Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
An Innovative Method of Teaching Grammar and its Impact on Standardized Test Scores
Robert W. Long III, Hiroaki Watanabe
Grammar instruction in language teaching has remained unchanged for over four centuries. One problem has been “the pedagogical divide” in English education which designates that some forms are deemed more complex and have to be learned later when there is more acquired proficiency. Another issue is that grammatical forms are often addressed without recycling or in-depth and varied contexts. Therefore, a unique E-learning program was designed based on grammatical strands and clusters to address this issue. The approach adopted the concept of strands (the repetition of grammatical forms to highlight various kinds of usage) and clusters (how grammatical forms interact in actual communication or writing). Five hundred eleven first-year Japanese university students participated in the study. The researchers formed two groups, one doing a TOEIC-based listening lab and the other, the Moodle-based e-learning program. Research questions focused on differences between the first and second groups, possible differences among classes, quizzes, and improvements over the year. The results showed a five-point difference between the groups, with the e-learning group having an average of 43.2 rise and the listening lab a 37.7. The teacher-to-teacher difference in students’ scores revealed that classes 4 and 5 performed the best, while classes 1 and 2 did the worst, whereas the variation in quiz scores indicated that the standard deviation rose linearly; students improved their results by 0.17 points on average with each quiz. The E-learning program raised students’ standardized scores, with some mixed results when comparing pre-test and post-test outcomes.
keywords: e learning, English teaching, Japanese student, Moodle quiz, TOEIC.