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Focused skill: Grammar

1) Teacher tells the class the title of the text and asks the pupils to think of and list
vocabulary items that they might expect from the text.
2) Teacher explains what is common noun and gives examples by using the vocabulary
listed in step 1.
3) Teacher asks the pupils to read the text silently with a view to answering Whquestions.
4) Teacher asks the pupils to match the words (occupation) with their respective
5) Teacher asks pupils to write about their ambition based on the text.


Tutorial Week 4 (Individual)

iii) Based on your reading from a variety of sources, write a critical essay on some of the
issues related to the teaching/learning of Grammar in the Malaysian ESL classrooms.
Based on Thornbury (2009), grammar can be defined as the description of the rules for
forming sentences, including an account of the meanings that these forms convey. In other
words, grammar adds meanings that are not easily inferable from immediate context. In
Malaysia, the teaching and learning of grammar starts from Year 3 and this continues on to
Level 2. Teachers should employ various strategies in teaching grammar so that learning
becomes effective, interesting, fun and relevant. Grammar should be taught in context as
well as explicitly so that pupils learn the rules of grammar and how to apply these rules in
speech and writing (Ministry Of Education, 2013). In reality, we are still facing issues related
to the teaching of Grammar in Malaysian ESL classrooms.
First and foremost, the issue related to the teaching of Grammar in Malaysian ESL
classrooms is grammatical awareness among primary school English language
teachers. As we all aware, there has been considerable public concern in the media about
the standard of English language teaching in Malaysia and it is not uncommon to find
comments in the newspapers about various inaccuracies in teachers use of English in the
classroom. One of the related issues is the language awareness of teachers. For instance,
the explicit knowledge those teachers have of the underlying systems of the language that
enables them to teach effectively. One finding by Munib Shuib (2006) found out that two
major implications may be discerned from this issue, firstly in the context of their teaching
and secondly in the context of their training. In terms of teaching, their rather limited
grammatical awareness may affect the accuracy of their teaching and indirectly the accuracy
of what is learnt by their students from them. It is not impossible that their students
grammatical competence may have been influenced by the input received from these
teachers. The danger with this is that they may in practice be compounding their pupils'
language problems instead of relieving them. With this, the importance of having
grammatical awareness among English language teachers has been emphasised by many
scholars for various reasons.
Secondly, the issue related to the teaching of Grammar in Malaysian ESL classrooms is
the issue of fluency versus accuracy. Fluency versus accuracy is, doubtless, the one
issue that affects each and every English as a Second Language teacher. Indeed, more than
any other, it is this question that, regardless of their level, location, or leanings, English
teachers returns to over and over again. In Malaysian education, while the former is ideal for
students who are able and wish to demonstrate their ability to perform functional tasks in
English, the latter more closely corresponds to the traditional ideal of language fluency. As
you can imagine, this issue can affect almost every aspect of a teachers instructional style
in the classroom, meaning that in order to compare English teaching styles you must come
to terms with this question. Such certainty may be elusive but it is important. After all, the
differences between just two methods of English language teaching which is Grammar
Translation (which puts an emphasis on accuracy over fluency ) and Audiolingualism (which
focuses on the opposite) can dramatically affect how and when teachers make corrections.
After all, this issue gets to the heart of how to teach English because it questions the way
they measure success as educators.

iv) List what you anticipate might be three benefits and three challenges of teaching large
multi-level classes.

There are always enough students for interaction.

We get a rich variety of human resources
The teacher is not the only pedagogue
Professional development occurs naturally


We often feel out of control

In the large class we sometimes feel trapped in the problems of management
It is difficult to provide for individual learning styles
Activating the quiet student is difficult