Second Article Review
Farrel, T. and Poh, P. (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: a case study of teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language,9(2), 1-13
The agreement about that teaching is a cognitive activity and teachers’ beliefs impact their instructional decisions in the classroom, is a recent achievement in general education studies. Teachers own complex beliefs about pedagogical issues including beliefs about students and classroom practices. Those beliefs form a structured set of teachers’ experience, school practice, and their own personality. The purpose of this qualitative research is to explore the beliefs and actual practices of two experimented English language teachers regarding to teaching grammar in the primary school in Singapore. As belief refers to an attitude consistently applied to an activity, they affect the way we perceive reality, guide or thoughts and behaviors. A discussion about teachers’ beliefs, the teaching of grammar and an outline of the case of study are carried out along the paper. After them, the analysis of the convergence and divergence of the teachers’ beliefs and actual classroom practices is introduced and discussed.
The instruments to collect information was an interview for each teacher, to know about their beliefs in grammar teaching, also two observations of the teachers’ classes with pre-lesson to obtain information about the lesson to be implemented and a post-lesson interview to reflect on the meaning of the lesson, and a collection of the students’ written work, selected randomly. According to the information gathered both teachers agree that teaching grammar is crucial in order to enable students to use grammar structures correctly in written work. One of the teachers (Daphne) said that she does not teach grammar overtly when her students already know and have the ability to use grammar in writing and listening comprehension. The use of drills is a belief of one of the teachers due to that technique was useful for her when student. For her grammar is synonym to think in the present tense, past tense, and how to form sentences correctly. The other teacher (Velma), said that grammar consists of structures that help students to make sentences meaningful.
Daphne argues that incidental grammar is not a good option to teach due to students has not the necessary language skill. In the other hand Velma prefers both ways as equal for the traditional grammar teaching and the communicative and inductive approaches. The results of the actual practice of both teachers reflect that their classes were teacher-centered, with explanations, instructions and asking questions to students, teaching with some tries of integrated it with speaking, writing or reading. Other external factors were observed as an influence of the teachers’ practice in the classroom as syllabus demand, the school administration, parents, and time.
The author’s position and argument was easily understood and the article was interesting read for me. The topic was interesting and very important to research about it, as many authors have been done in different context; they argued that teachers’ beliefs take an important part in their practice of the classroom. Brown and Rodgers (2002) indicated, beliefs can cause couples to wed and soldiers to fight, or they can even sicken and heal. The author introduced me about the preferences and teaching styles in primary school of two teachers, their practices, and beliefs. They can help me as a base on how many factors affect the practice of teaching a Second Language in primary schools.
Brown, J. D., & Rodgers, T. S. (2002). Doing second language research. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Mohamme, A. and Perur, R. (2011). Difficulties in teaching and learning grammar in an efl context.International Journal of Instruction, 4(2), 69-92.
Arıka, A. (2011). A small-scale study of primary school English language teachers' classroom activities and problems. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED519176.pdf
Farrel, T. and Poh, (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: a case study of teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language,9(2), 1-13
Jaeger, G. (2011). The effectiveness of teaching traditional grammar on writing composition at the high school level. School of Education and Counseling Psychology,
Ellis, R. (2005). Instructed second language acquisition a literature review. New Zeland:Research division ministry of education.