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Two tenses are better than one: Using contrast and complexity to develop grammatical understanding
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Teaching and Learning Language, Literature and Media.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6763-699X
2017 (English)In: International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, ISSN 2046-8253, E-ISSN 2046-8261, Vol. 6, no 2, 124-134 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a learning study (Lindström, 2015) with Swedish sixth grade pupils on the English grammatical structure, the progressive aspect (PROG). The focus is on how the lesson design and the treatment of the subject content, informed by variation theory, affected the learning of the PROG.

Design/methodology/approach: Four teachers of English as a foreign language, including the teacher researcher, collaborated to plan, teach, evaluate and analyse a series of six research lessons. The theoretical framework was the variation theory of learning which was used both to design the lessons and analyse teaching and learning. A basic assumption is that learning is a function of discernment, and discernment is conditional upon experiencing variaion. Empirical data consisted of interview transcripts, pre- and post-lesson assessments, and video recordings of the lessons.

Findings: The use of the present tense when teaching the PROG was insufficient. When the past tense was introduced, along with particularly powerful examples, pupils’ understanding of the PROG improved. Furthermore, reversing the conventional order by instead beginning the lesson with examples in the past tense, helped the pupils to generalise the meanings of the PROG. Improved pupil learning outcomes were observed when the PROG was treated from the perspective of wholeness, simultaneity and complexity. Originality/value: The findings challenge conventional ways of teaching the PROG and thus have value for instruction of English as a foreign language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Vol. 6, no 2, 124-134 p.
Keyword [en]
EFL; English grammar; Learning study; Progressive aspect; Teacher research; Variation theory
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34127DOI: 10.1108/IJLLS-10-2016-0034ISI: 000399059600002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85014846395OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-34127DiVA: diva2:1050906
Available from: 2016-11-30 Created: 2016-11-30 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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