Whenever we sign up for a language course, we know that we will inevitably be bombarded with grammatical structures to analyse, memorise, and (hopefully) use.
However, since our learners are not studying the language because they are aspiring to become linguists, do we really need to go into such detail and focus on so much meta language?
At Elite Learning we are firm believers in teaching the language in order for learners to better be able to communicate and function in their day-to-day tasks. This is why we choose to teach through a task-based communicative approach, which means that learners improve their knowledge of grammar (for example) by actually using the target structure in contexts which are relevant to them. This increases not only understanding, but also the retention factor.
Also, it is important to focus on a learner’s real-life use of the language, and tailor-make tasks to fit that use. Thus if a learner spends most of their time speaking to people in English, there is very little use in him/her learning a particular grammar point through laborious writing tasks. Learning through writing should be reserved for those who need to write in English.
Another important question is, what grammar points should a learner know? The answer is a very simple one – those that s/he needs to be able to communicate effectively in whatever medium required. Therefore knowing how to form the past perfect progressive may be important for a particular learner, but what is always of utmost importance is how and when to use that particular tense correctly.
At Elite Learning we realise that grammatical form, meaning and function are important, but we place more importance on learners correctly using what has been learned. Learning grammar for grammar’s sake is to be left to the linguists. We are users, and thus strive to cultivate users of English who can perform excellently in what has become an international language.