Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Important Research On Grammar Instruction


Grammar Errors? The Brain Detects Them Even When You Are Unaware is a report from Science Daily on new research related to grammar.

I’ve got to admit I’m still not sure I understand the description of the researcher’s experiment, but I do like their conclusion:

It may be time to reconsider some teaching strategies, especially how adults are taught a second language, said Neville, a member of the UO’s Institute of Neuroscience and director of the UO’s Brain Development Lab.

Children, she noted, often pick up grammar rules implicitly through routine daily interactions with parents or peers, simply hearing and processing new words and their usage before any formal instruction. She likened such learning to “Jabberwocky,” the nonsense poem introduced by writer Lewis Carroll in 1871 in “Through the Looking Glass,” where Alice discovers a book in an unrecognizable language that turns out to be written inversely and readable in a mirror.

For a second language, she said, “Teach grammatical rules implicitly, without any semantics at all, like with jabberwocky. Get them to listen to jabberwocky, like a child does.”

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Hello,

    I would like to thank you for your meaningful posts. I used to believe and I still do that we learn better implicitly and especially through activities or discussions that we really enjoy and express parts of our personality.

    Is there any book where I could find theories and practices based on that alternative theories?

    Thank you very much!

  2. Pingback: Daily Links (weekly) | Musings in a Post-Postmodern Milieu

  3. I am a teacher from Moldova.I would to thank you for everything that you post for us.It helps us a lot to improve English and to teach our students!

  4. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar