DOES GRAMMAR MATTER WHEN YOU’RE SPEAKING?
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As TEFL teachers, we spend a lot of time teaching grammar to our students in the hope that they will go out into the world and communicate accurately and effectively. This is logical when we think about our students sending out emails, writing academic papers or even blogging, but is it that important when it comes to speaking?
When you think about it, the way we speak is a lot to different to how we write, not only in terms of formality or word choice but also in relation to accuracy. When we speak, especially with friends or in an informal setting, we are more likely to speak English that is not strictly grammatically correct.
Is that wrong?
Linguists refer to this as the difference between prescriptive grammar and descriptive grammar. Prescriptive grammar refers to the rule of English language usage, while descriptive grammar refers to the way we actually use English. A prescriptivist is the person who will interrupt you when you are speaking to point out a mistake, while a descriptivist will marvel at the way the English language is changing. (Watch this video to find out more).
Because of this distinction, many EFL students may feel that grammar is not important when speaking. As long as they get the message across, who cares how they do it, right?
Well, we can see their point to some extent, but this is not the reason they’re learning English. They’re not spending all their time (and money) learning a language so that they can speak inaccurately, are they? What’s more, when a native speaker relaxes and flouts certain grammatical rules, it is clear they are a native speaker; when a learner speaks badly, they just sound like they’re low-level learners.
So, while being 100% accurate is not always necessary, it is a better idea for our learners to learn to speak correctly before taking liberties with inaccuracies. Of course, the more exposure to English our learners have, the more they will become aware of what is and isn’t acceptable in spoken English.
There is a big difference, for example, in saying: Me and my mom went shopping yesterday or The amount of people there was incredible – both of which are strictly grammatically incorrect but commonly used by native speakers – than in saying: Yesterday I go to the cinema or I have 27 years – both of which are common mistakes for non-native speakers.
When teaching, though of course you should be teaching the grammatical rules, if your learners come up with language which is not correct but which is in common usage, don’t focus on it unless it sounds unnatural. Your learners have a lot of other things to worry about!
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Name of course Description Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert) Observed Teaching Practice Course 40-hour observed teaching practice course
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.