Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Cormac Conway

Contextualising Grammar Presentations into Employability Skill Development

Cormac Conway, Manchester Adult Education Service

In this session I aim to share some ideas on how grammar can be presented and practised in ESOL lessons, using employability / the work of work as a context. Some things about teaching ESOL are constant – the need to develop learner’s skills, their understanding and ability to use grammatical structures, to develop a wide vocabulary etc, but over time other things change.

Now more than ever employability needs to be embedded into all ESOL sessions and a constant consideration for tutors as inspectors, funding bodies, managers and partners such as DWP expect to see learners work on their employability skills at all levels of English competence and at all stages of courses. This session aims to bring together these two elements in a practical session focussing on ideas developed over many years working in the field on how we can still make grammar presentations and practice memorable and useful while using employability as the context from which to deliver presentations and set up practice opportunities. I aim to share some ideas I have used in my teaching over almost twenty years of teaching and provide opportunities for those in attendance to share their ideas.

The underpinning methodology I will aim to utilise could best be summarised as “learning from the learner”, i.e. using their lives, experiences, interests and needs as a jumping off point from which to explore and practice grammatical areas of English language. I also believe in the power of “discovered” learning, where rules etc are discovered by learners from thinking about language rather than provided to them, and aim to demonstrate this approach in this session.

We will also look at how we can evidence the work we do in classes to satisfy requirements of RARPA evidence gathering

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