Proceduralisation in Grammar Learning

Proceduralisation is a concept which is used to describe the developing of the ability to use grammar for communication without having to think about the rule. Dekeyser (1998) states that it is achieved by engaging in target behavior. This engagement can be actived without much conscious thinking. Johnson (1996) called it automatization which describes the ability to get forms right when full attention is focused on message. Batstone (1994) adds that this stage can help learners to express themselves in similar discourse participation.

Although teachers cannot pay full attention to different tasks on the same time, proceduralisation allows hem to complete routine tasks quickly in order to pay more attention to more demanding ones. To improve proceduralisation Johnson (1996) and Batstone (1994) suggest four conditions to force attention away from form. Firstly, message-focus can force learners to pay less attention to form by providing appropriate activities such as information-gap activity. Secondly, time constraints which can happen in the stage of practice and according to Cameron (2001) this proceduralisation needs less time in order to push forwards. Thirdly, affective factors can engage them in the task. The best examples of these factors are introducing an element of fun, competition, curiosity and personal relevance.

Finally, cognitive tasks can be increased by providing activities which include problem-solving, logical reasoning, memorizing or similar thinking activities. Cognitive tasks are also recognized in less familiar topics and while increasing linguistic complexity or using longer texts and finally presenting information in a variety of formats.

My Suggested Task To clarify Proceduralisation
In this stage I encourage each learner to talk aloud about a picture (Picture 1). I aim to get the learners to apply the rule while focusing on meaning rather than form. This stage can also create a communicative situation by doing a picture-dictation activity. In this activity (learner1) takes (Picture 3) and describes it using "There is" and "There are". (Learner2) has (picture 2) and he listen to (learner1) and draw the missing objects. Picture-dictation create a sort of information gap which can enhance communication.

1. Batstone, R. (1994). Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2. Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching Language to Young Learners. Cambridge: C.U.P.
3. Dekeyser, R. M. (1998) Beyond Focus on Form: Cognitive Perspective on Learning and Practicing Second Language Grammar. In C. Doughty & J. Williams (Eds). Focus on Form in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: C.U.P.
4. Johnson, K. (1996). Language Teaching and Skill Learning. Oxford: Blackwell.

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