This post on a listserv for fl teachers illustrates more than most the mind-set I see not only on Listservs but in conversations with teachers and comments in the media. Here it is:
“Amen to that. Unfortunately, so many of us concentrate more on games and
activities that teach very little and spend a lot of time. I woujd like to
offer a suggestion: We need to concentrate much more on a real curriculum
–i.e. one that is serious and that is followed to its very
last consequences. Pretty soon we’ll see our FL departments changing for the
The picture painted is of many fl teachers not teaching seriously but engaging in “activities and games”. There’s a lot here. Do activities and games precude learning for this person? He qualifies the phrase by a restrictive clause so maybe he does think some activities and games can teach a serious curriculum
Yet my observations are that what most fl teachers engage in is: grammar instruction.
Is the idea presented that one cannot learn grammar via activities and games? Moralism of a puritanical sort is creeping in here: if it feels good it must be a sin. Our country is beset by this attitude: if learning is fun or enjoyable, it can’t be serious. Is this what the poster is suggesting?
Should anyone fear the grammar won’t be taught, here is a request from a listserv: it is highly representative. Teachers are free to teach grammar, but what I read on lIstservs suggests that teachers aren’t teaching grammar anymore. I could collect a jillion posts similar to this one:
“Hi, Does anyone have any good ideas/suggestions for presenting SER vs. ESTAR? Any good lesson ideas, for beginner and intermediate level students??”
Can anyone doubt this teacher is teaching grammar?