A hobby-horse of mine, I know, but I thought I’d make a video this time, rather than write about it all over again.
Some relevant quotes and references (the numbers don’t correlate with my ’8 issues’ but the order more or less does):
1. “Of the scores of detailed studies of naturalistic and classroom language learning reported over the past 30 years, none suggest, for example, that presentation of discrete points of grammar one at a time bears any resemblance except an accidental one to either the order or the manner in which naturalistic or classroom acquirers learn those item”.
Long, M. and Robinson, P. (1998) ‘Focus on form: Theory, research and practice’, in Doughty, C., and Williams, J. (eds.) Focus on form in classroom language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 16.
2. “In helping learners manage their insights into the target language we should be conscious that our starting point is the learner’s grammar of the language. It is the learner who has to make sense of the insights derived from input, and learners can only do this by considering new evidence about the language in the light of their current model of the language. This argues against presenting them with pre-packaged structures and implies that they should be encouraged to process text for themselves so as to reach conclusions which make sense in terms of their own systems”.
Willis, D. (1994) ‘A Lexical Approach’, in Bygate, M., A. Tonkyn, and E. Williams, (eds.) Grammar and the Language Teacher, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall, p. 56.
3. “Materials used in the teaching of grammar have commonly been based on intuition… In fact, corpus-based research shows that the actual patterns of function and use in English often differ radically from prior expectations… Some relatively common linguistic constructions are overlooked in pedagogic grammars, while some relatively rare constructions receive considerable attention.”
Biber, D., S. Conrad, and R. Reppen, (1994) ‘Corpus-based approaches to issues in applied linguistics’, Applied Linguistics 15, 2, p. 171.
4. “Language learning is exemplar based…. the knowledge underlying fluent use of language is not grammar in the sense of abstract rules or structure but a huge collection of memories of previously experienced utterances”.
Ellis, N. (2002) ‘Frequency effects in language processing. A review with implications for theories of implicit and explicit language acquisition’, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, p. 166.
5. “Learning grammar involves abstracting regularities from the stock of known lexical sequences.”
Ellis, N. (1997) ‘Vocabulary acquisition: word structure, collocation, word-class’, in Schmitt, N., and McCarthy, M. (Eds.) Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition, and Pedagogy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 126.
6. “Grammar is … simply the name for certain categories of observed repetitions in discourse…. Its forms are not fixed templates but emerge out of face-to-face interaction in ways that reflect the individual speakers’ past experience of these forms… Grammar, in this view, is not the source of understanding and communication but a by-product of it”.
Hopper, P.J. (1998) ‘Emergent language’, in Tomasello, M. (ed.) The New Psychology of Language: Cognitive and Functional Approaches to Language Structure, Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence Erlbaum, p. 156.
7. “From the perspective of emergent grammar … learning an additional language is about enhancing one’s repertoire of fragments and patterns that enables participation in a wider array of communicative activities. It is not about building up a complete and perfect grammar in order to produce well-formed sentences.”
Lantolf, J. and Thorne, S. (2006) Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 7.
8. “We may learn the tokens of language formally, but we learn the system by using it through reading or writing, or conversing”.
Brumfit, C. (2001) Individual Freedom In Language Teaching, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 12.