Explicit Instruction in Task-Based Language Teaching

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Explicit Instruction in Task-Based Language Teaching


How to teach grammar has always been a controversial topic in the history of second language acquisition. In recent years, the discussion has been focused on whether to use explicit or implicit way to teach grammar. The on-going trend of language teaching is to combine communicative skills and language forms together. But how to immerse the focus on form into communicative language teaching is still an unsolved problem. I joined a teaching experiment about explicit and implicit instruction when I was working in Michigan State University Confucius Institute. 40 American high school students were divided into two groups and each group were under explicit or implicit instruction. We compared and analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of these two teaching methods in Chinese language class at beginner level. This paper expects to give out some useful opinions in how to effectively use explicit instruction in communicative language teaching.

KEY WORDS:Grammar Instruction, Explicit, Implicit, Task-Based Language Teaching

Discussion about implicit and explicit instruction

In the field of second language teaching and learning, the role of grammar instruction has always been questioned. Researchers who support grammar instruction suggest that it is necessary to master the grammar in order to study a foreign language and grammar can be passed on through ways such as analyzing and explaining. The acquisition of grammar rules can be transformed to language using ability. Researchers who oppose grammar instruction, however, hold that grammar teaching impedes the language acquisition. They believe that grammar cannot be taught, but only be acquired unconsciously by practice and communication. Currently the discussion on grammar teaching is much more focused on whether we should teach grammar explicitly or implicitly. In order to demonstrate the superior of one...
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