“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
• Albert Einstein
There are several worldwide instructive approaches introduced by expert language proponents for language teaching. Presentation- Practice -Production (PPP) is one among the widely-used methods for grammar instructions. It is a traditional approach but its employment shouldn’t be taken for granted; careful planning is needed for its expediency. Its rudiments direct teachers to enable learning by stimulating learners’ ascending thinking levels through lessons’ well- defined objectives while they are entrenched in its three stages.
In PPP, teaching can be effective when the target language is controlled. Therefore, limiting language expressions as subject matters such as “is, are, am; there is and there are; this, these, that and those; can and can’t; can and could; may and might; proper nouns and common nouns, top packaging design companies count and non-count nouns, active and passive modes, positive and negative statements, negative and positive questions with yes -no responses, zero conditional versus first conditionals,” among numerous lessons based from the language program’s sequenced outline being managed. At this juncture, learners need to be defined. Defining learners is teachers’ awareness of students’ comprehension levels, age, nationality and culture where the creation of tasks designs and examples to facilitate effective teaching are primarily based upon.
Teaching grammar structures through the PPP can be more operative when we associate instructive language expressions to students’ real-world environment. By linking natural contexts, their interests are being drawn or stimulated by prior knowledge and experiences. Matters such as their hobbies, films they mostly watch, travels in other countries, favorite actors from around the world, favorite games, happiest and scariest dreams, historical events they are conscious about other countries, folk and country English songs that they listen to, and more can be suggested as thematic backgrounds for students tend to be responsive in class activities when situations they are closely connected to are manipulated. Also, providing these kinds of frameworks reduce students’ learning passivity which is mainly due to lack of interest or absence of knowledge.
PPP’s fundamentals are explicated here in two separate ways. (A) One is through using different language targets in each stage to explain its underlying rudiments, and (B) the other is by an intertwined single target language interconnected to its three stages.
A. PPP Application in different language targets
In the presentation stage, language target is stimulated by demonstration strategies adopted by a teacher’s discretion. The students are expected to observe how new languages are generated from a teacher’s varied way of presenting. It is a fact that it isn’t suitable to feed students directly what their new lessons are. In here, it is favorable to hear teacher say, “We have a new grammar lesson today that connects to your favorite sports players around the world”. “Can you tell me the names of your favorite players?” rather than saying, “We will learn about common nouns and proper nouns.” “Your favorite sports players are actually proper nouns.” Presentation should incorporate discovery method which may take place by the introduction of tasks associated by supporting materials such as pictures, timeline, real objects, cited situations, a film clip depending on teachers’ discretion. At the end of this stage, the students will be aware of the target language, its initial rules and structures, which they themselves have inferred.
Secondly, practice stage is done after the students have discovered the language’s features. Based from a teacher -prepared activities, they apply the rules and structures. Presuming that our lessons are on singular and plural nouns, we can review these to highlight what they have learned in the presentation by having them cite nouns that they see in the second picture and have them list all the words in two columns according to names of things and persons. The students may be tasked to identify each word which is singular and plural from the two original columns that they have constructed enabling them to produce two additional columns: singular and plural nouns for people, singular and plural nouns for places, as facilitated. Together, in each column, the class transforms the words into singular or plural forms. Depending upon the availability of time, the teacher can further introduce some exceptions to the general rules on the different pluralization of nouns. Probably, the teacher provides an activity that demonstrates some nouns whose plural forms aren’t ending in ‘-s’ or ‘-es.’ For instance: child- children, cactus-cacti, radius-radii, memorandum-memoranda, woman-women, man-men, mouse-mice, goose-geese. Additionally, the teacher may feature some uncountable nouns such as: milk, sugar, cheese, salt, tea, coffee, bread and many other examples.
Production is a stage where students’ prior grammar knowledge along with acquired knowledge from the two stages are incorporated under given tasks to display an over-all learning outcome. It is recommended that the production activities should relate to reality for communicative purposes. Assuming that the target language is the present continuous with future meanings, the teacher may ask the students on what they are going to do this afternoon to be answered in complete sentences. The expected responses will be an application of the language’s earlier introduced formula, which is present be-verb + a verb in the -ing form + future time. At this point, the students are expected to produce an example by being specific about be- verbs. It is in this situation that the students are made to opt between ‘is,’ ‘are,’ and ‘am’ although generally, they were using ‘is’ or ‘are’ in the practice stage. Additionally, since the question is about them individually, they have to decide which subject they are going to employ. To add, they will also have to decide which part of speech they are going to use. And since, ‘I’ have been decided, they are aware that pronoun is going to be used specifically the subject pronouns, instead of picking up a subject from nouns. In conjunction to these stimulating activity, students’ cognitive ability continuous to work importantly. Therefore, the expected outputs will be sentences that are introduced by “I am” As an example, “I am meeting my friend this afternoon,” “I am traveling to Islamabad tonight.” Similar to other language focuses, the students are encouraged to manipulate the language expressions for whatever purpose they may truly serve through the integration of the target language’s forms and rules reinforced by their prior knowledge which maybe added with new related language to be processed when follow-up activities such as homework and other forms of enrichment exercises are provided.