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Teaching GrammarDIANE LARSEN-FREEMANIn "Teaching Grammar," Larsen-Freeman challenges conventional views of grammar. Instead of simplyanalyzing grammatical form, she includes grammatical meaning and use as well. Then, building onwhat is known about the way grammar is learned, she offers ways to teach grammar consistent withcontemporary theory and the need to "focus on form" within a meaning-based or communicativeapproach.INTRODUCTIONOver the centuries, second language educatorshave alternated between two types of approachesto language teaching: those that focus on analyz-ing the language and those that focus on usingthe language. The former have students learnthe elements of language (e.g., sounds, struc-tures, vocabulary), building toward students'being able to use the elements to communicate.The latter encourage students to use the lan-guage from the start, however falteringly, inorder to acquire it. Early in the previous centu-ry, this distinctive pattern was observable in theshift from the more form-oriented grammar-translation approach to the use-oriented directmethod (Celce-Murcia 1980). A more recentexample of the shift is the loss of popularity ofthe cognitive-code approach, in which analyzingstructures and applying rules are common prac-tices, and the rise of more communicativeapproaches, which emphasize language use overrules of language usage (Widdowson 1978).Even though such language use approachesas task-based and content-based are in favor thesedays, educators agree that speaking and writingaccurately is part of communicative competence,justas isbeing able to get one's meaning acrossin an appropriate manner. Further, it has beenobserved that although some learners can "pickup" accurate linguistic form from exposure tothe target language, few learners are capable ofdoing so efficiently, especially if they are postpu-bescent or if their exposure is limited to the class-room, as is the case when English is taught as aforeign language. In contrast, research has shownthat teachers who focus students' attention on lin-guistic form during communicative interactionsare more effective than those who never focus onform or who only do so in decontextualized gram-mar lessons (Spada and Lightbown 1993;Lightbown 1998). It follows, then, that most edu-cators concur with the need to teach grammaticalform. However, they advise doing so by "focusingon form" within a meaning-based or communica-tive approach in order to avoid a return to ana-lytic approaches in which decontextualizedlanguage forms were the object of study.Focusing on grammatical form during com-municative interactions rather than forms in iso-lation (Long 1991) is one way to prevent thependulum from swinging beyond its point ofequilibrium. In this chapter, we will encourage abalance between grammar and communication.

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