Module 7 – Teaching Grammar and Correcting Errors in Young Learner Classrooms

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It is often believed that grammar has no place in young learner classrooms and grammar errors should not be corrected as this may discourage learners from using the language freely. This may be true for students aged 6-9 whom we name as very young learners. For this age group, it is more appropriate to teach words and chunks without analyzing the language not to confuse the students. However, starting from age 9, children are cognitively ready to recognize patterns and grammar rules and they should be encouraged to notice the forms in the input we provide (e.g. reading and listening texts) and during natural language use and interaction. As Cameron (2001) states grammar “has a place in children’s learning because it is closely tied into meaning and use of language, and is inter-connected with vocabulary” (p. 96). Recent research also confirms that when children attend to forms besides meaning, they learn the grammar rules more efficiently and remember them for a longer time when compared to children who go through a pure meaning-based instruction. Research also suggests that when errors are left untreated, this leads to fossilization of errors by time; therefore, students get stuck at lower language levels and cannot go beyond a certain level of language proficiency (Doughty & Williams, 1998; Skehan, 1996; Swain, 2005).


For that reason, the question we face is not whether or not grammar should be included in young learner classes, but how we can integrate grammar into language classes in the most child-friendly and the most effective way. Instead of the problematic approaches in many EFL/ESL contexts, such as the traditional, direct and isolated practices of grammar teaching (focus-on-formS) or pure meaning-based approaches completely excluding grammar (focus-on-meaning), we need to employ contemporary approaches to grammar teaching blending form and meaning in a balanced manner (focus-on-form). For that reason, the aim of this module is to introduce some child-friendly, enjoyable, and scientifically supported methods of grammar teaching and error correction in young learner classrooms.

Course Features

  • Lectures 7
  • Quizzes 2
  • Duration 50 hours
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 24
  • Assessments Self


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