Foreign language education has transitioned from a grammar-based approach, with an emphasis on form, to a communication-based approach, with an emphasis on meaning (Brown, & Vidal, 2001). Although both approaches are philosophically juxtaposed, the knowledge of grammar is required to accurately communicate in the target language. This review will clarify the distinctions between programs based on meaning and form, and then show that story-based learning improves the teaching of grammar as well as the learning of the target language. Story-based learning bridges meaning and form instruction by contextualizing both. This approach, known as “Language Arts” in English education, has surfaced in foreign language education as story-based language learning (Adair-Hauck, Donato & Cuomo, 2000). In teaching for communication, the student concentrates on the message and is assessed on the ability to be understood. However in teaching for grammatical competence, the belief is that in order to make the message clear and understandable, the student must know all the syntactical points of the language.

Author's Biographies

Dr. Jose A. Villavicencio is an Assistant Professor of Education at Columbus State University in the Department of Teacher Education. His current research interests include second language instruction and diversity in education.

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