#tbt IATFEL 2016 #2: Using the English Grammar Profile to improve curriculum design

Geraldine Mark

In the second of a series of posts for Throwback Thursday, we are sharing some of our favourite talks from last year’s IATFEL.

The first in this series looked at ‘How to improve children’s writing skills through digital story prompts and feedback‘. We’re now moving forward from primary to adult learners, in this talk by Anne O’Keefe and Geraldine Mark on using the English Grammar Profile.

The key focus of the talk is on what Learner’s are able to do at each CEFR study level using grammar descriptors. Anne and Geraldine studied this extensively in order to improve syllabus design and created an online tool named ‘English Grammar Profile‘.

The talk touches on how, as teachers, it is sometimes difficult to decipher between what level you believe the learner to be at when using and understanding grammar, to what level you know they are at. Anne and Geraldine’s study helps to digress the various levels and aid teaching using evidence, information from the Cambridge Leaner Corpus and written outputs. English Grammar Profile is a free online tool which teachers can refer to at each stage of the CEFR to ensure their student’s are learning relevant content appropriate to their current grade/level.

Examples are given using evidence gained from the report which show potential difficulties student’s experience when learning grammar.  An instance of this is when using ‘combinations’; a single word being both an adverb and adjective, and how they are formed differently within sentences. The Grammar profile tool highlights that although one correct form of a word may be used at a particular level, the learner may not have an understanding of the various other functions in which that same word could be used. The growth of vocabulary and grammatical development are highly interlinked.

The talk goes on to discuss the English Grammar Profile in depth and whether Geraldine’s and Anne’s findings reflect that of experiences of teacher’s within the audience. Watch the full talk here to find out more about their project and findings:

Where next?

See our first post in this series by Cindy James: How to improve children’s writing skills through digital story prompts and feedback

If you’re feeling inspired, you can look through other IATEFL talks!

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