The approach to the teaching of grammar that we have adopted in this resource reflects a current pedagogical approach.
We start from the premise that the purpose of grammar is to facilitate effective communication with others. For this reason, a knowledge of grammar rules on their own is not sufficient. Rather, students need to know how the grammar looks and behaves in context and to understand the grammatical choices made by writers and the intended purpose and effect of those choices.
Moreover, if grammar is taught in the context of students’ own reading and writing, the learning is more likely to be both relevant and engaging.
However, we also need to be sure that students are assisted to transfer their learning from one context to another.
For this reason the OTISA resource offers opportunities for students to consolidate the learning that has occurred in their classroom, and then to apply it in other situations. The instructional introductions that occur in each element are intended to remind students of their prior learning and to reinforce the metalanguage that becomes the basis of the dialogue between teachers and their students.
We are currently developing Professional Learning modules that explain the grammar basics for teachers and suggest ways in which these can be taught in context in the classroom. The modules will be ready for the 2013 school year.