Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shrum and Glisan, "Story-based Approach to Grammar"

Shrum and Glisan, "Using a Story-Based Approach to Teach Grammar"

Learners need to be put into situations where they need to use grammar structures in order for them to acquire these structures. The implicit approach to teaching grammar makes the teacher a facilitator and the students active participants. Words and phrases only have meaning when they are connected to a whole context. The "story-based" approach places grammatical principles in a larger context thereby emphasizing meaning over form. The story approach also incorporates Krashen's idea of comprehensible input because it provides meaningful input. 
The storytelling presentation can be done using a folktale, legend, TPR demonstration, listening segment, authentic document, or "a demonstration of a real-life, authentic task, such as playing a sport or doing a science experiment" (154). It should be an authentic, natural story and not stilted. The presentation should incorporate audience interaction. The teacher and students co-construct grammatical explanations. 
I wonder how feasible it is to use this type of lesson to teach every grammatical concept. Should all grammar principles be embedded within stories? Are there other types of activities that can lead students to an understanding of how to use the subjunctive mood, for example.  

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