Is meaning important when teaching grammar?

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:05 am
Status: English Teacher

Is meaning important when teaching grammar?

Post by AjarnEric » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:17 am

Hello, I've googled a bit and my search terms aren't working.

I've just recently started work as an EFL teacher in Thailand. My co-worker is a Thai teacher focused on grammar. He has chosen to enforce the understanding of patterns (use of articles, nouns, etc in correct order) by having the students write sentences that are grammatically correct only.

I found this out by helping him mark homework, and it's led to sentences like:

"Myself is doing the dishes" rather than "I am doing the dishes".

Also it's led to loads of sentences which have no meaning in English as the grammar confuses the issue. His method is to get them to write 10 words under headings (noun, verb, article, etc) and then use only those words to teach grammar.



Could someone do me a favour and either explain to me why this is OK, or if it's not (and I think it isn't) help me with some ideas for what he could do instead (written exercises for homework) and help me with how to explain to him that it's not a good idea to teach grammar sans meaning...

His argument is that it helps them practice use of articles and conjunctions and plurals...


User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12886
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Re: Is meaning important when teaching grammar?

Post by Alan » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:20 am

This forum exists to give guidance as to grammatical correctness, not to dish out general advice on teaching methodology, and so I suggest that you re-post in the 'Help Each Other with English' forum.

Just for information, though,

*Myself is doing the dishes.

is not a grammatical sentence!