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Center for Second Language Studies

Orientation Session Presentation

August 21, 2012
Virginia Scott

Rethinking Grammar


WHEN should I teaching grammar?
Every day?
At the beginning of the lesson?
HOW should I teach grammar?
Deductive lesson (rule example)
Inductive lesson (example rule)
Should I use L1 or L2 to teach grammar?

Definition & Principles

Input Processing

Input processing is an approach to grammar

instruction that guides learners to process what
they see or hear.

This approach helps learners connect language

forms with their intended meanings.
Learners must DO something with the input they
see or hear.

Traditional approach
Traditional approach:
input developing system output
focused practice

a) Learners see or hear input.

b) They think about it (?)
c) They practice during output.

Input processing approach

IP approach:
input developing system output
focused practice

a) Learners see or hear input.

b) They DO something with what they see
or hear.
c) They produce the word or structure.

Traditional / Input processing:

A review

1) Traditional approach:
input developing system output
focused practice
2) IP approach:
input developing system output
focused practice

For BOTH the traditional approach and the input
processing approach teaching grammar includes three
main phases:
1) providing input
2) fostering learners developing language system
3) encouraging output

Structure: verbs with ing

Topic: leisure activities
Going to the movies
Shopping at the mall
Eating pizza at Mafiosas
Watching TV
Talking to friends
Riding a bike
Dancing at a club
Hiking at Radnor Lake Park
Reading a book
Sleeping late

Four kinds of IP activities:

1) Binary options
2) Matching
3) Selecting alternatives
4) Supplying information
**Reminder: Students are listening OR reading and DOING
something with what they hear/see. They are NOT

1. Binary options
Indicate if you think the statements are TRUE or FALSE:

I like eating pizza.

I enjoy going to the movies.
I do not like hiking.
I hate watching TV.
I really like reading books.
I do not like riding a bike.
I like hiking.
I love dancing.
(ORAL or WRITTEN input?)



2. Matching
What do you like?

I like
new clothes.

I like
watching TV.

3. Selecting alternatives
When I have free time I enjoy
___ watching TV.
___ reading a book.
___ talking to friends.
When I am hungry I prefer
___ going out to a restaurant.
___ cooking dinner at home.
___ getting fast food.
When I go out with my friends we like
___ going to the movies.
___ sitting in a bar.
___ dancing in a club.

4. Supplying information
Fill in the blanks below and be prepared to
share the information.
Name ____________________
I like eating _______________________________.
I love drinking _____________________________.
I enjoy watching ___________________________.
I prefer reading _____________________________.
I do not like going _____________________________.

Elicit the rule

State the rule clearly
You can add ing to verbs.

You can state preferences before the ing verb:

I like going / I hate eating / I prefer dancing

ing verbs are preceded by a helping verb:

to be (I am reading)
to like (I like shopping)

Guiding principles for

input processing:
Use both oral and written input.
Focus on meaning before form.
Have learners DO something with input.
Design activities that require both discrete (one
answer) and open-ended (personal opinion)
Have learners state the rule as final phase of the

Farley, Andrew. 2004. Structured Input: Grammar Instruction
for the Acquisition-Oriented Classroom. New York: McGraw
Lee, James and Bill VanPatten. 2003. Making Communicative
Language Teaching Happen (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw
Wong, Wynne. 2004. Input Enhancement: From Theory and
Research to the Classroom. New York: McGraw Hill.