Prof. Rod Ellis, a well-known educator and world-famous scholar on appliedlinguistics, was invited to deliver a lecture on the afternoon of Dec. 2nd,2016. The lecture, entitled “Grammar Teaching as Consciousness-raising”,attracted lots of postgraduates, teachers and guests who was going toattend the 4th GDUFS Forum on AppliedLinguistics. The lecture was chaired by Prof. REN Wei, and the Vice Director ofthe National Key Research Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (CLAL), Prof. XU Hai, was present.
Prof. Ellis called for a conscious-raising approach to grammarteaching rather than traditional drills. He stressed consciousness in grammar teachingin three senses: consciousness-as-noticing, consciousness-as-monitoring and consciousness-as-control.Teaching activities were also illustrated for each sense. Forconsciousness-as-noticing, Text Enhancement and Interpretation Task could beused to draw students’ attention to specific grammar items, but contradictory effectswere also found in current studies. Consciousness-as-monitoring was illustratedby Grammar Explanation and Monitoring Activities, the former of which focusedon teachers’ explicit explanation of grammar rules and the latter emphasized onstudents’ self-generated analysis of grammar rules. Consciousness-as-control refersto monitoringactivities when students are engaged in language output tasks. Prof. Ellis alsopointed out the inadequacy of text-manipulation activities and recommendedfocused tasks like text-creation activities, which could raise students’explicit awareness of grammar in communicative tasks and thus promoteincidental learning.
Prof. Ellis believed that consciousand unconscious processes are dynamically involved in grammar learning. Teacherscould help to develop students’ conscious knowledge of grammar and use thatknowledge in processing both input and output.
The lecture went on for about 90minutes, during which Prof. Ellis elaborated on the theoretical basis and activitiesfor conscious-raising in grammar teaching, which point to alternative ways forteaching grammar.