A Novel Format for Teaching Spanish Grammar: Lessons from the Lecture Hall



Abstract: This article describes a third-year Spanish grammar course that is taught in lecture/discussion format. The course, which enrolls over 150 students each semester, provides explicit instruction during a weekly lecture and opportunities for students to engage in meaningful output and interaction during small group discussion sessions. The goal is to teach grammar as a communicative tool in which form, meaning, and use are clearly integrated (Larsen-Freeman, 2003). The content, design, and coordination of this course are based on relevant second language acquisition research on explicit instruction and focus on form. Extensive reading is used to provide continued exposure to input and encourage students to notice grammatical features as they are used in authentic discourse. This pedagogical approach is illustrated throughout the article with examples of teaching the prepositions por and para.