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Teaching Grammar Using the PACE Model

The PACE model is a story-based approach to teach grammar, and it is described in detail on chapter 7 of Shrum and Glisan's Teacher's Handbook.  This is a summary of the steps.
 
The rationale behind this model is that linguistic elements only gain significance and meaning when they are put into context.  This model works best for "larger" grammatical structures, not smaller ones where the presentation would be artificial.
 
1. Presentation of Meaningful Language
In the presentation phase, the students are presented to the language in a "whole" thematic way.  This can happen when students listen to an interesting story, are presented to a TPR lesson, listen or read an authentic document or watch a demonstration of an authentic task.  This initial text should be presented to the students using pre, while and post reading/listening/viewing activities, so that students can fully grasp its meaning.  Because one of the objectives of this lesson is to teach a grammar point, the grammatical feature should be well-represented in the text.
 
2. Attention
On this second step, the teacher calls students' attention to the grammatical structure that is being taught, by isolating sentences where the structure can be observed - this can be done by projecting sentences on the board and highlighting the important words and phrases, for example.  These sentences should have enough semantic clues to allow the students to infer the function of the grammatical structure (e.g. if the grammar point to be taught is a verb tense, the sentences should have time expressions that show when that tense is used - "yesterday", "tomorrow", etc).
 
3. Co-Construction - Explanation as Conversation
In this phase, teacher and students engage in a conversation in which the teacher guides students into understanding first the meaning of the grammatical point (e.g. We use presente to talk about things that happen regularly.) and then the form (e.g. We conjugate verbs in the present by removing -ar from the infinitive form and adding different endings according to the subject.)  It is very important to start with the meaning and not the form.  The teacher should be ready for this step by preparing questions that will help guide the students.
Depending on the level of the class and the complexity of the grammatical structure, the use of English may be necessary at this point.  However, if the conversation can be simplified, the used of the target language may be possible and useful.
 
4. Extension Activities
In this phase of the PACE lesson, students should engage in activities in which they have opportunities to use the structure that they studied.  "Extension activities are not worksheets on which learners use the target language to fill in blanks of disconnected sentences; instead, they can be information-gap activities, role-play situations, dramatizations, games, authentic writing projects, paired interviews, class surveys, out-of-class projects, or simulations of real-life situations"*
 
*Shrum and Glisan (2010), p. 229.
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