Approaches to L2 grammar instruction have varied widely over the past half-century, as have theoretical justifications for why, how, and even whether to teach grammar. Despite some SLA studies questioning whether grammar instruction truly affects language acquisition, L2 teaching research seems to be coalescing around the idea that students need grammar in order to use language well, particularly in writing. Leading teacher-scholars argue convincingly that a thorough understanding of grammar is necessary for students who aim for literate use of a second language—where literacy is defined as sophisticated language use appropriate to genre and social context. Based on a review of recent research and a years-long, in-house classroom study, in this session I will present one way to teach and test grammar in order to support literacy, with a focus on writing transfer.
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