Teaching the language system means that a teacher presents students with clear information about the language they are learning. It is a complex task, especially for me, because teacher must show students what the language means and how it is used, what the grammatical form of the new language is, and how it is said and written (Harmer, 2004).
In my experience, the best way to present language is in context. The challenge for teacher, in my view, is to provide good context for students that enable them to understand the language system. From my experience, the context for my students can be:
– physical surrounding: classroom, campus, our Ministry of Finance, etc
– student’s world: their lives, problems, hobbies, interests, etc
– global world: recent news, trends, stories, lifestyles, etc.
For example, when I want to teach grammar, let say comparative sentence, I provide them a reading text taken from the Internet on recent topics that contains many sample usages of comparatives in a passage. The activities will be suited to the objective in the lesson plan. A good context can be motivating for students to learn new language.
Talking about the presentation of structural form, I do not really explain much on forms and pattern, since my students have got it in semester 1 (I teach Diploma IV or semester 7, so my students should know a lot about grammar). Rather, I use the lead-in model (in the hope that my students will be aware of the key concept) or elicitation (because it is more time saving and less frustrating for students don’t have to practice something they have already known). For me, elaborate explanation depends on whether there are corrections needed to be made. But sometimes, if they do not aware of certain mistake, I just repeat their sentence by using different intonation (like questioning), so as other students can think that it is an indication I doubt what a student said is correct.
In short, a teacher should show students not only what language means but also how it is used, and the activity can vary depending on the topic and the context that the teacher planned before.