Adding Grammar in a Communicatively Based ESL Program for Children: Theory in Practice
AbstractIn an effort to improve the quality of young students' second language production, classroom teachers regularly search for more efficient ways to address grammatical form under the time pressures of a content-based school curriculum. If self-correction can be increased through"consciousness raising" (Rutherford & Sharwood Smith, 1985), then learners would seem to benefit from form-focused instruction. For the present study, 11 elementary school students aged 7-14 were pretested and then given daily formal instruction for two weeks in the use of past tense and plural noun forms in an otherwise content-based and communicatively oriented ESL program, after which they were post-tested twice. A significant difference was found between this instructed group and a matched control group receiving no instruction in the successful detection and correction of noun plural forms, but not in a similar test of past tense forms. Furthermore, the instructed group continued to perform well on noun plurals after one month of no focused instruction, suggesting that attention to form had some lasting beneficial effect. Possible reasons for the differential results are discussed.
How to Cite
Herman, R. L., & Flanigan, B. O. (1995). Adding Grammar in a Communicatively Based ESL Program for Children: Theory in Practice. TESL Canada Journal, 13(1), 45–50. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v13i1.657