Ninth graders' attitudes toward different approaches to grammar instruction

Jacqueline Ann Morelli, Fordham University


A quantitative/qualitative study was conducted to determine which particular style of grammar instruction (traditional grammar instruction or the implementation of contextualized grammar instruction) ninth-grade English students perceived as contributing to their success in grammar acquisition. The researcher used the following materials and assessment instruments over a 6 week period: (a) Cooperative Entrance Examination (COOP); (b) Pizzo's (1981) Semantic Differential Scale (SDS); (c) Mitchell's Grammar Achievement pretests and posttests administered for each of the two instructional strategies, and (d) informal interviews with six randomly selected students. The school was located in a suburban area north of New York City. Data collection included examination of transcripts of audiotapes from informal interviews, grammar pretest and posttests, attitudinal surveys administered after each instructional methodology, and scores on entrance examinations. In general, the results showed that students perceived themselves as having a better attitude about the instruction of grammar in context, while performing slightly better after having experienced the traditional grammar instruction. Students who were interviewed preferred grammar instruction that was not boring and that was innovative and useful in their process of writing. Student responses generated five basic areas of interest within this study: student perceptions of the roles of the teacher, students' perceptions of their own roles, the social nature of learning, and students' thoughts and attitudes toward each form of grammar instruction. Students who were interviewed varied in their responses on the SDS and in the informal interviews their choices were not consistent with their estimation of their achievement skills. Student attitude was recognized and this in itself contributed to the existing literature in the instruction of grammar.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Curricula|Teaching|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Morelli, Jacqueline Ann, "Ninth graders' attitudes toward different approaches to grammar instruction" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3084892.