Item Learning and System Learning: Contextualizing the Blend of a Structure-based and Notional-Functional ESL Syllabus

| January 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

| Volume 5 Index July 2010 |

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Title

Item Learning and System Learning: Contextualizing the Blend of a Structure-based and Notional-Functional ESL Syllabus

Author

Bonifacio T. Cunanan

Bulacan State University, City of Malolos, 

Philippines

Abstract

Of the several disciplines, many aspiring language teachers still find linguistics as one of the most formidable. Such condition is brought about by the scarcity of instructional materials and a limited number of well-trained teachers who can handle one of its allied fields, especially Systemic Functional Grammar. If this problem remains unattended, producing ill-equipped language teachers shall most likely become a vicious cycle. In this context, this paper discusses the observed inadequacies of the structure-based ESL syllabus, and it considers the use of a functional model in keeping with the recent issues, trends, and development in SLA research. To show the differences between item learning and system learning, this study analyzes and explains how errors, lapses, and artificially correct lexico-syntactic formal structures manifest in the preferred uses of tertiary ESL students. These observed difficulties—the verbal structures in particular— appear to be systemic in nature and cannot be fully attributed only to poor modeling or interference of the first language. In applying some principles regarding the meaning and use of selected English structures, this paper will apply some principles of Systemic Functional Grammar.

Key words: item learning, system learning, and Notional Functional Grammar

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Category: 2010