Discourse Grammar and English Language Teaching – Article Example

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The paper "Discourse Grammar and English Language Teaching" is a worthy example of an English article review. In their article Discourse Grammar and English Language Teaching, Rebecca Hughes and Michael McCarthy argue that there are very good reasons for the development of discourse grammars mostly for L2 teaching. In their argument, they say that there is need to exemplify the criteria moving to discourse level from the sentence based grammar. They cite that the criterion is based on descriptive and pedagogical problems that exist in grammar which are beyond sentence based approach to deal with.

They identify two areas in which discourse grammar might be of great importance. The two areas include discourse paradigms where the problem solution is brought about by post facto rules that have failed to give choices that are appropriate; the different distributions of the written texts as well as the spoken, puzzles in grammar that are unresolved and items that seem to make little sense when dealt with in stand-alone sentences. In their argument, they note that the discourse upon which insights are based must not only be that of a given section of a community speaking British English.

This is in connection to the culturally and contextually influenced, idiomatic, interpersonal nature of the widely used language which is to be accepted for teaching internationally. They further press on the need for teachers having the materials that will be able to provide enough background on linguistics and context that will boost their confidence in what they are using. Throughout the article, Rebecca Hughes and Michael McCarthy have argued that pedagogy of the English language should be able to foster a view of grammar teaching which is practice-driven.

This is where the teacher is empowered to take an active part as will, as make an informed view of the features they should present to the learners and in the best way possible. This in their argument does not mean to imply that the discourse based and the traditional approaches are exclusive but that a wisely chosen combination will definitely be in most situations the best course of action enabling the teacher to tackle in their best way the complexities of English Grammar.  


Rebecca Hughes, M. M. (1998). Discourse Grammar and English Language Teaching. TESOL QUARTERLY, 32, 263-285.
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