Do Teachers Need to Teach Grammar?

Do Teachers Need to Teach Grammar?

The issue regarding teaching grammar has been a constant debate in the ESL realm. Any thoughts or opinions after reading this would be greatly appreciated!

Learning how to read in English

I have been asked the above question many times by my students. Most of them claim that it is just all about memorization of rules and structures that complicate the language more. Some just want to get out of taking my quizzes!

However, it is deemed helpful in studying the 4 core skills of learning a language which are speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Though its importance is appreciated more in writing, the advantages have been seen in listening, reading, and speaking.

Communication

For ESL speakers to enhance their communicative skills, they need knowledge of grammar. Although they are familiar with a lot of vocabulary words, it will be difficult to express themselves without knowing how to arrange and construct sentences.

When they utter words without proper structure, it can make them across as uneducated or even worse, rude! Their ideas are expressed more clearly when they are familiar with grammar.

However, this should not be the main priority when teaching English. It can get too overwhelming if you focus on teaching it too much. In addition, there is no need to be highly technical with grammar unless your student is aiming to be a grammarian. Mixing in learning with fun is the best way to become a good online English teacher.

English Grammar is important

Accuracy and Fluency

Grammar is present in every skill in English, so grammar is considered as its foundation. As the term ESL implies, it is vital to learn grammar since it is the second language acquired. Familiarizing learners with the structures has to be done because they cannot naturally learn it through listening to music or watching English movies. Most students will hit a very low ceiling if they do learn the rules of English grammar. If they live in a community with only native English speakers for many years, they can obtain accuracy and fluency. It can be a good method to FURTHER improve oneself in this language. However, this is obviously not a practical way to learn English.

Learning English

Adding more to the reasons why grammar is important is the amount of research that has been done on the subject. Some studies concluded that ESL students who studied grammar for two weeks showed more progression compared to those who tried to study English in a natural way (listening to English songs, chatting, etc). Learning the form, usage, and meaning of grammar helped the students familiarize themselves with this language. The best approach in teaching grammar is to be consistent and to expose your students  to the language. When a student applies the grammar concept taught, they can absorb English faster.

Comprehension

Despite the fact that vocabulary plays a big role in English comprehension, grammar is needed for someone to not only understand what is being communicated, but it also greatly helps with getting your point across in a clear and concise way. Connecting ideas will be difficult if students are unfamiliar with grammar. Take note of this during your English Gang classes to see how good grammar skills positively affect your students’ abilities to express themselves and progress.

For instance, when someone is speaking to your students, they can catch the words being said because of a good word bank. However, to get the main idea across and to understand the nuances of the English language is a challenge for them due to lack of familiarity in grammar. Therefore, you ought to teach sentence structures and grammar rules.

 

Children studying ESL Online

Final Thoughts

There is no single fail-proof way to teach English. Nevertheless, studying grammar always helps. One thing to remember is that you should never force students to learn it – learning English should be fun and enjoyable. Do you agree with all of this? I will be happy to hear your opinions and comments.

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