skip links
Chabot College Logo
envelope iconStudent Email | College Index Search Bar Left Corner
Chabot College Logo

Menu Gradient Bottom

Center for Teaching and Learning

Focused Inquiry Groups (FIGs) - BSI

An Inquiry into the Teaching of Grammar in Narratives

Area of Inquiry

The ESL FIG aims to examine the viability and effectiveness of linking the teaching and study of a novel and some short stories to grammar points in the ESL curriculum.


Discoveries to Date

The following is a report on what helped, what didn’t, and what we learned so far.

What Helped
• The initial preparation of course content, teaching strategies, and timeline for the semester
• The regular meetings that discussed lessons taught—what was successful and what was lacking
• Planning for the next lessons/assessment strategies after reflecting on the lessons taught
• Student input and classroom assessment

What Didn’t Help
• Connecting flawlessly the required textbook grammar topics to the novel
• Disparity in usage levels between formal grammar and informal, conversational or literary style in the novel/stories
• More than usual preparation of materials and lessons taught for the first time
• Teaching the novel/stories as reading texts to be understood and responded to in journals and essays, and also teaching the grammatical items prescribed by the curriculum.
• Some student resistance especially in ESL 110B to a new strategy of extending the grammar study to the stories read. Some students feel more comfortable learning grammar from a grammar textbook.

What We Learned
• Coordinating the use of a grammar textbook with the novel and other stories is not an easy feat. It implies teaching the students how to read, understand and appreciate narrative and teaching them how to use and study a grammar textbook efficiently.

• However, we are looking forward to the “Author’s Chair” presentation after Thanksgiving break. Students will present their original stories and respond to stories that they will hear from each other. We’re looking forward to this show of what we might call “Moving Stories” in both the move they made to the U.S. and the emotive power of their stories.


  • Fe Baran
  • Ingrid Hufgard
  • Lisa Ikeda



Bookstore Icon Library Icon
Footer Left Corner