REVERTING TO FORM-FOCUSED GRAMMAR INSTRUCTION: EFFECTS ON GRAMMAR ACCURACY AND WRITING PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH
Keywords:Form-focused grammar instruction, writing proficiency, grammatical competence
To develop awareness of language structure is one of the main goals of second language learners (Bialystok, 1989). To achieve this goal, there has been a paradigm shift from form-focused to meaning-focused type of instruction over the years. However, some researchers have explored the effectiveness of switching back to form-focused grammar instruction (FFGI) to develop proficiency in a language. Motivated by this “pendulum-shift” to pedagogical grammar, the researcher investigated the effectiveness of FFGI and its relationship to writing. This study aimed to explore the effects of FFGI on grammar accuracy and writing proficiency. The study adopted a one-group pretest-posttest design. A standardized online writing test for was administered among the forty-two (42) college students enrolled in an English grammar course of a private university in Manila, Philippines. Afterwards, the participants were exposed to the intervention (FFGI). The findings revealed that there was a significant difference in the participants’ pre- and post-test scores in the grammar accuracy test. Conversely, there was no significant relationship between grammar accuracy and writing proficiency. It was concluded that FFGI can contribute to the improvement of grammar accuracy of students. However, knowledge of grammar rules does not automatically result in writing proficiency. Accordingly, this further implies explicit knowledge acquired from explicit instruction does not necessarily convert to implicit knowledge of real-life communicative writing tasks. Nonetheless, the teaching of grammar, regardless of whatever approach or methodology, will find its value and relevance in ESL contexts.
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