Teaching Grammar Through Inductive Method

27th April 2021

Sometimes, the skilled and professional ESL/EFL teachers also think about which approach is best matched for the EFL classroom. While teaching English grammar, usually the learners are being encouraged to work out grammar rules for themselves. So, what does it mean to teach grammar inductively? Let’s take a look at the underlying principles of the inductive approach to grammar teaching and learning.

The inductive method has been applied to grammar teaching and learning for quite a long time. This encompasses the learners distinguishing the patterns for themselves before they practise the language. This method is usually common in published materials and can be compared with a deductive method. Teaching English grammar is a tough job especially if your class is a monolingual group and you know nothing of their language.

So, what is deductive and inductive grammar teaching?

Deductive grammar teaching is fundamentally a top-down style which changes from the more general to the more detailed. Inductive grammar teaching is more of a bottom-up approach, moving from the more detailed to the more universal, in which you may make explicit observations, distinguish patterns, formulate hypotheses and draw conclusions.

Most inductive learning offered in various course books which are being guided or scaffolded. In other words, grammatical exercises and questions direct the learner to work out the grammar rule.

Well, if you ask us which method is better then it is possibly the nature of the language being taught which determines if an inductive approach is possible or not. Inductive grammatical learning is an opportunity for language with outstanding features by using the simple use of comparative adjectives.

On the other hand, people also think inductive learning can be more time and energy-consuming. It is also more demanding of the ESL/EFL teacher and the learner. Also, some students may need an introduction to inductive methods as they may be more accustomed, and feel more contented, with a deductive approach.

In the inductive approach, no explanation of the concept is given earlier as the foremost goal of the inductive teaching method is the retention of grammar perceptions. The inductive teaching method boosts student interaction and participation. It also develops their critical thinking as students gain a deeper understanding of the language.

Here are some key principles to bear in mind when teaching grammar:

  • Remembering the major purpose of teaching grammar.
  • Give talk high importance in your classroom.
  • Brush up your subject knowledge.
  • Teach English grammar in context.
  • Try to be methodical.
  • Make learning grammar fun as much as you can.
  • Keep your instructions clear and simple.

English grammar is very difficult to learn for both native and second-language speakers. With so many particulars, incomprehensible rules, and exceptions, teachers have used numerous approaches to teaching grammar to train students. Teaching English grammar also needs motivation and as a skilled ESL teacher, you need to motivate your students. When grammar is taught well, it can make a noteworthy difference to the learner’s literacy development.

Written By: Bindita Sinha      

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In academic collaboration with:

Pebble Hills University  London School Of Teaching and Training City College Birmingham Cambridge English AAHEA AAHEA TQ