A repost from January of 2014. It’s good to reflect on this topic from time.
In 2013, Steve Krashen said (source below) that curriculum and instruction based on a grammar-based syllabus has the following problems:
(a) the Natural Order problem – Krashen states that we do not know the Natural Order and even if we did, we would not want to base the syllabus around grammar because basing instruction on grammar leads to a constraint on interest as stated below.
(b) the constraint on interest problem – Krashen says that the input must be compelling as stated in the “forgetting hypothesis”, which states that students must forget that they are listening to another language (because Krashen has shown that language acquisition is a completely unconscious process – the student must not be aware of the language which is merely the vehicle but rather only on the message itself*).
(c) the review problem – Krashen states that the first year works through “basic” grammar and the subsequent years review it, because students did not master it the first time, so why do it at all?
(d) the teachable and untaught grammar problem – Krashen states that a grammatically-based syllabus cannot possibly do the job of producing advanced performers in a language.
(e) denial of i +1 – Krashen states that grammatical syllabi cannot give learners true i +1 especially since many elements traditionally included in the beginning classes are actually late-acquired.
(f) individual variation – Krashen states that due to personal differences, the students are all ready for a different i+1 at different times so the “rule/structure of the day” will not be the +1 needed for everyone. So why spend time on it when we could be providing far richer non-targeted input that everyone can grow from?