Grammar as a meaning-making resource for improving writing
L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature
International Association for Research in L1 Education (ARLE)
© 2018 International Association for Research in L1-Education.
This article will begin by briefly outlining the long-standing, and contested, debate in Anglo-phone countries regarding the place of grammar in the L1 curriculum, and will underline how Anglophone countries in general have not valued grammar in the teaching of L1 (or in L2). It will illustrate how current national policies have re-positioned grammar, with particular reference to England and Australia, and it will review recent research which demonstrates that explicit grammar teaching can support learner outcomes in reading and writing. Drawing on a Halli-dayan theoretical framework for grammar, which emphasises grammar as a semiotic resource for meaning-making, the article will offer a theorized rationale for the inclusion of grammar in the L1 curriculum. This argument will be evidenced with data from a series of related studies and will address a) linking grammar and the learning focus for reading or writing in a meaningful way; b) the role of talk in supporting the development of students’ metalinguistic knowledge; c) students’ conceptual understanding of grammatical terms; and d) the place of teachers’ gram-matical subject knowledge in supporting a meaning-rich approach to the teaching of grammar. The article will conclude by signaling key lines of enquiry for future research.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from ARLE via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 18, pp. 1-21.