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English teachers have always resorted to using text books when teaching English as a second
language, but sometimes this method falls short of fulfilling their established goals. Like many
other languages in the world, Grammar constitutes a large part of English and if children fail
Grammar, they fail English. Nevertheless, Grammar is a very complex and convoluted section
that many have problems coping with.
In classroom, grammar is taught directly to children in very distinctive parts. For example,
tenses, pronouns, verbs, adjectives etc. Some children are able to connect the topics and create an
English network in their brain thus they are capable of using them the right way. But those who
cannot see the link between these separate aspects may fail to master English. Actually, children
should be immersed in the target language from the very beginning of its study. It is found that
this idea to be quite hard to accomplish during the lessons. Stories are one of the best ways for
children to not only learn the language but also learn content, cultural aspects, how to solve
everyday problems, etc. In addition, storytelling helps children acquire and develop individual
reading tastes, skills and creativity carried out using English as a vehicle for teaching and
learning new content. As a professional teacher, we must do something to overcome the

`Necessary materials are needed to plan units for teaching English. Teachers need to
choose which types of exercises should be implemented to present the language, whether or not
these proposed activities lead to communication and how the different units relate to one another.
It is realised that the use of particular course books are not enough to achieve proposed
objectives and teach relevant content, as the textbook presentation did not contain a striking or
interesting context for children. Despite this, teacher must plan their lessons around the students
book, using warm-up activities and suggestions from the course book. However, it is observed
that these were ineffective in reaching our children and encouraging learning. Children showed a

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lack of interest in the tasks and became incredibly distracted. Their attitudes would negatively
influence our own attitude and enthusiasm for teaching. Teachers should ask themselves what
they could do to make lessons more motivating and interesting in order to engage their children
and encourage them to participate and show curiosity during class. In essence, teachers have to
present content in a more meaningful manner without completely discarding the textbook. We
can ask our children to sit in the reading corner and listen attentively as we read a selection from
a chosen book. The childrens attentiveness during story time shows that teaching grammar using
story based approach as an attractive tool for teaching language and literacy during their English

Story Based Approach Within Teaching Grammar As Process, Product And Skill.

Teaching English as a second language does not simply consist of instructing children in
the development of linguistic elements, but also helping children understand socio-cultural
aspects, enabling them to engage in real and effective communication. One way to expose
children to socio-cultural differences is through the use of literature.

According to Duff and Maley (1990), the use of literature in the classroom offers the following

It offers a wide range of styles, vocabulary, etc.

It deals with matters that concern children and are related to their personal experiences.

It is open to multiple interpretations and opinions, bringing about genuine interaction and
participation in the classroom.

Teaching grammar as process, product and skill need to design as well as possible. Story
Based Approach is the best method if combining within teaching grammar as process, product
and skill. It is because, story book is more entertaining. Children enjoy listening to stories in
their first language and are more likely to transfer that desire when listening to books read in a
second language. This step is when we use story based approach within teaching grammar as
process. Therefore, motivation and interest increase. Furthermore, stories are a great way of
introducing, practising, revising, and improving pronunciation skills and teaching culture using

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the target language. Now, we can see this approach is used within teaching grammar as a
product. Moreover, the four basic linguistic skills can be interrelated with other concepts. This
integration favours the development of learning strategies, especially those using charts, making
predictions, completing graphic organisers, etc. In addition, the use of stories favours an
interdisciplinary and comprehensive methodology. For instance, if children are studying plants in
science, the same topic can be reviewed in English using a story such as Jack and the
Beanstalk. In maths, they can learn to complete graphs showing different types of beans. In ICT
class, children may then be asked to write a journal entry concerning their observations of the
growth process. This last step, is story based approach within teaching grammar as skills.

Once the story that will be used to deal with the given topic is selected, how to use it to
effectively teach the new material must be determined. Ellis and Brewster (1991) believe that the
following ideas should be a part of this type of lesson plan. It should provide a context for the
story and present the main characters. In doing so, children will link their own experiences with
those in the story.

Story based approach would identify linguistic objectives, for example, what vocabulary
and sentence structures the teacher wants children to learn for sound, word and sentence levels.

A story-based language approach stresses on connected discourse and encourages learners to

comprehend meaningful texts from the very beginning of a lesson. Teachers should use the
story-based approach to teach grammar within the Product, Process and Skills Approach by
planning well. First, deciding on how long to spend on the story, for example, if it will be read
all in one day or over the course of several lessons. Teachers should determine how to present,
practice and revise language and vocabulary. For instance, children may match pictures with
words or label pictures to present lingual aspects. Children can sound out letters and words and
create a graphic representation using individual white boards. Children can also write sentences
for each word and draw a picture in their writer dictionary. The lesson should contain rhymes
and songs that would reinforce the introduced language. The lesson should contain links with
arts and crafts. Teachers should decide on follow-up activities related to the topic. After having
considered all elements needed to thoroughly and successfully carry out the storytelling aspect,

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the unit can be designed. The procedure for making these teaching and learning experiences
more enjoyable for children was as follows;

1. Ask children to sit down in our reading corner, then explained them the new procedures
for the English class: they would read a story in English, work with the story, learn new
vocabulary, complete arts and crafts projects, organize role play activities, etc. The
children reactions would be positive, as it was something different and they were curious
about the whole process. Before showing the book, ask them, in Malay language, about
something such as caterpillars, so that teacher could ascertain their level of knowledge
concerning this subject. This is how we use the approach within teaching grammar as

2. Then, introduced the characters and new vocabulary using flashcards. After presenting
the vocabulary, show them the cover of the book and we talked about what they saw
(title, pictures, etc.). Next, teacher reads slowly and clearly, making use of gestures, facial
expressions and intonation that could help children follow the story. As the story was
entertaining for them, they will participate by repeating the lesson for example; the names
of the fruits and the days of the week. However, teacher should only tell half of the story
during the first lesson period to create more expectation for the following day and then
allowed children to make predictions. The presentation of the story and vocabulary was
connected with the introduction of the definite article a/an. After that, displays context
cards with a/an in the pocket chart. Children then guessed where to place food names,
such as guava, orange, banana, apple, strawberry, etc. Following this, teacher asks them
why some fruit belonged to the a group, while some belonged to the an group. It is
surprised that there will be one student is able to deduce that all food in the an column
began with a vowel. Then, the entire class deduced the second rule. To finish off the
lesson, teacher should use the text book to create a practice session, which children
completed in pairs and then corrected as a class. Teachers would be very pleased with
how interested the children were in completing the exercise and discussing the answers

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amongst themselves. Now, we can see how story based approach is used within teaching
grammar as a product.

3. Favourable results were observed following the conclusion of the food unit using story
based approach. Children were motivated throughout the unit, participating in exercises
and fulfilling all assigned expectations. Each student created their own mini story book
to take home and read to their family. Not only did they like the idea of working through
a story, but their attitude towards the text book also changed as activities were presented
in different and creative ways, helping children feel more confident and motivated to
complete them. Furthermore, during the last session, each student commented on the
activities that they liked the most, those they understood best and those they did not
enjoy. The overall results were very positive, with children continuously asking what the
next story would be. Then, this step we can call as using story based approach within
teaching grammar as skill.

When following a story-based approach, unit topics must be meaningful, as this approach
provides children with a link between their experiences and interests and the English
language. Using stories as a point of departure from traditional units is an appealing way for
tackling topics, learning vocabulary and grammar and engaging in activities using a more
interactive manner than those implemented by simply following the text book.

The issue is not whether a teacher should focus on form; instead, the issue is how, when,
and where to focus on form in a lesson that will ultimately clarify this important design
feature of English instruction. The PACE model for grammar instruction is a way for
children to develop concepts about target language structures that includes form and focus.
This approach also challenges teachers to reflect upon their own grammatical understandings
and learn new ways of viewing grammar functionally beyond rules of word formation.

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The following four sections present P-A-C-E, a model for contextualizing lessons with
children about language form in the context of interesting cultural texts. PACE is an acronym
for the four steps to integrate focus on form in the context of a story-based unit of study. The
PACE model should be viewed as the framework for a unit of study that is carried out in
multiple lessons over several days. In addition to the opportunities for developing cultural
understandings, rich vocabulary, and modes of communication, the PACE model also allows
for children to construct understandings of relevant and menaingful form in collaboration
with the teacher and each other. This approach, as will be illustrated below, contrasts sharply
with deductive teacher explanation of grammar and inductive approaches that assume that all
structures can be analyzed by children on their own, solely on the basis of the input they


In the Presentation phase, the teacher presents the story orally, which facilitates aural
comprehension and the acquisition of meaning and form; children do not see the written
script of the story in this phase. The Presentation does not consist of isolated, disconnected
sentences illustrating the target form in question; rather, it is presented in a narrative intended
to capture student interest and provide opportunities for the teacher to create comprehension
through various meaning-making and negotiation strategies. Care should also be taken to
ensure that the presentation adequately illustrates the structure in question and that the story
and target structure are appropriate to the children actual and potential levels of
development, as instruction in the ZPD suggests. The structure should appear often enough
during the Presentation to be salient to children, without making the language sound
unnatural or stilted. Many stories contain naturally occurring repetitions; for example, think
of the fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the natural repetitions of certain
grammatical features that occur in the story.

In the Presentation phase, the teacher presents the story orally, which facilitates aural
comprehension and the acquisition of meaning and form; children do not see the written
script of the story in this phase.

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This second PACE step focuses children attention on some aspect of the language used
during the Presentation. In the Presentation phase, language is transparent and children may
not notice important aspects of the language that will help them progress in proficiency. The
Attention phase takes place after the class has understood the story and is ready to move to a
conversation about an important grammatical feature of the story as the teacher highlights the
grammatical feature of the language to be discussed. Highlighting can be achieved in several
ways. Teachers can ask questions about patterns found in the text or about words and phrases
repeated in a story. Overhead transparencies or powerpoint presentations of example
sentences from the Presentation story can be prepared, with important words and phrases
circled or underlined. This step is to help children to focus attention on the target form
without needless elaboration or wasted time.

If teachers are truly in the ZPD of the children, they will be attentive to where their
children development is headed and not just the lesson objective as determined by the
teacher. And this two former steps above are needed in using story based approach within
teaching grammar as process.

C: CO-CONSTRUCT: Explanation as Conversation

Children and teacher should be co-constructors of grammatical explanations. Co-
construction involves collaborative talk between the teacher and the children to refect on,
hypothesize about, and create understandings about the form, meaning, and function of the
new structure in question. This phase occurs after joint focus of attention on the target form
is achieved. At this step, the teacher assists children in developing a concept of the target
structure and enables them to contrast the structure with what they already know. This phase
directly addresses the Comparisons goal area, at a time when language comparisons are
appropriate and can be discussed in a meaningful context. During this conversation about
form and meaning, children are guided to hypothesize, make predictions, and come to
generalizations about the target form, all higher order thinking skills requiring observation,
evaluation, analysis, and synthesis. This step meets our need to use story based approach
within teaching grammar as product.

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E: EXTENSION Activities

Focus on form is only useful if it can be pressed into service by the children in a new way
at a later time. In story-based language teaching, the teacher never loses sight of the whole.
The Extension activity phase of PACE provides children with the opportunity to use their
new grammar skill in creative and interesting ways while at the same time integrating it into
existing knowledge. Extension activities should be interesting, be related to the theme of the
lesson in some way, and, most importantly, allow for creative self-expression. Extension
activities are not worksheets on which children use the target form to fill in blanks of
disconnected sentences; instead, they can be information-gap activities, role-play situations,
dramatizations, games, authentic writing projects, paired interviews, class surveys, out-of-
class projects, or simulations of real-life situations. Children should have the chance to try to
use the target form in ways that they see as useful, meaningful, and connected to the
overarching theme of the lesson. Extension activities are within teaching grammar as skill.

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In conclusion, when reflecting upon teaching practices and student performance, we as a

teacher, become more aware of the continuous research a teacher must complete in the
classroom to overcome a lack of interest on the parts of both children and the teacher.
Teachers must prepare meaningful classes and reinforce childrens strengths by creating
supplementary materials that will help children on several learning levels.

Most children like the storytelling activities because they had a good effect. They seem to
remember things better if they have something to do with the words they are learning. The
fact that story based approach gets the class into the story and it makes it more fun. Children
learn better when they enjoy the class.

Teachers might wonder how children with limited grammar resources will be able to
participate in some of the more challenging story-based activities. Discussion-webbing and
intertextual activities tap into children higher critical thinking skills; therefore, during these
activities children use their cognitive processes to concentrate on comparing and contrasting,
analysing, and synthesizing new information gleaned from the story with their prior
background knowledge. To participate in these immersion-type activities, children exploit a
variety of compensation strategies to communicate their ideas in grammar. As a result,
children productive use of grammar varies. For example, some children feel comfortable
mixing Malay language and English, other children seek assistance from the teacher or a
more capable peer, and other children feel more comfortable consulting a resource such as a
dictionary . The teacher creates a community that assists and supports children in activities
that they would be unable to do alone or unassisted.

PACE is another Story Based Approach that teacher should apply in their lesson. This
method is design to meet lesson plan within teaching grammar as process, product and skill

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Duff, A., Maley, A. (1990): Literature, Resource Books for Teachers. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

Ellis, G., Brewster, J. 1991. The Storytelling Handbook for Primary Teachers.Penguin

Bonnie Adair-Hauck and Richard Donato The PACE Model: A Story-Based Approach to
Meaning and Form for Standards-Based Language Learning

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