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Bridging the Grammar Gap: teaching English grammar to the iPhone generation1: University College London


For second language learners, the value of the explicit teaching of English grammar has never been questioned. However, in recent times there has been dissent about whether or not to teach English grammar to native speakers. From the late 1960s onwards English grammar teaching in the United Kingdom largely disappeared from the curriculum, and was replaced by teachers focusing on students learning to express themselves. This was in the main not a bad thing, because it made students active participants in their own learning, and they were expected to think critically and express themselves well. The teaching of grammar, with its emphasis on rules, drilling and learning by rote, was seen as conformist, dull and unnecessary, and this view seemed to be confirmed by research into the effectiveness of grammar teaching.

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The authors are based at the Survey of English Usage, UCL. The App is a spin-off of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) entitled Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning, in which we are developing a website for classroom-based teaching as well as self-directed learning in secondary schools. For more information and relevant links, see Websites below.

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English Today
  • ISSN: 0266-0784
  • EISSN: 1474-0567
  • URL: /core/journals/english-today
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