Grammar refers to the internal intellectual system of rules about the components and composition of a language. Level 1 learners use language in the perception of terms. The main aim of developing a level 1 to a level 2 learner is to develop a student who can communicate fluently and accurately focus on form (Nassaji & Foot, 2011). The development is only possible if the learner focuses on linguistic items within a wide meaning-based setting. Acquisition of vocabulary is also important as the acquisition of grammar. However, vocabularies do not have rules as the grammar that a learner needs to hold on (Schmitt, 2008). The vocabulary aspect only knows word frequency and translation. Therefore, Level 1 learner should have a basic understanding of the entire three components to achieve fluency in languages.
Description Of The Observed Classroom
The observed class was level 1 Arabic that lasted for fifty minutes. The class had a capacity of nineteen students; seven males and twelve females. The teacher explained that most of the students chose the class to meet the university obligations of a foreign language. The class practiced three learning skills; listening, speaking, and reading. The learning-focused more on grammar and vocabulary.
Classroom Activities, Interactions, And Events
The teacher started the lesson by reviewing the previous class session and asked the students what they could remember. The teacher then put on the audio of a story of two friends, Reem and Maha, for the students to listen. The audio was in Arabic. The students applied their listening skills. After the audio, the teacher asked the students to say what they understood. Most of the students had a general idea but missed out some details. Thereafter, the students engaged in the reading activity. The teacher asked the students to read the same audio story in a script. Each student read a sentence loudly while the teacher corrected the difficult to pronounce words but ignored the easy ones. The teacher translated and explained the compound words in the script. The class exercised interaction. The teacher engaged the student in learning by asking them the comprehension questions. However, students only gave short answers. The teacher once more asked questions from the script and required full statement reply. She corrected some grammatical errors. The teacher further explained that some Arabic nouns have different words from singular to plural. She also emphasized on the board that the Arabic language only have present tense but no continuous present. The teacher then gave the students exercise of completing blank spaces using the bolded words in the story.
The student later watched a video of two females talking over the phone. The teacher wrote five phrases on the board in Arabic as the students continued watching. The teacher instructed the students to watch the video once as she stopped it after each sentence so that the students would translate it to English with her help. The teacher explained the phrases illustrating to the students when and how the phrases were used. The teacher reviewed the English grammatical rules on how Arabic sentences should be constructed. She then explained the rules in English on the board with examples from the comprehension written in Arabic. The students also gave out more examples in Arabic.
After the class, I talked to the teacher for approximately ten minutes inquiring about the rationale of her lesson. She explained to me that she had to do the translations and explanations so that the students would understand the grammatical rules. She further explained that she has to come back and review the rules in multiple modules because the students are of elementary level. She also stated that the students need to get the vocabularies in multiple times in different context to familiarize and make use of the words.
Reflection and Discussion
Focus on Form
Input flood increases the students' ability to use linguistic phrases. However, it does not decrease the use of inaccurate level 1 strategies, and it results to use of the vocabularies (Ellis 2009). Input flood can only affect students learning when combined with explicit attention to linguistic items. The teacher translated and explained the complex phases in the Arabic language. The teacher also gave the students two tests to target their implicit and explicit knowledge.
Input enhancement combined with written input and other types of enhancement facilitates learners' noticing of objective forms and improves the overall understanding (Han, Park, & Combs, 2008). Researchers also state that the use of multiple types of enhancement enhances learners' cognitive function (Han et al., 2008). The teacher used different input enhancer. She used audio, video, and scripts so the students could understand the Arabic language. She engaged students in interaction by answering questions both verbally and written. She also illustrated the phrases on the board and instructed the students to read loudly. Each student read a sentence loudly.
Corrective feedback is essential in learning linguistics. Lyster & Saito (2010), the study indicates that' explicit, recast and prompt feedbacks are all effective for L2 learners. However, explicit feedback is more effective (Lyster & Saito, 2010). The teacher in the observed class employed the recast feedback by supplying the correct form without directly indicating that the student's utterance was incorrect. She asked the students to read the sentences loud while correcting the difficult pronunciation. The teacher corrected the grammatical mistakes and explained the grammar rules.
Acquisition of Grammar
Many researchers claim that learners can understand grammar in a better way through direct, explicit instructions. Explicit instruction also emphasizes linguistic forms while instilling a meaning-focused element (Nassaji & Fotos, 2011). The teacher used the explicit instructions. She provided the students with an audio, video, and script so that they could create form-meaning mappings. She also focused on Arabic phrases. Grammatical rules explanation is a better example of explicit instruction (Nassaji & Fotos, 2011). Explicit learning provides the learners with knowledge of specific grammatical structures making it easier for the students to identify the structures in the input. The instruction form also makes learners feel comfortable learning new input.
Present, practice, produce instruction contains an element of explicit instruction. The instruction involves explaining the grammar point followed by the controlled production of the grammar structure (Shintani, 2013). The final step involves engaging in free practice use of the structure. The teacher provided the students with grammatical rules for constructing Arabic sentences. She then engaged the leaners in completing comprehension questions.
Acquisition of Vocabulary
Learners get to familiarize a word after frequent exposure to the word. However, Schmitt (2008) argues it is also important to consider the quality of the encounter times in addition to the frequency of exposure. Low-quality processing of word without formation of orthographic features is not essential vocabulary learning. It is essential to understand the semantic and conceptual characteristics of the word. The proactive and receptive knowledge in vocabulary learning is important. Research indicates that receptive knowledge is more significant than productive education of learners (Schmitt, 2008). The teachers stated that she would have to review the sessions in multiple lessons for the students to understand. She also started her lesson by reviewing the previous lesson.
Intentional learning aligns well with the form-focused instruction. The learning occurs through input enhancement and corrective feedback. The teacher employed intentional learning by engaging students in answering the comprehension questions (Loewen, 2011). She also instructed each student to be loud each sentence. She used audio, video, scripts to draw the students' attention toward the new input.
Contrastive analysis and translation have theoretical and empirical support. Translation activities are important in vocabulary learning as it explains more profound lexical terms (Laufer, 2006). The teacher explained and translated the complex vocabulary. She asked the students to read the comprehension and stopped at each sentence to explain.
The teacher needs to draw learners' attention to the target forms to enable the students to understand the language features and structure. Several types of instruction are effective in level 1 learner. Providing learners with explicit instruction is also important. However, the instruction may not be of benefit for all structures on all occasions. Therefore, level two learning employs both implicit and explicit instructions. The quality and quantity of learner's encounters with complex terms are important. The more times a learner encounters a word, and the deeper they engage with it, the more they are likely to retain and use it appropriately. The teacher gave an assurance of reviewing the lesson more to ensure the students understand. Translating the lexical terms provide the students with a clear understanding of the words. The teacher should, therefore, employ all the instructions as well as corrective feedback to improve the students' understanding.
Ellis, R. (2009). Implicit and explicit learning, knowledge and instruction. Implicit and explicit knowledge in second language learning, testing and teaching, 42, 3-25. Retrieved from HYPERLINK "http://www.multilingual-matters.com/display.asp?K=9781847691743"
Han, Z., Park, E. S., & Combs, C. (2008). Textual enhancement of input: Issues and possibilities. Applied Linguistics, 29(4), 597-618. DOI: HYPERLINK "https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amn010" https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amn010.
Laufer, B. (2006). Comparing focus on form and focus on forms in second-language vocabulary learning. Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 149-166. DOI: HYPERLINK "https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.63.1.149" https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.63.1.149.
Loewen, S. (2018). Focus on Form Versus Focus on Forms. The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, 1-6. DOI: HYPERLINK "https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0062" https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0062.
Lyster, R., & Saito, K. (2010). Oral feedback in classroom SLA: A meta-analysis. Studies in second language acquisition, 32(2), 265-302. DOI: HYPERLINK "https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263109990520" \t "https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition/article/oral-feedback-in-classroom-sla/_blank" https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263109990520.
Nassaji, H., & Fotos, S. S. (2011). Teaching grammar in second language classrooms: Integrating form-focused instruction in communicative context. Routledge.
Schmitt, N. (Ed.). (2008). Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy. Ernst Klett Sprachen.
Shintani, N. (2013). The Effect of Focus on Form and Focus on Forms Instruction on the Acquisition of Productive Knowledge of L2 Vocabulary by Young BeginningLevel Learners. TESOL quarterly, 47(1), 36-62. DOI: HYPERLINK "https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.54" https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.54.
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