Meaning based grammar teaching

Often I hear different teachers say something like: “My main objective is to teach the difference between the preterit and imperfect during this unit” or “Now we are focusing on gender and verb agreement within the sentence.” etc.

I don’t know what it is, but I just get so turned off to statements like these. I feel that grammar is important and I teach it every day, through presenting comprehensible input in grammar structures. But my goal is more meaning based. I would rather that the student would be able to say, “Cuando era un chico” or “La semana anterior fue a un restaurante con mi familia”

I don’t think there needs to be a focus on the specific parts of grammar in the beginning levels. If a teacher states this as their objective I think that there may be a chance that the importance of their lesson will shift to grammar instead of meaning. In my experience the students are much more interested in meaning rather than grammar. Therefore, my mind frame should be more on meaning than grammar.

Another point is that focusing on meaning is much more personal. You can communicate personal ideas much more with meaning by involving the students or setting their imagination on story. This is what language truly is, a form of communication. Not something to divide up and chop into compartments that will lead to too much analyzation. Focusing on meaning is what leads to fluency. Isn’t that my goal?


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Filed under teaching grammar

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