It is not uncommon to say that grammar instruction plays an important role in language teaching. Regarding the status and importance of grammar teaching, a variety of opinions have been made. Batstone (1994) states that “language without grammar would be chaotic: countless words without the indispensable guidelines for how they can be ordered and modified” (p. 4). More vividly, Wang (2010) makes two similes. She compares grammar to the frame of a house, which is a decisive factor to ensure the solidness of it. Additionally, she regards grammar as a walking stick, whose function is to help and support students to learn English. Thus, the nature of grammar instruction manifests its own significance as it helps students enhance their overall language proficiency by integrating grammar into other aspects of learning, like listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Although great emphasis has been attached to grammar teaching, there still exist many problems in school context. Nunan (1998) points out learners are provided with various drills to master a certain grammatical item, which makes grammar in textbooks isolated from real life. According to what Miss Wong has mentioned, students are not sure of the purposes of using passive voice at discourse level. That is to say, students do not fully understand in what occasion passive voice should be used, which is a common problem in contemporary grammar teaching.
After a brief description about the importance and current situation of grammar teaching, this paper is aimed at analyzing Miss Wong’s teaching approach and trying to explore an effective way of teaching passive voice. This paper consists of six parts. The first part contains an introduction dealing with the background information about grammar teaching. The second part provides an evaluation of Miss Wong’s teaching approach from two aspects. In the third part, three pedagogical implications will be presented. In addition, a grammar activity and its theoretical rationale will be respectively reported in the fourth and fifth part before the final conclusion is displayed.
B. Evaluation of Miss Wong’s Teaching Approach
B(1). Teaching philosophy
It is teachers’ beliefs rather than their knowledge that have a greater influence on their instruction (William & Burden, 2000). Meighan suggests seven kinks of teachers’ beliefs about learners: resisters, receptacles, raw materials, clients, partners, individual explorers and democratic explorers. Unlike the first three concepts which focus on teachers, the last four require learners’ active involvement (as cited in William & Burden, 2000). In Miss Wong’s teaching approach, a PPP model (i.e., Presentation, Practice and Production) is generally adopted. She firstly presents target grammatical structure of passive voice. Then students do some exercises along with teacher’s answer checking. However, it seems the final production step is omitted, resulting in students’ lacking...