The Functional Approach to Second Language Instruction

Adam Ismail Mohamed Ahmed


This study aims at investigating the effectiveness of the functional approach to second language instruction in acquiring grammatical accuracy. In other words, the second language instruction that is semantically, interactionally (i.e. the meaning-oriented and interaction-oriented instructional techniques) and structurally based (i.e. the rule-oriented instructional techniques) enhances the acquisition of grammatical accuracy more effectively than the structural approach. The reason for such an investigation has resulted from the fact that many instructors of English use the structural and traditional approaches in teaching grammar. The consequence of using such approaches is the decline of English language among university students. Another reason for this investigation is the globalization of all the aspects of today’s life which involves second/ foreign language learners to cope with the discourse of modern civilization, so that they can acquire the cross-cultural understanding worldwide through the multimedia and the other communication channels. This step can be achieved by the functional approach to second/ foreign language instruction. To verify the hypothesis, both the qualitative and quantitative research methods have been used to elicit the required data. The subjects of the study were the students majoring in English at the University of Nyala in Sudan. The data which was collected from the subjects, has been analyzed statistically by using a T-test. The results of the investigation have revealed that the functional approach to second language instruction is more effective in acquiring the grammatical accuracy than the structural approach. The study concludes with pedagogical implications and recommendations for the application of the functional approach in second/ foreign language learning/ teaching.


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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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