The discussion about what is the best approach when teaching grammar in MFL is always a 'hot seat' topic and at times many of us will have to agree to disagree as we all have our own views and experiences which on a practical level, sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with the research into SLA - each learner and school context is unique therefore different approaches will be more suitable for the diversity of these contexts.
In this post, I would like to discuss the differing points of view...
I believe that the purpose of learning a language is to be able to communicate in it. Many times, students tell me: ' I would love to study German in the college, but I just want to learn to speak it well so I can use it with my other STEM subjects, I don't want to analyse literature and learn Grammar.' However, in the practice, for many teachers and leaders in the schools, this is not as straightforward as it might seem, especially with the pressures of delivering results and achieving good grades.
To embed grammar fully into students LTM, it has to be practised extensively via all four skills. From personal experience, this often happens via the reading and writing, but not as much through the listening and speaking skill. This is especially important, in a skill such as listening, where students need to be able to recognise grammatical patterns in a sentence within a speech and arrange them within the context to aid not only comprehension but also acquisition of the new structure or chunk. It is also rather common to observe lesser grammatical accuracy in spoken language than in written language.
With my Academy context in mind, this is how we approach grammar in our classrooms:
When I started to teach, some 17 years ago, my approach to grammar teaching was explicit. This is how I was taught grammar myself, as a student. On a personal level, I have to admit, it suited me as I was an academic student and I needed to understand how the language works and links, plus I had the discipline to memorise the patterns and study beyond the walls of the classroom. This was the way I was taught to teach it during my PGCE course, and it was also confirmed through the observations of my mentors and colleagues.