Deming says, when there is a problem, 99% of the time it is a system problem.

It’s not the student’s fault for being Chinese and having a different L1, it’s not their fault that they failed (we failed them!) and somehow are trying to pyschologically validate their failure by asking teachers to actually teach them. This is so sad–I feel sorry for students who tried, put out a good faith effort, and now feel that they are either stupid, not good at language, or they hate English!

I don’t think it is even the Grammar-Translation Taiwan teacher’s fault who uses too much grammar and teaches the class in Chinese. They don’t know any better and even if they did–their English is probably not fluent enough to feel confident to have a communicative classroom. They’re put in an awkward position.

We can’t look for excuses and blame others. We have a pedagogy of failure when it comes to language teaching and learning. We have a system problem.


#22

Meh. Makes no sense. :laughing:

There’s no ‘blame’ or ‘fault’. It just is what it is. Teaching does not always result in learning. There are too many variables.


#23

I don’t think a time machine is necessary, just an understanding of the difficulties the student may be experiencing as a result of L1 interference. If the teacher can predict what sort of errors a student is likely to make as a result of L1 interference then it’s surely much easier to teach. Combine this with a knowledge of common intralingual errors, and the teacher is much better prepared.


#24

It’s an interesting case and your point is well-taken.

Here’s my .02 again. Say interlanguage errors are 10% (a reasonable figure that is backed up by some studies). That means that 90% of errors are not due to the L1.

And looking at brain research (which should be taken with a grain of salt) you’d presume a categorization where the L1 and L2 are mixed indiscriminately. Well, what does this model look like ? What would it predict. You bring up an interesting point. If the L1 interferes greatly with the L2 then you’d predict it would interfere with many structures–not just hard or difficult to acquire ones. My idea is that language learning is different than other types of learning. And for myself, I always felt that languages in my head were stored like CD’s with one on top of each other. In Guatemala, I met a Taiwanese. I was tongue-tied trying to speak Chinese. I went to Taiwan that summer too, and after a day or two, my Chinese was back. I think different languages are stored differently. We see some evidence of this in bilingual stroke victims who lose one language but don’t lose the other.

Also, after teaching for a while, even the unqualifed backpacker English teacher can often tell you what common errors their students make. Not necessary to categorize them or put undue emphasis on the L1. We know 3rd person “s” is difficult to acquire in English. I know that the subjunctive in Spanish is difficult to get. There are many reasons why students get stuff wrong. I can tell you why the subjunctive is so hard in Spanish (so what? do I get a cookie??) --but much more important for the practicing teacher, it means relax, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad teacher --or that your students are idiots for not getting what you just put on the board yesterday! It means give a page or two of examples, have communicative exercises that are designed to elicit responses that use the subjunctive and review, review, and review.


#25

When students are forced to output before the language in question has been solidly acquired, they fall back on analysis, based on relatively recently memorized rules or examples, which is often imperfect. When analysis fails, they fall back on the rules of the native language. Eliciting responses that use the subjunctive is all very well and good, but it is only surface performance, not unconscious, automatic use of the language. “Review” is okay if it means more exposure to comprehensible forms using the subjunctive, but review that is re-presentation of “the rules” will only strengthen surface performance while only incrementally aiding acquisition (if at all). If the structure doesn’t fall out of the student’s mouth without thought, it hasn’t been acquired.


#26

When students are forced to output before the language in question has been solidly acquired, they fall back on analysis, based on relatively recently memorized rules or examples, which is often imperfect. When analysis fails, they fall back on the rules of the native language. Eliciting responses that use the subjunctive is all very well and good, but it is only surface performance, not unconscious, automatic use of the language. “Review” is okay if it means more exposure to comprehensible forms using the subjunctive, but review that is re-presentation of “the rules” will only strengthen surface performance while only incrementally aiding acquisition (if at all). If the structure doesn’t fall out of the student’s mouth without thought, it hasn’t been acquired.[/quote]

Flippin hell

English ?

lol just joking but yes I am now definitely unqualified to answer ha ha I can’t understand a bloody word of this. Tom’s page 12 was hard enough for me :doh:

I am starting to feel inadequate :pray:

Reminds me of the scene in event horizon when the physicist was trying to explain his anti gravity machine to the crew


#27

When students are forced to output before the language in question has been solidly acquired, they fall back on analysis, based on relatively recently memorized rules or examples, which is often imperfect. When analysis fails, they fall back on the rules of the native language. Eliciting responses that use the subjunctive is all very well and good, but it is only surface performance, not unconscious, automatic use of the language. “Review” is okay if it means more exposure to comprehensible forms using the subjunctive, but review that is re-presentation of “the rules” will only strengthen surface performance while only incrementally aiding acquisition (if at all). If the structure doesn’t fall out of the student’s mouth without thought, it hasn’t been acquired.[/quote]

I’m with you Ironlady and agree with 95% of what you say. The question becomes can a trained teacher help students acquire the subjunctive. Can practice help in acquisition. I’d say yes definitely can help.


#28

[quote=“fendlander”]Writing is a low priority here. . . .[/quote] I teach kids, and to my school, it’s pretty important. Penmanship is important, too. I call it the “Your d Is Ugly” Approach to L2 acquisition.

But that doesn’t do justice to it. I don’t sit in on the classes where they teach writing, but from what I’ve observed in terms of results, it looks as if the kids are first taught the 26 English radicals, and then they embark on a study of the 3,000 to 5,000 English characters that they need to learn to become literate. Good luck, kids. Good luck.

I agree that it’s inadequate to say that Chinese interferes with English. I think it would be more accurate to say that Chinese grabs English by the throat, slams it against the wall, and says, “You’re mine now.”

Here’s a little sampling of it:

“I at run.” (Wo3 zai4 pao3.)
“Didn’t have,” for “There isn’t/aren’t. . . .” (confusing “past not” mei2 with “mei2you3” mei3?)
“I don’t have do,” or “I have no do.” (Wo3 mei2[you3] zuo4.)
“Give me see.” (Gei3 wo3 kan4.)
“Cannot like that!” (Bu4 ke3yi3 na4 yang4! or something similar.)

There’s the above (to cite a few small drops in a large bucket), and phonological interference that’s a genuinely amazing thing (I think a person with world and time enough could write at least a little book on it), plus what I call “Virtual Broca’s Aphasia,” i.e., an economy of words which very frequently tries to make do with only one word (I guess that would resemble a severe form of Broca’s Aphasia, since actual Broca’s Aphasia sufferers often use more than one word in an expression). While a great deal of the cause of the one-word routine may well be on the affective side, I think there’s something else going on, which I’ve shorthanded by using the (obviously inadequate) metaphor of the interference patterns of waves. But whatever metaphor I might use, it seems that sometimes, for one reason or another, there’s no L1 structure or item available to the learner to transfer, so L1 and L2 cancel each other out, so to speak. Transference tries and fails, or sees the impossibility of it and doesn’t even bother trying.

And I’ve observed these kinds of things in children with more than 2,000 contact hours under their belt (in some cases the number of contact hours is more like 3,000).

The main reason Chomsky was able to beat Skinner (in his review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior) is that most of this stuff is not phenomenal, not externally observed using the senses, and we rely greatly on knowledge that derives from premises that come from more-or-less-agreed-upon observations of ourselves, especially our inner selves. They can do studies till Armageddon, but unless we can thoroughly map a working brain while it works, make it work in many, many different ways, and study it working for a long time, the studies are going to leave much to be desired in the way of fact-gathering. From my very limited knowledge, I’m trying to imagine the ethical issues that would be involved in such a thorough, detailed study of a working brain. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I expect it might be a while before we can do that. In the meantime, while I ain’t ag’in’ studies, after seven years of this stuff (eight and a half if you count Korea) I don’t feel that I need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (at least as to interference).


#29

When students are forced to output before the language in question has been solidly acquired, they fall back on analysis, based on relatively recently memorized rules or examples, which is often imperfect. When analysis fails, they fall back on the rules of the native language. Eliciting responses that use the subjunctive is all very well and good, but it is only surface performance, not unconscious, automatic use of the language. “Review” is okay if it means more exposure to comprehensible forms using the subjunctive, but review that is re-presentation of “the rules” will only strengthen surface performance while only incrementally aiding acquisition (if at all). [color=#FF0000]If the structure doesn’t fall out of the student’s mouth without thought, it hasn’t been acquired.[/color][/quote]
That’s basically always been my take on it, too.


#30

[quote=“Charlie Jack”][quote=“fendlander”]Writing is a low priority here. . . .[/quote] I teach kids, and to my school, it’s pretty important. Penmanship is important, too. I call it the “Your d Is Ugly” Approach to L2 acquisition.

But that doesn’t do justice to it. I don’t sit in on the classes where they teach writing, but from what I’ve observed in terms of results, it looks as if the kids are first taught the 26 English radicals, and then they embark on a study of the 3,000 to 5,000 English characters that they need to learn to become literate. Good luck, kids. Good luck.

I agree that it’s inadequate to say that Chinese interferes with English. I think it would be more accurate to say that Chinese grabs English by the throat, slams it against the wall, and says, “You’re mine now.”

Here’s a little sampling of it:

“I at run.” (Wo3 zai4 pao3.)
“Didn’t have,” for “There isn’t/aren’t. . . .” (confusing “past not” mei2 with “mei2you3” mei3?)
“I don’t have do,” or “I have no do.” (Wo3 mei2[you3] zuo4.)
“Give me see.” (Gei3 wo3 kan4.)
“Cannot like that!” (Bu4 ke3yi3 na4 yang4! or something similar.)

There’s the above (to cite a few small drops in a large bucket), and phonological interference that’s a genuinely amazing thing (I think a person with world and time enough could write at least a little book on it), plus what I call “Virtual Broca’s Aphasia,” i.e., an economy of words which very frequently tries to make do with only one word (I guess that would resemble a severe form of Broca’s Aphasia, since actual Broca’s Aphasia sufferers often use more than one word in an expression). While a great deal of the cause of the one-word routine may well be on the affective side, I think there’s something else going on, which I’ve shorthanded by using the (obviously inadequate) metaphor of the interference patterns of waves. But whatever metaphor I might use, it seems that sometimes, for one reason or another, there’s no L1 structure or item available to the learner to transfer, so L1 and L2 cancel each other out, so to speak. Transference tries and fails, or sees the impossibility of it and doesn’t even bother trying.

And I’ve observed these kinds of things in children with more than 2,000 contact hours under their belt (in some cases the number of contact hours is more like 3,000).

The main reason Chomsky was able to beat Skinner (in his review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior) is that most of this stuff is not phenomenal, not externally observed using the senses, and we rely greatly on knowledge that derives from premises that come from more-or-less-agreed-upon observations of ourselves, especially our inner selves. They can do studies till Armageddon, but unless we can thoroughly map a working brain while it works, make it work in many, many different ways, and study it working for a long time, the studies are going to leave much to be desired in the way of fact-gathering. From my very limited knowledge, I’m trying to imagine the ethical issues that would be involved in such a thorough, detailed study of a working brain. I’ll go out on a limb and say that I expect it might be a while before we can do that. In the meantime, while I ain’t ag’in’ studies, after seven years of this stuff (eight and a half if you count Korea) I don’t feel that I need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (at least as to interference).[/quote]

In Spanish say, I wanted to say “Run on the bank” --but I realized when I was saying it that “run” may not have the same meaning. I have no idea if Spanish has a specific word for this. If you transcribe my sentence – is this a case where English is interfering with Spanish? It is similar to the sentences of your Chinese students. I’d say it is not interfering because I do not know the correct word to interfere with.

In a new foreign language, you use the adjective “small” twice in a row “small small” --many languages have this structure (not so much English). You’re experimenting. If you are wrong, is it a case of Chinese (or Indonesian) interfering with your new foreign language ??

Interference presumes that there is an L2 knowledge already there to be interfered with. That’s probably not the case. If you’re asking students to do something they can’t do–they’ll guess and L1 structure might be an option (or L2 or L3) or even something else. One must guess or stare blankly and silent.

Learners make thousands of errors. You’d need to go through a transcript and mark the errors. Once, a proud Cuban-American told me of how his American born daughter had several Cubanisms. He thought he influenced his daughter’s speech. Okay, for a dozen words, he influenced her, another 75,000 she was influenced by her American peers (which is why she grew up speaking like her peers).

If L1 is a large factor, we’d expect to see Germans learning and speaking English much better than say, Filipinos. Since German is very close to English and Tagalog is not. We sure don’t see this. Many international students take the same ESL class in the United States. You never hear teachers complain about it and think of splitting off the Chinese, the Mongolians, Persians, and Africans from everyone else in their own special class. Individual differences matter much more than nationality or L1.


#31

:roflmao: :laughing:
Bloody priceless. You give the impression that you’ve never taught a class that contained a mixture of nationalities (in particular a mixture of Europeans and Asiatics). Of course teachers would not want to group students of the same nationality together, but they do want a class at the same level. So, when the term ends, Johny Jap gets to repeat the class whilst Jerry Fritz moves up to the next level. While I admire the Japanese for their manufacturing prowess and school uniforms, it has to be said that they are painfully slow learners of English.

Bled, have you actually taught ESL outside of Asia?


#32

For those of you who are followers of Krashen, you might enjoy reading this recent post at An A-Z of ELT (Scott Thornbury’s blog that is an update of his An A-Z of ELT book):

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/k-is-for-krashen/

According to Thornbury, who is a leading figure in ELT these days, many of Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” such as the monitor model, the input hypothesis, and the affective filter “have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.” Worth a read, even if you disagree. Also, if you have the time, take a look at the 36 responses which follow the post, especially Thornbury’s remarks.


#33

[quote=“tatterdemalion”]For those of you who are followers of Krashen, you might enjoy reading this recent post at An A-Z of ELT (Scott Thornbury’s blog that is an update of his An A-Z of ELT book):

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/k-is-for-krashen/

According to Thornbury, who is a leading figure in ELT these days, many of Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” such as the monitor model, the input hypothesis, and the affective filter “have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.” Worth a read, even if you disagree. Also, if you have the time, take a look at the 36 responses which follow the post, especially Thornbury’s remarks.[/quote]

This is a good counter to those arguments by a Dr Kozel.

http://www.ielts-taiwan.com/Dr%20Stephen%20Krashen.pdf

What’s your opinion of Kozel’s article?


#34

[quote=“fenlander”][quote=“tatterdemalion”]For those of you who are followers of Krashen, you might enjoy reading this recent post at An A-Z of ELT (Scott Thornbury’s blog that is an update of his An A-Z of ELT book):

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/k-is-for-krashen/

According to Thornbury, who is a leading figure in ELT these days, many of Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” such as the monitor model, the input hypothesis, and the affective filter “have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.” Worth a read, even if you disagree. Also, if you have the time, take a look at the 36 responses which follow the post, especially Thornbury’s remarks.[/quote]

This is a good counter to those arguments by a Dr Kozel.

http://www.ielts-taiwan.com/Dr%20Stephen%20Krashen.pdf

What’s your opinion of Kozel’s article?[/quote]A few years ago I would have got really into this discussion. I read most of the important stuff by, against, and after Krashen. I don’t have time to get into any kind of detailed discussion now. I’ll just point out a few things:
[ul][li]Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” seem to be more like educated guesses. But the thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that basically his observations about acquisition of grammar still hold (not that he ever said “don’t teach grammar”, though–a misconception held by people on various sides of the debate). I recommend reading Truscott on this stuff.[/li]
[li]Krashen himself is quite a political animal, and the mere fact that he supports something or opposes some pedagogical approach/educational policy doesn’t necessarily mean that that approach or policy is in line with his original, groundbreaking observations.[/li]
[li]The British EFL types seem to dislike American SL research and researchers, basically preferring to skip the hard evidence about long-term grammar acquisition in preference of wishy-washy statements about everyone learning differently and eclecticism being the only sensible approach.[/li][/ul]
I wrote a short book about this stuff, with lots of references to research old and new, and also including some useful tips on vocabulary teaching (an area where Krashen et al’s general approach definitely isn’t the only one that should be followed). I had some interest from a publisher but it would have required far too much time to get it into a friendlier format with more practical teaching exercises. Anyone is very welcome to a PDF of it, anyway, on an “as is” basis! Send me a PM if you want it.


#35

[quote=“joesax”][quote=“fenlander”][quote=“tatterdemalion”]For those of you who are followers of Krashen, you might enjoy reading this recent post at An A-Z of ELT (Scott Thornbury’s blog that is an update of his An A-Z of ELT book):

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/k-is-for-krashen/

According to Thornbury, who is a leading figure in ELT these days, many of Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” such as the monitor model, the input hypothesis, and the affective filter “have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.” Worth a read, even if you disagree. Also, if you have the time, take a look at the 36 responses which follow the post, especially Thornbury’s remarks.[/quote]

This is a good counter to those arguments by a Dr Kozel.

http://www.ielts-taiwan.com/Dr%20Stephen%20Krashen.pdf

What’s your opinion of Kozel’s article?[/quote]A few years ago I would have got really into this discussion. I read most of the important stuff by, against, and after Krashen. I don’t have time to get into any kind of detailed discussion now. I’ll just point out a few things:
[ul][li]Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” seem to be more like educated guesses. But the thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that basically his observations about acquisition of grammar still hold (not that he ever said “don’t teach grammar”, though–a misconception held by people on various sides of the debate). I recommend reading Truscott on this stuff.[/li]
[li]Krashen himself is quite a political animal, and the mere fact that he supports something or opposes some pedagogical approach/educational policy doesn’t necessarily mean that that approach or policy is in line with his original, groundbreaking observations.[/li]
[li]The British EFL types seem to dislike American SL research and researchers, basically preferring to skip the hard evidence about long-term grammar acquisition in preference of wishy-washy statements about everyone learning differently and eclecticism being the only sensible approach.[/li][/ul]
I wrote a short book about this stuff, with lots of references to research old and new, and also including some useful tips on vocabulary teaching (an area where Krashen et al’s general approach definitely isn’t the only one that should be followed). I had some interest from a publisher but it would have required far too much time to get it into a friendlier format with more practical stuff. Anyone is very welcome to a PDF of it, anyway, on an as is basis. Send me a PM if you want it.[/quote]

Well-said. I’d like a .pdf please.


#36

[quote=“tatterdemalion”]For those of you who are followers of Krashen, you might enjoy reading this recent post at An A-Z of ELT (Scott Thornbury’s blog that is an update of his An A-Z of ELT book):

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/k-is-for-krashen/

According to Thornbury, who is a leading figure in ELT these days, many of Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” such as the monitor model, the input hypothesis, and the affective filter “have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.” Worth a read, even if you disagree. Also, if you have the time, take a look at the 36 responses which follow the post, especially Thornbury’s remarks.[/quote]

Krashen-bashing usually is short on facts or on brains. I read the post and it seems to come down to the author living in Spain and finding it difficult to speak Spanish(!). There’s a lot of U.S. servicemen in Germany I’m sure that would agree with the author. But hardly a theoretical rebuttal of any kind against Krashen.

I’ve heard dozens of times how Krashen has been proven wrong or he’s old but not really presenting any counters.


#37

[quote=“joesax”][quote=“fenlander”][quote=“tatterdemalion”]For those of you who are followers of Krashen, you might enjoy reading this recent post at An A-Z of ELT (Scott Thornbury’s blog that is an update of his An A-Z of ELT book):

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/k-is-for-krashen/

According to Thornbury, who is a leading figure in ELT these days, many of Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” such as the monitor model, the input hypothesis, and the affective filter “have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.” Worth a read, even if you disagree. Also, if you have the time, take a look at the 36 responses which follow the post, especially Thornbury’s remarks.[/quote]

This is a good counter to those arguments by a Dr Kozel.

http://www.ielts-taiwan.com/Dr%20Stephen%20Krashen.pdf

What’s your opinion of Kozel’s article?[/quote]A few years ago I would have got really into this discussion. I read most of the important stuff by, against, and after Krashen. I don’t have time to get into any kind of detailed discussion now. I’ll just point out a few things:
[ul][li]Krashen’s “theoretical constructs” seem to be more like educated guesses. But the thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is that basically his observations about acquisition of grammar still hold (not that he ever said “don’t teach grammar”, though–a misconception held by people on various sides of the debate). I recommend reading Truscott on this stuff.[/li]
[li]Krashen himself is quite a political animal, and the mere fact that he supports something or opposes some pedagogical approach/educational policy doesn’t necessarily mean that that approach or policy is in line with his original, groundbreaking observations.[/li]
[li]The British EFL types seem to dislike American SL research and researchers, basically preferring to skip the hard evidence about long-term grammar acquisition in preference of wishy-washy statements about everyone learning differently and eclecticism being the only sensible approach.[/li][/ul]
I wrote a short book about this stuff, with lots of references to research old and new, and also including some useful tips on vocabulary teaching (an area where Krashen et al’s general approach definitely isn’t the only one that should be followed). I had some interest from a publisher but it would have required far too much time to get it into a friendlier format with more practical teaching exercises. Anyone is very welcome to a PDF of it, anyway, on an “as is” basis! Send me a PM if you want it.[/quote]

Thanks for the post. As a British guy myself I have to agree that most of the other British teachers I have met do seem obsessed with detailed grammar teaching and have a low opinion of Krashen (tom exempted). However that is obviously not an accurate statistic (high standard error) just my personal experience. I almost took a CELTA but instead will take an American designed Tesol course. Hopefully I can find a course that is not focused around grammar teaching. I was not impressed with the CELTA trained teachers I came across. Boring classes with low results. Yah I will send a pm for a PDF.


#38

Well, I have a mixed opinion of Krashen as an academic. Rather too political. But he did make some “inconvenient” observations which are still largely relevant to this day.

Also, Krashen never said not to teach grammar, just to recognize that teaching grammar has certain limitations. The main point for me is to recognize and work with those limitations.

The CELTA is packed with useful stuff. I would say take it, and ignore the bits that don’t speak to you. (Though of course you’ll do better if you don’t come across as a cocky know-it-all like I did during my course :wink: .)


#39

I agree, Fendlander.

From Urban Dictionary:

“Grammar Nazi – One who uses proper grammar and spelling to subtly mock or deride those who do not; an exhibitor of grammatical superiority.”

It’s their arrogance that gets me. I’ve heard English teachers say everyone should learn how to speak correctly. When I mention to them, how many British Grammar Nazis think Americans will be the death of English and would like for them to speak correctly–I get blank cow looks.

Well, we did win the Revolutionary and it freed us from the British Grammar Nazis only to replace them with our own unique American ones. The new boss same as the old boss.


#40

As an EFL teacher, I have to say that for me at least the theoriticians provide some basic guidance about what to do (let students read a lot to help them with their writing) what not to do (don’t overemphasize grammar or overcorrect.) But beyond that their work seems overelaborate and almost psuedointellectual. I get the feeling that they are trying to make EFL seem more “high falutin”" than it is, and perhaps just trying to publish so as to justify their academic existence. The worst thing is that they have this irritating academic trait of trying to put everything into a simplistic theoretical construct, such as Krashen seems to. So, correction is unnecessary, and grammar need not be taught. Why? Because that is academically more radical and therefore interesting, and therefore more beneficial for the author’s career, than simply saying: don’t overemphasize grammar and don’t overcorrect. IMHO