Ernesto Macaro, Oxford Stephen Krashen, Sthrn California
Professor Ernesto Macaro is the new director of the department of education at Oxford University. He gave a talk on his research into teaching grammar at this year's Association for Language Learning Conference, at which he set out eight principles of language teaching which had emerged from his and his colleagues' research.
His final principle, and one that he said underpinned all of the others, was that
This is absolutely right. Other postings on this site have attempted to identify just what knowledge of grammar and vocabulary children need to make progress in the crucial early stages, when pupils have the least knowledge of their own, and where failure or success set in quickly. The principles have been presented at a series of workshops around the country, and are set out in his presentation: Download Grammar at what cost Macaro
The principle that I will add, from the progressive Professor Stephen Krashen, is that pupils must be able to understand whatever language they are given. Professor Krashen called this "comprehensible input". I disagree with virtually everything else he has written about languages, but on this he is absolutely right, and it applies from the first lesson onwards.