A Description of Grammar-Based Teaching (page 1)
Betty Azar

The Azar Grammar Series uses a Grammar-Based Teaching (GBT) approach. This article is my description of Grammar-Based Teaching, with some of the methodological considerations, assumptions, and practices of those of us who use this approach.

The Basic Approach

As its name implies, GBT uses grammar as the base, the starting point and foundation, for the development of all language skills — speaking, listening, writing, and reading. GBT provides information about English grammar accompanied by numerous and varied practice opportunities.

Explicit Information about How English Works

GBT makes available explicit linguistic information about the structure of the English language in order to help speed and otherwise facilitate the development of the students' interlanguage. GBT does not “teach rules” but describes how English works. Grammar is not taught as subject matter to be memorized; grammar is never taught as an end in itself.


Practice ranges from simple manipulation of form to open communicative interaction. GBT uses a wide variety of exercise types to encourage and accommodate a variety of student language-learning strategies. The purposes of practice are multifaceted, but all lead toward the goal of creating successful communication experiences.

Blending Approaches

GBT blends a grammar syllabus and explicit grammar teaching with communicative methods, using grammar as a springboard for interactive, communicative practice opportunities.


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