Teaching grammar using focus on form approach in communicative language teaching for Korean middle school students
In Korea, exceptional English communication skills are considered essential when conducting business internationally. This awareness led the Korean government to include English as one of the prerequisite subjects in public education. From the 1950s, to the early 1990s, students were taught English using a traditional approach which focused on teaching sentence level grammar rules without verbal communication. However, it did not improve their communicative skills. For this reason, the Korean government introduced the communicative approach in English instruction, and since then students have not only learned how to use English appropriately in different social situations, they have significantly improved their oral fluency as well. Unfortunately, students' accuracy in communication has remained relatively low as teachers do not typically correct students' spoken grammatical errors as they occur. Considering this, Korean English education needed a new approach which offered students sufficient opportunities for authentic communication, in addition to improving the grammatical accuracy of their output. The use of Michael Long's approach, focus on form, seems to have offered the solution. Focus on form provides teachers with eleven teaching techniques in order to improve students' grammatical accuracy in communication. The implicit techniques, which include input flood, task-essential language, and input enhancement etc., can be used by teachers to improve their students' language awareness implicitly. On the other hand, the explicit techniques, which include dictogloss, consciousness-raising task, and input processing etc., can be used by teachers wanting to focus more on teaching grammar rules by using meta-talk, rather than natural communication. Based on the wide range of research used in this paper, using focus on form will help Korean students enhance their ability to use grammar accurately in communication. However, some of focus on form's anticipated disadvantages are class size and teachers' inadequate proficiency in English. To overcome the disadvantages of using focus on form in CLT, some pedagogical choices (e.g. reactive vs proactive, implicit vs explicit techniques, and sequential vs integrated) are discussed thoroughly. Finally, focus on form may also be applied to the strong version of CLT such as task-based instruction and content-based instruction.
English language--Grammar--Study and teaching (Middle school)--Korea (South)
Focus on form
English language--Study and teaching (Middle school)--Korea (South)