As guides, teachers play a significant role in imparting grammar knowledge to students. They use their existing knowledge to enhance students’ learning ability during the process of their teaching. As regard to which method should teachers adopt, many researchers hold different views. In this article, the author mainly discusses the strategies in teaching passive voice by evaluating Miss Wong’s pedagogical approach. In the second part, the author will write a proposal to suggest an alternative teaching method regarding passive voice. Some teaching activities are introduced, such as a TV program.
B. Significance of Passive Voice
Teaching passive voice is necessary. Although there is no absolutely relationship between passive voice and written texts, students are likely to drop passive voice when they want to write a narrative (Myhill, 2003), “To discuss ‘how passive voice is used and to which degree can students make use of it’ appears to be the reason why teachers should teach passive voice”. As a teacher, he not only gives new knowledge to students but also combines the ‘old’ (i.e. past participle, auxiliary) with ‘new’ knowledge together.
C. A Brief Introduction about Teaching Grammar
When it comes to how teachers teach students, a heated debate is raised regarding whether we should use inductive approach or deductive approach. The former refers to the approach realized by providing some implicit focus on grammar during communicative language teaching (Fotos, 1998). On this stage, usually, learners are provided with opportunities to learn passive voice through specified communicative activities, and they are required to explore these grammatical structures in context. As a result, students are sure of the purpose of using their new knowledge (passive voice) at a discourse level. However, deductive approach is a kind of traditional approach. Teachers present grammatical rules to students for a few times just like Miss Wong does, and they ask students to do some exercise for further practicing. Deductive approach is also called rule driven learning, and only when learners are introduced with the rules can they make use of it.
Reasons of Miss Wong’s Approach
The reason why Miss Wong uses this method may be based on her own beliefs about teaching methods. Teachers' thinking, knowledge, and experiences are relevant to their teaching behavior (Holt Reynolds 1992). In Holt’s article, such beliefs are called teachers’ cognitions. Teachers’ experiences of being learners can inform cognitions about teaching and learning which will have an influence on teachers throughout their career. Teachers may take learners’ wishes and preferences into account in their decision-making around grammar teaching (Borg, 1998, 1999; Macrory, 2000). Therefore, as regard to Miss Wong’s approach, it can be inferred that when she was a middle school student, the way her teacher taught her might be similar to the way she teaches today.