The book attempts to grasp this particularnet
tle. Rather than advocating any single approach, the author’s objective has been to raise teachers’ awareness of the many options open to them for the teaching of this problematic area. He has made a judicious selection of activities and techniques ranging from highly traditional, form- focused activities, through more personalized, communicative tasks, to activities based on the use of language games. It is hoped that, offered this rich menu of varied activities, teachers will be able to choose those which best suit their particular classroom context, and personal teaching preference.
Perhaps the most innovative feature of the book is its overall organization. The author has chosen to discriminate between three kinds of grammar: word grammar, sentence grammar, and text grammar, and to use this division as the organizing principle for the structure of the book.
The work on computer corpora over the past decad
e or two has taught us a great deal about the systematic behaviour of words in context. This finely-tuned system operates at the hazy borderline between lexis and grammar, and merits much more attention than it has so far received. Sentence grammar is, of course, the core of most treatments of grammar in foreign language contexts. It is the staple of most textbooks, and many reference works. Clearly, no treatment of grammar could afford to neglect it. Text grammar has emerged in recent years from work on discourse analysis, as it has become clear that sentences have not only to be ‘correct’ but also to ‘fit’ both the context and co-text in which they occur. A sensitivity to the way sentences function as part of a text is another indispensable aspect of grammatical command. It therefore finds its rightful place in this book.
Teachers will appreciate the author’s clarity of explanation, and the lightness of touch with which he has dealt with this most contentious of subjects. The book will, we hope, prove a valued resource in the teaching of grammar for many years to come.