In the Name of God
Islamic Azad University
Rasht Branch
Faculty of Human Science
Department of English Language
Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for (M.A) degree
Title:
The effect of using song
On Iranian Intermediate EFL learners’ Grammar Accuracy
Supervisor:
Dr. Morteza khodabandelou
Adviser:
Dr. Shahrokh Jahandar
Author:
Mahkameh Miralipoor
January 2014
To:
My beloved husband
Acknowledgements

The completion of this book is due to the assistance of many individuals. Without their generous and expert help, insightful comments and continuous encouragement, I would not have been able to complete the study and this book. First of all, I would like to express my deepest and warmest thanks to Dr. Morteza Khodabandelou, my supervisor, for his great help, considerable patience and understanding. He was always available and ready to give advice and assistance to me and stood by me during the entire process. Much of the things that went into this book grew out of discussion with him. My special thanks go to my advisor, Dr. Shahrokh Jahandar, for his many words of encouragement, support and his enthusiasm for my work throughout the MA research. I would also like to thank Dr.Maasoumeh Arjmandi the head of English department and Dr. Ramin Rahimy for their ongoing support and encouragement. Thanks are also to my dear family for their kindness support in encouraging me to put energy into my work. Thanks go to my sincere friends and colleagues for their moral support, and many words of encouragement through phone calls and correspondences during the days it took to complete my research study. I should also thank all the students who participated in the study. The students gave much of their time and allowed me the freedom to probe the inner world of second language learners. The last but not least, my warmest and heartfelt thanks go to my dear husband for all his patience, support, affection and understanding during the days of study and also long hours of guidance and advice in statistical analysis which made the writing of this book possible. His love, strength and insight have carried me through my difficult times. To him I owe more than words could express. I am sure he shares an enormous sense of relief at this point of completion. Without the support, assistance and encouragement given me by all these people, this book has not been completed.

Table of Content
Title page
Abstract ………………………………………………………………………….…….….1
Chapter 1: introduction
1.0 . Introduction ……………………………………………………….………………….2
1.1. Theoretical Framework…………………………………………………….……………4
1.2 Significance of the study………………………………………….….………….……8
1.3. Purpose of the study………………………………………………………………..….8
1.4. Statement of the Problem………………………………………………….………..…10
1.5. Research Questions of the Study ………….……………………………………….…12
1.6. Hypotheses of the study………………………………………..……………………..13
1.7. Definition of Key Terms …………………………………………………..……..….13
1.8. Summary……………………………………………………………………………….13
Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
2.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………….…….…..15
2.1 Grammar ………………………………………….…………………………………………16
2.1.1. Historical overview of grammar……………………………………………… 16
2.1.2. Different attitudes towards Grammar……………………………………..….18
2.1.3. Grammar in different points of view………………………………………….19
2.2. Nature of the grammar in Relation to Second Language Acquisition Processes…19
2.2.1. Input…………………………..…………………………………..……………20
2.2.2. Intake…………………………………………….…….………….………..…20
2.2.3. Acquisition……………….…………..………………………………………….21
2.2.4. Access…………………………………………………………………..….…..22
2.2.5.output…………………………………………………………………..….……23
2.3 Grammar Teaching………………………………………..……………………………23
2.3.1. Stages of Grammar Teaching………………………………………………………………25
2.4. Principles of Grammar Teaching in relation to different rules and approaches…..…27
2.4.1. Some beliefs about explicit grammar…………………………………….……29
2.4.2. A move towards the implicit………………………………………………..…30
2.4.3. Implicit instruction……………………………………..………………….…..30
2.4.3.1. What kind ofknowledge can be learnt implicitly?………………………………30
2.4.3.2. Age and Implicit learning………………………………………….……31
2.4.3.3. Theories of SLA and Implicit learning…………………………………..……32
2.4.3.4. Implicit learning and instructed………………………………………….32
2. 4.3.5. Implicit vs. explicit inter-face……………………………………….….34
2.4.3.6. The relationship between explicit and implicit………………………..…….34
2.4.4. Consciousness-Raising in Second Language Learning………..………………35
A. The interface position……………………………………………………………….36
B. The non-interface position……………………………….……………..………. 38
C. The variability position…………………………………………………………….40
2.4.4.1. Consciousness-raising in grammar teaching………………….…….….41
2.4.5. Approaches to teaching Grammar……………………………………….……..44
2.4.6. Form-based and meaning-based instruction……………………………….………45
2.4.6.1. Focus-on-form (FonF) ………………………………………………….…..46
2.4.6.1.1. Focus on Form Tasks and Techniques……………………………………..48
2.4.6.2. Focus-on-forms (FonFS)………………………………………………..…..48
2.4.6.3. Focus on Meaning……………………………………………….……………….49
2.4.7. The role of grammar instruction……………….………………….……………….50
2.4.8. Some gaps in teaching Grammar…………………………………………………..52
2.5. The use of grammatical terminology…………………………………………..…….52
2.5.1. Communicative competence……………………………..…………………….….53
2.5.2. Grammatical competence………………………………………….…..….….…..54
2.5.3. Sociolinguistic competence…………………………………………….……..…..55
2.5.4. Strategic competence………………………………………………….…….……..55
2.6. The role of task-based approach on grammatical accuracy and fluency…………..56
2.7. Nature of songs………………………………………………………………….….57
2.8. Conceptual framework and characteristics of Song………………………………..57
2.9. The Effects of song on Language Acquisition……………………………….…….59
2.10. Studies on using song in language classes……………………………….……….59
2.11. The influence of songs in Foreign Language classes…………………………….60
2.12. Advantages of using songs……………………………………………………….61
2.13. The positive contributions of songs to language learning………………………..61
2.13.1. Socio-emotional growth………………………………………………………..61
2.13.2. Physical development…………………………………………………………..62
2.13.3Cognitive training………………………………………………………………..62
2.13.4. Language learning………………………………………………………………62
2.14. Classification of the song…………………………………………………………..62
2.15. The criteria for selecting songs in language teaching…………………..…………..63
2.16. Stages of listening to the Song………………………………………………….…..65
2.16.1. Pre-listening activities………………………………………..………………..…65
2.16.2. Listening Activities…………………………………………………………………66
2.16.3. Post-listening activities……………………………………………………….…..66
2.17. Practical tips and tasks for using songs……………………………………….……67
2.18. Summary ……………………………………………………………………..……69
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.0. Introduction…………………………………….……………………………………70
3.1. Pilot Study……………………………………………………………………………70
3.2. The Design of the Study………………………………………………….……..……71
3.3. Participants………………………………………………………………………..…72
3.4. Instruments and Materials………………………………………………………….…72
3.4.1. Oxford Placement Test………………………………………………….………72
3.4.2. Grammar tests…………………………………………………………….….….73
3.4.3. Song ……………………………………………………………………….……73
3.4.4. Issues of Reliability and Validity…………………………………….…………73
3.5. Data collection procedure………………………………………………………..…..74
3.6. Methods of Analyzing Data ………………………………………………….………74
3.7. Summary…………………………………………………………………………..….75
Chapter four: Results and discussion
4.0. Introduction……………………………………………………………………..…..76
4.1. pilot study………………………………………………………………………..…..77
4.2. Main study………………………………………………………………………..….77
4.2.1. Evaluation of overall foreign language proficiency (OPT test for the sampling purpose)…………………………………………………………………………….…77
4.2.2. Examining the normality assumption of the parametric tests applied for the research questions……………………………………………………..……..………..79
4.2.3. The first research question: Does using song have any significant effect on lower intermediate EFL learners’ grammar accuracy?…………………………………………………..81
4.2.4. The second research question: Does using song affect female and male EFL learners’ grammar accuracy differently?……………………………………………………………..86
Chapter Five: Discussion
5.0. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………….88
5.1. Summary and Conclusions……………………………………………………….….88
5.2. Pedagogical Implications……………………………………………..……………..90
5.3. Limitations of the Study……………………………………………………………..91
5.4. Suggestions for Further Research…………………………………………………….92
5.5. Summary……………………………………………………………………….…….…92
Reference …………………………………………………………………………..……93
Appendix ………………………………………………………………………………115
List of Tables
Table 4.1 Reliability Statistics…………………………………………………………….77
Table 4.2 Statistics for the results of OPT test………………………………..………….78
Table 4.3Statistics for the pre-test and post –test scores of the control and experimental groups……………………………………………………………………………………79
Table 4.4One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test for the pre-test and post-test scores of the control and experimental groups……………………………………………………..80
Table 4.5Group statistics for the control and experimental groups on grammar pre-test……………………………………………………………………………………….81
Table 4.6Independent Samples Test for the control and experimental groups’ pre-test grammar scores……………………………………………………………………….….82
Table 4.7Group statistics for the control and experimental groups on grammar post-test………………………………………………………………………………………..84
Table 4.8Independent Samples Test for the control and experimental groups’ pre-test grammar scores…………………………………………………………………………..84
Table 4.9Group statistics for the male and female groups on grammar post-test…………………………………………………………………………………….….86
Table 4.10Independent Samples Test for the control and experimental groups’ pre-test grammar scores………………………….……………………………………………….86

List of Figures
Figure 2.1 A Model of Second Language Learning and Use….…………….……………19
Figure 4.1 Experimental and control groups’ scores in grammar accuracy test (pre-test)………………………………………………………………………………..………83
Figure 4.2 Experimental and control groups’ scores in grammar accuracy test (post-test)………………………………………………………………………………..………85
Figure 4.3 The comparison between male and female participants’ grammar scores in post-test………………………………………………………….……….……….………….87
Abstract
The present study investigated the effect of using song on Iranian EFL learners’ grammar accuracy (WH-question). This study tried to determine the extent to which awareness raising along with efficient amount of listening to song affects the grammar accuracy of Iranian Intermediate learners. To answer this question, 60 Intermediate language learners in Sama high school in Lahidjan who were selected via administration of an OPT exam to 130 language learners. Then, they were divided into two groups of 30 participants each, in which 15 male and 15 female have been put. Participants in the experimental group were instructed on a certain plan to gasp the grammatical point by listening to some songs. In this study the focus was on using song in class environment which means grammatical points can better be extracted unconsciously. In the control group no treatment has been done and learners received a normal routine of the semester as they always did. Two validated standardized tests of grammar (pre-test and post-test)were administered to both groups, the papers were assessed carefully .The data retrieved from both groups was analyzed through calculating a t-test. The results indicated that the means of the two groups were significantly different. In another attempt the post-test result of male and female participants in experimental group have been analyzed via running of another round of a t-test, however, no significant difference has been notified between male and female participants.
Key terms: Grammar accuracy; Song; WH-question
Chapter One
Introduction
1.0. Introduction
Teaching a foreign language is so complex that grammar is the most difficult problems of anyone who wishes to teach it systematically. Teaching grammar has always seen one of the controversial issues in both second and foreign language teaching. As Batstone (1994) states, grammar is a greatly broad and diverse phenomenon which characterizes three interdependent dimensions: form, meaning and use. This perspective on grammar, where forms are shown in direct association with meaning, views grammar as an integral part of the language. Grammar is a device for making and expressing meaning without which, effective communication would not be possible. On Richards and Schmidt (2002) have known grammar as a description of the structure of a language and the way in which linguistic units such as words and phrases are joined together to produce sentences in a language.
There is a variety of grammar teaching techniques that make learning grammar easy to students. Some of the most useful tasks that have been proposed for practicing both grammar and communication are songs. Many language researchers and teachers such as (Read, Griffee, Rosová …) have recognized the pedagogic value of language songs, arguing that their value also consists of their ability to enhance students’ motivation and participation in general. The purpose of this study is how listening to songs can be helpful to students in order to speak English more accurately.
Researchers have confirmed that highly motivated language learning starts with the students and what they are interested in. All children love songs and like to sing songs. Based on this nature of the young learners, song has been applied in the EFL/ESL classrooms. There exists much of literature evidence introduced that song can have a beneficial role in teaching to learners. As Read (2007) states, the use of songs enhances children’s language learning and language acquisition. In order to teach the second language, songs can make use of them in different ways. “No one knows why songs are powerful, but everyone knows from a personal point of view they are” (Griffee, 1995, p. 4, cited in Rosová, 2007). Songs become the most helpful educational tool that helps the language acquisition as well as the whole learner’s physical and mental development. Like rhythm, songs can be seen an integrated part of a sequence of work in the classroom so that they can boost their effects for the learners, especially for the young children. The dominance of our sense of hearing and with it our sensitivity to music, propose that music and song have a closer appeal to our ‘language acquisition device’ than spoken language’ (Murphey, 1992). This theory has been granted greater possibility by the evidence that musical and language processing take place in the same area of the brain (Maess and Koelsch, 2001). This proves that our brains identify the constituents of musical and linguistic sequences in the same way.
Ordinary attributes of songs, the rapidity with which they can be unconsciously and accidentally memorized (the ‘I can’t get that song out of my head’ –syndrome), and the insistence of the melody-lyrics link that allows songs to be recalled in their entirety even after years of absence from the ‘conscious’ memory. (Mishan, 2005, p.198).The importance of songs in motivating students to learn English and increase learner involvement is widely searched by ESL practitioners (Reeve & Williamson, 1987; Guidice, 1986). Listening to music is often considered as one of the most students’ hobbies, thus providing relevance to their lives. Murphey (1992) claims that ‘songs occur whenever and wherever one hears them and they are, consciously or subconsciously, about the people in one’s own life’. (p. 8). This relevance to one’s life is essential in motivating students as it offers a connection from English in song to their daily lives as music listeners (Chambers, 1999). Chambers gives emphasis to the notion that if learners cannot feel the relationship between the activity and the world in which they live, so then the point of the activity is likely lost on them.
According to Krashen (1982), songs make language input available which can be a crucial element in language acquisition. Songs also show culture, which plays a considerable role in language learning. They usually include themes surrounding a topic or issue that equip context for learning vocabulary. Being a form of discourse, songs, naturally extend speaking into a new context through the sung word (Murphey, 1992). In brief the main intent of this research was born of this to validate through research the pedagogical perceptions about the usefulness of songs in the L2 classroom, given the fact that there exists a major gap in the L2 literature regarding this issue.

1.1. Theoretical Framework
The role and type of grammar instruction in foreign language learning with particular reference to EFL has been the subject of SLA research and discussion for decades (Ellis 2001). Crystal (2004) says,
“Grammar is the structural foundation of our ability to express ourselves. The more we are aware of how it works, the more we can monitor the meaning and effectiveness of the way we and others use language. It can help foster precision, detect ambiguity, and exploit the richness of expression available in English. Additionally, it can help everyone, not only teachers of English, but teachers of anything for all teaching grammar is ultimately a matter of getting to grips with meaning.”
Maugham (1938) adds, “It is necessary to know grammar, and it is better to write grammatically than not, but it is well to remember that grammar is common speech formulated. Usage is the only test.” As it can be seen from the above definitions, grammar is not an unimportant set of rules that can be ignored without consequences. It is a very complex phenomenon and even though learners may find it a difficult thing to master, the time devoted to that is certainly not wasted. Making students realize it, however, is only the first step in teaching grammar, and the following activities can take many different forms, based on a selected approach and method.
In recent times, however, grammar instruction has been recognized as an essential and unavoidable component of language learning and use (Doughty & Williams 1998; Thornbury 1997, 1998). It is seen as valuable, if not indispensable, within the context of EFL teaching and learning. According to Makay (1987), in her book on teaching grammar identifies that there are three different views on what it means to ‘teach’ grammar. The first view is related to the need that is felt for formal explanation of grammar rules. While learners who perceive a great deal of grammatical explanation will finish up knowing quiet a lot about the language. They will necessarily be able to perform the language in a communicative way effectively. The second view is that teaching grammar is principally a matter of preparing learners with practice in fostering common grammatical patterns through a process of analogy rather than explanation. In this case learners may get fluent in the structures they have learnt, but may not be able to apply them appropriately in an authentic communication outside the classroom. The third view is that teaching grammar is a matter of providing students the opportunity to use English in a variety of realistic situation. The shortcoming of this approach is that the learners will not be able to have explanations of the grammatical rules of the target language.
In a research that was conducted by Bailey, et al. (1974), it was concluded that in neither child nor adult second language performance could the majority of errors made by the learners’ first language, that learners in fact made many errors in areas of grammar that comparable in both the first and second language, errors which the contrastive hypothesis anticipated would not occur. The researchers made conclusions of these investigations that a universal order of acquisition presented which was originated from an innate learning process.
The teaching of grammar plays a central role in every EFL/ESL teachers’ classroom. Many students and teachers tend to view grammar as a set of restrictions on what is allowed and disallowed in language use –“a linguistic straitjacket” in Larsen-Freeman’s words (2002, p. 103), but some consider grammar as something that liberates rather than represses: ” … grammar is not a constraining imposition but a liberating force: it frees us from a dependency on context and a purely lexical categorization of reality” (Widdowson, 1990, p. 86). The implications of this statement for our understanding of the nature of grammar and the role it plays in communication are explored, and how this understanding might inform approaches to teaching grammar in second language classrooms is discussed (Cullen, 2008).
Grammatical knowledge is viewed by many researchers (e.g., DeKeyser, 1998; Doughty, 1991; Harley, 1998; Long, 1983; Long & Robinson, 1998; Schneider, 1993; Terrell, 1991) as a significant component in second language acquisition. Most agree that a certain degree of grammar instruction is necessary to develop learners’ language proficiency. No current research or theory, however, seems to advocate a return to traditional methods of teaching grammar or to a focus on grammatical features for their own sake (Lightbown, 1998). According to a study by Ebsworth and Schweers (1997, p. 252), one of the teachers interviewed in the study observed, “It would seem that many practitioners have come to believe that individuals whose goal is to develop excellent English for use in academic or business environments can achieve greater accuracy and control though some measure of grammar instruction.” Schneider (1993) and Hunter (1996) showed that learners who received grammar instruction performed well on both discrete-point grammar tests and tasks which draw learners’ attention to grammatical features.
Two methods have been suggested for teaching grammar within an EFL/ESL context: Implicit/Inductive and Explicit/Deductive. ‘Inductive’ suggests a ‘bottom up’ approach, in which students discover grammar rules while working through exercises/tasks, while ‘Deductive’ suggests a ‘top down’ approach, which is the standard teaching approach that has a teacher explaining rules to the students. There is still, however, controversy over the relative effectiveness of explicit and implicit grammar teaching (Thornbury, 2006). The complex relationship between teaching and learning, and the fact that how something is taught is not directly related to how it is learned could be the reasons for this controversy.
On the one hand, there are researchers like Krashen (1993) who have persistently denied the importance of any explicit grammar instruction in second language acquisition. Other researchers have objected to traditional grammar teaching methodology in which the teacher presents grammatical structures explicitly in a de-contextualized manner. In traditional methodology, the assumption has been that learners will develop the knowledge they need for communicative language use through conscious presentation and manipulation of forms through drills and practice. An inductive approach to grammatical rules and principles is encouraged rather than an exclusive reliance on the presentation-practice-production approach of many traditional grammar books (Carter, Hughes & McCarthy, 2000).
Explicit (or deductive) grammar instruction, which draws learners’ attention to linguistic form and structure, is characterized by two conflicting approaches: interventionist and non-interventionist (Terrell 1991, p. 58). Supporters of the interventionist approach state that “given the low number of input/interaction hours in a typical foreign language college (70-150 hours) or high school (100-300 hours) instruction, explicit grammar instruction can serve to speed up parts of the acquisition process” (Terrell 1991, p. 58). The non-interventionist approach supports the idea that explicit grammar instruction need not be given if enough comprehensible input is provided in a low anxiety environment (Krashen 1981). It is also argued that “the ability to demonstrate grammatical knowledge on a discrete-point grammar exam does not guarantee the ability to use that knowledge in ordinary conversation, be it spontaneous or monitored” (Terrell, 1991, p. 54).
Borg and Burns (2008) investigated the beliefs and practices of 176 English language teachers from 18 countries about the integration of grammar and skills teaching. The teachers expressed strong views about the value of inductive grammar learning and strong beliefs in the need to avoid teaching grammar in isolation.
1.2. Significance of the study
Baleghizadeh and Oladrostam (2011) beleived that grammar is one of the most controversial issues in both second and foreign language teaching and the lack of grammar accuracy is one of the challanges for EFL learners. Due to this seriouse problem and in order to find a way to facilitate teaching grammar and increase the grammar accuracy of Iranian EFL learners, the researcher conducted this study to find out the effect of using song as a means of teaching grammar on grammar accuracy. According to ArifSaricoban & EsenMetin “In the teaching of grammar, technique-resource combinations are often modified to structure-discourse match and if well developed, they can be used effectively for all phases of a grammar lesson. In order to make a grammar lesson effective, beneficial, and interesting a teacher should use some well-developed and fascinating techniques in the classroom”. While learners are learning or practicing a structure, often get negative attitude away towards learning English. Songs are one of the most pleasing and culturally rich resources that can easily be applied in language classrooms. If song selected suitably and utilized carefully, a teacher could take advantage of songs in all phases of teaching grammar. They also believed that “Songs may both be used for the presentation or the practice phase of the grammar lesson. While selecting a song the teacher should take the age, interests of the learners and the language being used in the song into consideration.

1.3. Purpose of the study
The purpose of this experiment lies in the hypothesized possibility that the use of songs in practicing grammatical features may improve the students’ rate of grammar accuracy. Songs suggest a change from routine classroom activities. The researcher tries to prove that, the use of songs in language classrooms may lead to many advantages. The students will get involved and entertained and less anxious, so they will learn grammar unconsciously and they will be more accurate in grammar. Several studies have illustrated that teaching different aspects of a language utilizing songs might facilitate the process of learning in a classroom. Although the significance of comprehensible input (Krashen, 1981, 1982, 1983) is identified by educators in the field of SLA, many researchers are very tended in recognizing the conditions under which a learner will get grammatical information (Terrell, 1991; Van Patten, 1993).
Songs give a unique context in which to find grammatical structures, yet it is often claimed that they offer poor examples of grammar. Some claim that songs may not be helpful for teaching functions although they may be useful in fostering what has been taught (Terhune, 1997).It can be disagreed that songs can be merged into many of the techniques applied to face students to new grammatical forms as well as to support grammatical structures previously learned. The following section will explore a variety of methods of teaching that have been shown to have benefits in L2 acquisition and show how strengths of these methods can be linked with songs.
In audio-lingualism, drilling is a paramount technique utilized to form habits in using the desired grammatical structures. Certain songs can give a sense of drilling with repetition of particular structures within the song’s chorus. Some disagree that audio-lingualism decontextualizes the language and is not efficient in applying the language to new situations (Harmer, 2001).However, techniques such as eliciting students’ responses to what they would do with a million dollars and then merging their ideas into the song propose that Harmer’s argument is not universally appropriate.
The communicative approach came into the forefront in the 1970s is still a very popular method and focuses on the act of successful communication in the language before focusing on accuracy. The fact that songs can be consisted of poor grammar examples appears to be in appropriate in this approach as the meaning is the considerable aspect. Songs can be an excellent source from which to bring issues to be discussed or debated in class. As stated by Lo and Fai Li (1998), learning English through songs also offers a non-threatening atmosphere for students, who usually are anxious when speaking English in a formal classroom setting so they can use the structures with more accuracy without making any mistakes.
As we see the present study is an attempt to improve the pedagogical and practical status of the effect of song on improving grammar accuracy among Iranian young EFL learners. As language teachers, we can take advantage of using songs, since our main concern is to motivate students to perceive the structures of the language in an easier way.
1.4. Statement of the Problem
Teaching a foreign language is so complex that grammar is the most difficult problems of anyone who wishes to teach it systematically. As Baleghizadeh and Oladrostam (2011) stated teaching grammar has always considered one of the controversial issues in both second and foreign language teaching. “Grammar teaching has always been one of the most controversial and least understood aspects of language teaching. Few teachers remain indifferent to grammar and many teachers become obsessed by it”. (Thornbury, 2000).
Grammarians believe that all grammar teaching should not be covert. Teacher should not always make students pay attention to grammatical facts and rules. Sometimes pupils should find out the facts about grammar through problem –solving activities and sometimes through practicing grammar. Teacher should not feel that the only best kind of grammar practice is written grammar practice. Teacher should keep in mind that it is not good to test grammar only with accuracy. The main point in teaching grammar is derived from the fact that children do not learn grammar explicitly, when they acquire first language, so it could work when they learn the second language.
Along the history of second language teaching, the role of grammar has long been an issue of debate. As Richards mentioned (2002), it is the most controversial issue. Thornburry (2000) declares that in fact, no other issue has so preoccupied theorists and practitioners as the grammar debate. Generally, the debate has led to an extreme split of attitudes, namely, those who believe that grammar should receive a central attention in language teaching and those who stay in their notion that grammar should not be taught at all. The former is applied in Grammar Translation Method and Cognitive Code Learning and the latter is reflected in Natural Approach and deep end or strong version of Communicative Language Teaching. The other methods stay on somewhere in between. However, as Richards (2002) claims, in recent years grammar teaching has brought back its rightful place in the language teaching. Similarly, Brown (2001) says that today only some of language teaching experts support the zero option of no formed-focused instruction at all, as recommended by Krashen and Terrel (1983) in the discussion of the Natural Approach in language teaching. People have begun to comprehend that the debate has never really been about whether grammar competence is important but rather on how to teach grammar.
Since the 1970s, attention has transferred from ways of teaching grammar to ways of getting learners to communicate, but grammar has been observed to be a powerful undermining and demotivating force among L2 learners. Based on motivation and learner success with languages, grammar has been considered to be a problem and to stand in the way of helping learners to communicate accurately. The hard fact that most teachers encounter is that learners often get it difficult to make flexible use of the rules of grammar taught in the classroom. They may know the rules perfectly, but are incapable of applying them in their own use of the language. (Al-Mekhlafi, 2011). Teachers’ recognition of the grammar as a problem for many of their students has been stated by Burgess and Hetherington. (2002, p.442). Haudeck has declared that many learners have difficulty in internalizing grammar rules, although these have been taught intensively (1996, cited in European Commission, 2006).
It also found out that the nature of the target language, rather than contrasts between the first and second language directed the acquisition process. The lack of clear guidelines about teaching of grammar particularly in situations when ‘the contexts and environments within which teachers work, and also many of the problems they encounter, are ill-defined and deeply entangled’ Nespor (1987, p. 324), have led teachers creating their own personal theories about how to teach grammar in language classroom (Borg, 1999a; 2003).
Regarding grammar teaching, Brown (2001) has believed that whether it is your choice to explain grammatical rules or not depends on your context of teaching. If you are teaching in an English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) context in which students share the same native language, explaining grammatical details will not be an activity unsuccessfully. On the other hand, in an ESL setting, explaining grammatical rules might overload students and will not establish an effective strategy. If grammar is given too much priority the result will be predictable and well known. ‘Course books’ become little more than grammar courses. Students do not learn English: They learn grammar, at the expense of other things that matter as much or more. They know the main rules, can pass tests, and may have the illusion that they know the language well. However, when it’s time to using the language in practice, they find out that they lack vital elements, typically vocabulary and fluency: They can recite irregular verbs but cannot sustain a conversation. Such an approach is also psychologically counterproductive, in that it tends to make students nervous of making mistakes, undermining their confidence and destroying their motivation. The present study tried to investigate the effect of using songs in grammar accuracy of Iranian EFL learners.
1.5. Research Questions of the study
This study aims at investigating the role of song in EFL grammar accuracy (Wh-question). As such, two major research questions are to be answered in this study:
Q1: Does the use of song affect Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ grammar accuracy (Wh-question)?
Q2: Is there any significant effect of gender difference in grammar accuracy (Wh-question) of Iranian intermediate EFL learners via using song?
1.6. Hypotheses of the study
Concerning these questions, the following hypotheses will drive the present study:
1. There is not any significant effect of using songs on intermediate EFL learners’ grammar accuracy (Wh-question).
2. There is not any significant difference among female and male EFL learners in terms of more accuracy in grammar by using song during the instructions.
1.7. Definition of Key Terms
Key terms: Grammar accuracy; Song; Wh-question
There are some key terms used in this study which are clarified and explained in this section. These terms are: 1) Grammar accuracy 2) Song 3) Wh-question
1.7.1. Grammar accuracy: Accuracy is the ability to use the language correctly, and grammar instruction in any language teaching/learning program mainly aims at enriching accuracy in learners for better communication. Buck, Byrnes, and Thompson (1989, cited in Hadley, 2003) refer to accuracy as “the acceptability, quality and precision of the message conveyed” (p. 17). Brown (2001) indicates that accuracy means being “clear, articulate, grammatically and phonologically correct,”
1.7.2. Wh-question: According to Richards, Platt and Platt (1992), (in English) a question that begins with what, who (m), when, where, which, why or how.
1.7.3. Song: [c] a short piece of music with words that you sing. (Hornby, 2007)
1.8. Summary
In this chapter fundamentals of the study were discussed. First an introduction of the whole study is introduced, and then the theoretical frameworks of the study that are stated by many researchers along with their experiences are pointed out. The study has also tried to take into consideration the problems that learning English may have for EFL learners. The necessity for studying in the area of research in accordance to the research question has been claimed in the significance of the study. The purpose of the study is introduced in terms of the difficulties and problems that students are faced nowadays. Research questions and hypothesis of the study are also proposed by the researcher. Definitions of key terms for further researches are also mentioned.
Chapter two
Review of the related Literature
2.0 Introduction
The present chapter is a review of literature on the effect of song on grammar accuracy and related issues as far as grammar learning and teaching is concerned. It takes a closer look that is given to different areas of investigation regarding improvements of grammar accuracy along with a short history of researches done in order to investigate factors influencing it. The reason to consider a lot of material in this chapter is to give a clearer theoretical background to the present study.
The first part of this chapter examines the areas which relates to the research questions in terms of the definition of grammar, its role and purpose of it in language teaching and also Grammar in different points of view and different attitudes towards grammar and principles of grammar teaching. It gives a historical overview of Grammar and this section also brings out the controversy between the form-oriented and the meaning-oriented approaches, as well as an alternative: a combination of form-orientation and meaning-orientation in teaching second language. Both empirical and theoretical aspects of second language learning are addressed. The second part of this chapter describes the conceptual framework of language songs, and characteristics and their perceived influence on students’ learning outcomes, on their motivation, and on classroom atmosphere. Based on the literature reviewed, the research questions and hypotheses are then proposed.
2.1. Grammar
The term “grammar” has been defined in a number of ways by language teachers and grammarians which have influenced and been influenced by different approaches to teaching grammar (Ellis, 2006; Purpura, 2004). According to the dictionary definition, there are at least two forms of the word grammar, (1) [U] study or science of, rules for, the combination words into sentences (syntax), and the forms of words (morphology). (2) [C] book containing the rules of grammar of a language. Language teaching is generally encountered with the former-uncountable-meaning of grammar. That is, grammar as a system of rules (or patterns) which express the formation of a language’s sentences. No one seriously concerns the need for language to build up a good control of grammar. It is accurate that putting grammar in the center of second language teaching, because language knowledge of grammar and vocabulary is the base of English language. For many L2 learners, learning grammar often means learning the rules of grammar and having an intellectual knowledge of grammar. Swain (1985) defines grammar as:
“Grammar can be reassuring and comforting. In the convoluted landscape of a foreign language, grammar rules shine out like beacons, giving students the feeling that they can understand and control what is going on. Although this feeling is partly illusory (structural competence only accounts for a portion of what is involved in the mastery of a language), anything that adds to learners’ confidence is valuable. However, the ‘security blanket’ aspect can lead students and teachers to concentrate on grammar to the detriment of other, less modifiable but equally important, aspects of the language”.
2.1.1. A historical overview of Grammar
The role of grammar is possibly one of the most controversial issues in language teaching. In the early parts of the twentieth century, grammar teaching came to existence as an essential part of language instruction, so much so that other aspects of language learning were either paid no attention to or downplayed. In the early 20th century grammarians like the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas and the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen began to describe languages and Boas’ work formed the basis of various types of American descriptive grammar study. Jespersen’s work was the forerunner of such current approaches to linguistic theory such as Noam Chomsky’s Transformational Generative Grammar.
Chomsky, who studied structural linguistics, sought to examine the syntax of English in a structural grammar. This led him to see grammar as a theory of language structure rather than a description of actual sentences. His idea of grammar is that it is a device for producing the structure, not of a particular language, but of the ability to produce and recognize sentences in any and all languages. Since grammar is the means by which we can understand how a language “works”, a definitive study of language grammar is crucial for language study.
Later the disagreement was that if you knew the grammatical rules of the language, you would be able to apply it for communication. This concept was strongly argued in the early 1970s. But it was disputed that knowledge of the grammatical system of the language, was one of the many components which lay behind the notion of communicative competence. To be considered a competent user of a language, one needs to know not only the rules of grammar, but also how the rules are used in real communication. During this period, grammar teaching became less salient, and in some cases, was rejected.
In recent years, grammar teaching has given back its rightful place in the language curriculum. People now agree that grammar is too important to be neglected, and that without a good knowledge of grammar, learners’ language development will be severely limited. There is now a general agreement that the issue is not whether or not we should teach grammar. The main issues surrounds by the questions such as, which grammar items do learners need most? How do we go about teaching grammar items in the most effective way? Are they best taught inductively or deductively? Swain (1998) proposes that the teaching of grammar should be identified by the needs of the students. Thus, the selection of grammar items to be taught must rely on learners’ aims in learning English. Furthermore, the teaching of grammar should be based on the principles of comprehensibility and acceptability.
One of the biggest challenges to the teaching of grammar comes into views primarily from Krashen (1981). He claims that teaching grammar leads to learned (conscious) knowledge, which only exists for monitoring utterances that learners make use of their acquired (unconscious) knowledge, and as such, it is of very limited worth. He honestly suggests that teachers should leave grammar teaching, and concentrate instead on supplying lots of comprehensible input so that learners can get a second language naturally, in much the same way they have acquired their mother tongue. Other researchers do not seem to agree with the idea that learners appear to master the grammar of a second language simply by being faced to plenty of comprehensible input (Ellis, 1984; Long & Robinson, 1998; Skehan, 1989, 1998, 2003; Swain, 1993; Swain & Deters, 2007; Gass, 2000, 2001, 2003; Gass, Mackey & McDonough, 2000; Ranta, 1998, among others). Krashen’s theoretical claims also appear to be contrary to the personal experiences and beliefs of numerous language teachers who discover that this theory does not consist of those students who plan and present slowly and consciously in a way that progress into automatic behavior (Sharwood Smith, 1981).
2.1.2. Different attitudes towards Grammar
Elkilic and Akca (2008) claimed generally positive attitudes of students studying English grammar at a private primary EFL classroom towards



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