Teaching grammar directly—oui ou non? What do current methodologies say about teaching grammar in the World Language classroom?

Ana Hummel, French, North Mecklenburg High School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

This paper is more than just a curriculum unit. Rather, it is intended to be a short handbook for how to teach world languages, particularly grammar, in alignment with the most current research and scholarship. Because most teachers are still using textbooks as the basis of their world language courses, they are unable to truly apply modern teaching methods. My interest in updating my own beliefs and methods began when my district hired an expert to help us rewrite our curricula for levels I, II, and III. In the first sections, the approach of Communicative Language Teaching is explained so that teachers will understand how to structure course syllabi without the use of a textbook. Next, out-of-date methods for teaching grammar are debunked in an effort to show teachers why it is necessary to modernize our methods. Then, current, research-based methods for teaching grammar are explained. Finally, those methods are exemplified with classroom lessons and activities that focus on how to teach the passé composé and direct object pronouns le, la, and les during a unit on food in the first semester of French II. Despite its focus on level II, the information in this paper should be useful to world language teachers of all levels.