Importance of Grammar in the Second Language Teaching

Grammar is one of the inbuilt dimensions of our language usage, however, we are usually not conscious of grammar use in our daily speech. In the language teaching process, grammar is a major factor of syllabus design however, in modern language teaching approaches and methods, it is not supposedly supported. In spite of that, asking about the rule of the subject is still a quite popular habit among the learners after classroom exercises were done. On this point, grammar is the best helper of the instructors to show the rules in a systematic way. How could be the language without grammar? It is obvious that we cannot combine words without grammar. Vocabulary is not enough for language usage. When we have all the stuffing, it does not mean we can cook the food properly. Analogically, putting words together refers to syntax in language usage which is also part of grammar. Besides syntax, the words are also modified to become appropriate with some dimensions such as time, number and gender. These modifications make the meaning clearer through additions and alterations which refers to morphology. As Batstone (1994) mentioned, in that case, we can say grammar consists of two fundamental ingredients – syntax and morphology- and together they help us to identify grammatical forms that serve to enhance and sharpen the expression of meaning. He also adds:

“Language without grammar would be chaotic: countless words without the indispensable guidelines for how they can be ordered and modified. A study of grammar (syntax and morphology) reveals a structure and regularity which lies at the basis of language and enables us to talk of the ‘language system’.”

As Batstone (1994) said we can consider grammar as a framework for the learners in language teaching settings. Therefore, it would not be surprising for the learners to come across with the grammar of language teaching. The rules would open new doors to create new sentences. Learners can have limitless ways to express their selves by the limited rules of the target language. In this respect, Thornbury (1999) describes grammar as a “sentence-making machine” and, he adds:

“… Grammar, after all, is a description of the regularities in a language, and knowledge of these regularities provides the learner with the means to generate a potentially enormous number of original sentences. The number of possible new sentences is constrained only by the vocabulary at the learner’s command and his or her creativity.”

Another point of view that Thornbury (1999) draws attention to is the fossilization issue and the positive effect of grammar on it. Fossilization means halting of acquisition (not learning) in the literature of second language studies (Krashen, 1985). To make this phenomenon clearer, we can point Selinker and Lamendella’s (1978, as cited in Ellis, 2008) definition:

“… a permanent cessation in learning before the learner has attained target language norms at all levels of linguistic structure and in all discourse domains in spite of the learner’s positive ability, opportunity, and motivation to learn and acculturate into target society. (p.187)”

There are many reasons to had been said that caused fossilization in the target language such as the insufficient and inappropriate quantity of input, the affective filter, the output filter and acquisition of the deviant forms (Krashen, 1985), however, despite this, the solutions are not much as we thought. Whether independent or formal, grammar studies might be helpful for this problem. The right amount of grammar input can make alive the learners’ attention on the language and obviate fossilization. The possibilities of creating new discourse manners in the target language would be vivacious through grammar. In other respects, grammar as a system of learnable rules can help the instructors for changing the dynamics of the language classrooms. For instance, the need for rules and synthesized information can be essential for large classrooms. Thereby, grammar offers a structured system of the target language.

If we review the metaphor that I mentioned at the beginning of this essay, as we can have all the stuffing, we can the recipe as well but again it does not mean to say that we can cook. When we applied the same analogy to language learning, we can say that knowledge of grammar and vocabulary cannot work without implementation. The learner must experience the target language. In this sense, in the 1970s, theorists developed a language teaching approach that focused on communication of what is called the Communicative Language Teaching Approach. The communicative approach prioritizes using grammar and vocabulary to reach the communicative competences. In this approach, grammar is acquiring unconsciously through the activities by communicating. When it comes to “acquiring” the second language, it reminds that people acquiring their first language without being taught grammar rules as well. The first distinction between learning and acquiring is made by the applied linguist Stephen Krashen in the 1970s. He identified that pick up the language subconsciously is much powerful than learning. However, grammar as a system of the rules is part of the learning process rather than acquisition. In this respect, if the person or the instructor cannot balance the right amount of grammar input, it may cause to make the input incomprehensible which is essential for acquisition (Krashen, 1985). How can grammar input balance? It must be organized according to the dynamics of the learning process. Krashen’s (1985)’s theory says we acquire (not learn) the rules of language in a predictable order which he called Natural Order.  This point of view inspires from Universal Grammar theory of the linguist Noam Chomsky. It shows us whether a first or second language learner, all human being follows a statically significant average order. For this reason, it is not easy to say a book grammar becomes a mental organ’s grammar.

In that case, how much is necessary to teach grammar? If it is necessary, what is the best way to teach it? Clearly, these questions are quite important however, there is no clear-cut answer to these questions. Because, as we all know, language is a living thing and therefore language learning changes according to its settings. Even so, there are some pedagogical options in grammar teaching. Borg (2004) puts these options in order as follows:

  1. Implicit – Explicit
  2. Inductive – Deductive
  3. Sentence Level – Text Level
  4. Controlled – Free
  5. Accuracy – Fluency
  6. Discrete – Integrated

In the first options, the instructor can raise awareness on the learners that they are learning grammar or not make the learning explicit or implicit. Grammar can be learned by giving examples that are inductive or through a formal presentation which is deductive. Also, these presentations or examples can be applying at sentence level or these can be studied at text level which includes a context of larger chunks of discourse. These practices can be controlled by the instructor or learners to contribute their learning process freely. As Borg (2004) stated, the focusing grammar can range from one where getting it right is what matters most (accuracy) or to where the spontaneous deployment of grammar (fluency) is the priority. It also can be considered discretely through specifically labeled lessons (for instance academic English) or integrated into general courses. The instructor’s choice always affected by some factors of the language learning process such as the learners, the subject matter, the instruction or educational policies… Therefore, it possible to say they must continue to analyze, understand dynamics and be aware of the alternatives to choose the best way of teaching grammar.

In conclusion, grammar is a great part of language which allows us to create endless settings through systematized resources. As Batstone (1994) specifies, grammar takes its place in the learner’s mind like a map, however, if it is too detailed will confuse the learner and thus fail its primary purpose: to be guided. Therefore, instructors need to compare the map with other maps that the learner already knows. They can do that through the knowledge of the language universals which called typology. In this way, they can make the map a directory for the learners rather than an obstacle.  

References:

Batstone, Rob (1994), Grammar, Oxford University Press.

Borg, Simon (2004), The Best Way to Teach Grammar. Proceedings of The International INGED-ANADOLU ELT Conference, Anadolu University School of Foreign Languages Eskisehir (November 15-17 2001). Turkey.

Ellis, Rod (2008), The Study of Second Language Acquisition (2. edition), Oxford University Press.

Krashen, Stephen D. 1985, The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications, Longman.

Thornbury, Scott (1999), How to Teach Grammar, Longman.

Language Use and Its Effects on Comprehensible Input in EFL Classrooms

This essay is an abridged and translated version of my another essay called "İkinci Dil Öğretiminde Hedef Dil, Ana Dili ve Araç Dil Kullanımı".

According to the dynamics of the language classrooms, we have two types of interaction: Classroom Language and Instruction Language. Although nevertheless, these concepts look similar, they differ depending upon the instructor, learner, materials, course designers or curriculum and institutional conditions or authorities, etc.

Classroom Language means the language that speaks by the individuals of the classroom inside or outside of the institution. Instruction Language, on the other hand, comprises the language that speaks by the instructor to provide the input of the target language. For instance, even the instructor uses the target language while the language teaching process, it is quite possible to see the usage of another common language between the learners in reality. In this sense, we can classify the language choices in three main sets of factors: Target Language, Medium Language, and First Language.

  1. Target Language Usage:

Using the target language as a classroom language or an instruction language might have an important role on creating a real communication environment and supporting productiveness of the learners, especially given the fact that there may be few opportunities for learners to encounter aforesaid atmosphere outside of class settings (Hall, 2001; Halliwell and Jones, 1991; Macoro, 2000; Macdonald, 1993 as cited in DiFrancesco, 2013).  However, when it comes to applying this when and how the main determiners consist of the strategies selected in reference to the classroom dynamics. Concordantly, we can specify the implementations for the target language use as follows:

  • The instructor can use the techniques of Total Physical Response by concreting objects, visuals, gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
  • The instructor can fill the silent moments with talking in a target language environment. For instance, technical issues can be verbalized in the target language to show the actions that can possibly occur in the natural and real world’s situation of the target language.
  • To check comprehension, instructors and learners can develop specific gestures or codes between them. For example, they can try to understand each other by acting out or drawing.
  • The instructor can also teach grammar in the target language by making form-meaning connections. Usage of visual material such as animations or presentational softwares might be helpful on this.
  • Leaners should be thought simple language phrases or questions to interact in the target language during class sessions. The instructor can provide these expressions in posters or colored cards as an easy reference for learners during the activities.
  • Learners should be aware that they do not have to understand every word they heard, instead of that, they can try to catch the keywords and form a guess as to the overall meaning (DiFrancesco, 2013).

2.First Language Usage:

Using the first language in the foreign language teaching process has many different reasons for instructors and learners. While instructors are using the first language to explaining grammatical or complex structures, learners choose to use the first language for communicating and enlightening the meaning. However, besides all, first language usage comes to easier than other options for both of them. The first language is actually can be helpful for second language acquisition as long as it is using fairly balanced.

In the US, researches have shown that instructors utilize English for discipline and classroom management, grammar explanations, clarification, saving time and avoiding ambiguity (Duff and Polio,1990; Kraemer, 2006; Wing, 1980 as cited in DiFrancesco, 2013). According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the first language can be used for classroom management and explanations, however when it comes to implementing activities, presentations and exercises, target language should be used. Nevertheless, first language usage should be gradually decreased and the ways that would increase self-studying must be augmented by adding verbal and written authentic materials to the curriculum (MEB, 2002). The factors that would provide an effective way for first language use can be explained as follows:

  • Instructors can use the first language to arouse a sense of security in learners.
  • They can build background prior to reading, listening, speaking and writing tasks and activities by using the first language.
  • They can give some comparative and typological examples between the grammatical features of first and target languages.
  • Instructors can maximize intake by using L1 to make the input comprehensible.
  • They can use the mother tongue to avoid giving learners the feeling of identity-threatened by the total rejection of their mother tongue.
  • They can help the students with comprehension problems when L2 fails or is not effective enough (Ostovar – Namaghi and Norouzi, 2015).

3.Medium Language Usage:

We can describe the medium language as the common language between learners and the instructor inside or outside of the classroom. Medium language helps to explain oneself and easies comprehension.

According to Brufit (2001), wherever there are social differences, it reflects the language (as cited in Futurelearn, 2017). For this reason, if the classroom has students from different cultural backgrounds, medium language usage might have an important role. We can assume intercultural communication skills significant as much as the four main language skills for multicultural classrooms. Because language teaching should be more than teaching grammar and vocabulary and consequently the acquisition of the target language’s culture is part of the learning process.

Teaching cultural dimensions have been always problematic for foreign language teaching. In that case, what is the point that makes culture essential for EFL settings? In second language teaching, it progresses naturally. Even a special effort, the learner can discover the target society’s cultural believes, values and behaviors. Beside of this, second language teaching classes has a broad range of cultures in case of international classroom profiles. Therefore, the learner’s international communication skills are not limited by only the target culture. For this reason, provide an intercultural awareness in the classroom needs the effort of the instructor in EFL settings.

If the foreign language teacher uses a common language as a medium of the instruction, she/he must be considered the factors as follows:

  • Every learner has a different learning style.
  • Cultural patterns might be identical for the groups, in this case, interruptions can be tolerated, and some of the students can be shy to ask questions.
  •  The instructor should have some typological information about the target language and the medium language to compare.
  • The medium language can increase the metacognitive skills between the learners, it also can make easier to discover the target language.

According to Krashen (1985) understanding messages is the only way to learn a language which means receiving comprehensible input. From this point of view, we can talk about different interactions that are possible to see occurring the target language usage, first language usage, and medium language usage. For instance, when we think of an EFL classroom in Turkey, target language usage must contain some syntactic dimensions. On this point, it is quite possible to come across a complaint from the learners such as “I can understand but cannot speak!”. Understanding without speaking shows us the level of comprehension stuck on the semantic state. Therefore, the instructor would be careful about not just the comprehension of the input, also the output. If we take on the hand the same classroom again if the instructor chooses to use the first language in a fair amount. This might help to compare Turkish linguistic features with English which also called inter-language grammar (Gass,1997). The acquisition of inter-language grammar helps the learners to evaluate the input to output.  Besides of all, there is also another point which possible to come across in EFL settings is miscommunication. It can be seen as “misunderstanding” or “half understanding”. These kinds of situations are another important reason to identify language usage in EFL classrooms.

When we considered all these together, it is obvious to take separately Classroom Language and Instruction Language, when it comes to choosing the language in use. However, a “fair amount of usage” can confuse methodologically the instructions and also it gives them a free space to designing their lessons by considering classroom’s dynamics. When these dimensions absorbed properly, the appropriate language use must be chosen for comprehensible input and consequently output.

References:

CEFR (2002), Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Avrupa Ortak Başvuru Metni), Ankara: MEB, Turkey.

Difrancesco, D. (2013), Instructor Target Language Use in Today’s World Language Classrooms, MultiTask, MultiSkills, MultiConnections (Editör: Stephanie Dhoanu), Central State Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Futurelearn (2017), English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics Online Course, Southampton University, https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/emi-academics

Gass, S. (1997), Input, Interaction, and the Second Language Learner, Lawrance Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Krashen, S. (1985), The Input Hypothesis, Longman.

Ostovar-Namaghi, S.A. (2015), Namaghi, S., First Language Use in Teaching a Foreign Language: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Findings, US-China Foreingn Language, Eylül, S: 13.

Improving Listening Skills in Language Teaching

This essay is an abridged and translated version of my other essay called "Dinleme Becerisinin Geliştirilmesi Üzerine".

Language shows us some clues about how we understand and interpret the world. When we think language as an understanding and interpreting tool, we cannot ignore its communicational dimension. In this sense, listening skill in language teaching occurs as one of the communicational achievements in the learning process.

Ihde (2007) describes listening as a phenomenon and on this basis, he distinguishes the language as word and as signification:

“Listening to the voices of the world, listening to the ‘inner’ sounds of the imaginative mode, spans a wide range of auditory phenomena. Yet all sounds are in broad sense ‘voices’, the voices of things, of others, of the gods and myself. In this broad sense, one may speak of the voices’ significant sound as the ‘voice of language’… Extension of the idea of language is taken symptomatically to point up the continuity of all the potentially significant aspects of the voices of the world, then further distinction must be made that specifically distinguishes the ‘linguistic’ form of language from ‘language’ as significant. ‘Linguistic’ language is language-as-word. It is the center but not the entirety of language in the broad sense.” 

On this basis, it is possible to say, listening is part of understanding and interpreting in linguistic settings. Human beings start to design language by listening to the voice of the universe then they give them a limitation, in other words, meanings and finally they imitate what they hear by expressing. In a word, human produces linguistic components by giving ear to the universe, then imitating and synthesizing.

If we try to describe listening in language teaching settings, we can assume that the main function of listening serves oral narrative skills in second or foreign language teaching. Listening skill has different roles in language teaching methods and approaches. For instance, in Grammar – Translation Method, listening is not a purpose, and it does not have a place as comprehension. The only listening activity is to listen to a description of the rule of the second language is in the first language. Because in this method, students usually learn “dead” languages that they would not have the opportunity to listen (Flowerdew and Miller, 2005).

When it comes to the Direct Method, we can summarize the learning goals for listening as “listen and answer questions”. This method gives the listening skills a priority however we cannot talk about a systematic attempt at “teaching” listening or developing listening strategies in the learners (Flowerdew and Miller, 2005).

In the Audio – Lingual Approach, the objective is to listen to pattern match, imitate, and memorize. In this approach, the student must listen and repeat similar words and sentence structures many times in order to remember them and if the students make an incorrect response, the teacher corrects them. According to Flowerdew and Miller (2005), the main focus is not developing listening skills in the Audio – Lingual Approach, because there is no attempt to teach lexis or contextualize the sentences. The fundamental purpose is developing the manipulation of structures.

In the Communicative Approach, the main goals are process spoken discourse for functional purposes; listen and interact with the speaker and/or complete a task as part of the listening skill (Flowerdew and Miller, 2005). As similar to the Communicative Approach, the Task-Based Approach also processes listening for functional purposes. In this approach, listening activities serve the tasks by carrying it out using information (Flowerdew and Miller, 2005).

Most of the language methods and approaches have their listening activities according to their basis. What is the purpose of listening activities? Durmus (2013) distinguishes this purpose as general and particular. In his opinion, the general purpose is to provide an understandable and clear message for the student. In the case of a particular purpose, it is recognizing and interpreting the voices, stresses, and intonations in the target language. On this basis, we can consider what acts have to be developed between the learners to improve listening skills. During the listening activity, learners must understand the type of text, they must recognize the new linguistic structure they heard in the records. It must be convenient to make the meaning of the words out in the context for learners. Lastly, they should be able to express what is the record about. If we think about the nature of listening in second language teaching settings, first, we need to identify the models of listening. Researchers (Flowerdew and Miller, 2007; Richards, 2008) classifies it as three models:

1.The Bottom-up Model:

In this model, listeners apply the act of understanding by starting with individual sounds, or phonemes. These smallest units of the messages are combined with the words and then evolved to phrases, clauses, and sentences. Clark and Clark (1977) explain this model in the following way:

  • Listeners take in row speech and hold a phonological representation of it in working memory.
  • They immediately attempt to organize the phonological representation into constituents, identifying their content and function.
  • They identify each constituent and then construct underlying propositions, building continually onto a hierarchical representation of propositions.
  • Once they have identified the propositions for a constituent, they retain them in working memory. In doing this, they target the exact wording and retain the meaning (as cited in Richards, 2008).

To apply this model properly, learners should have a wide vocabulary and sufficient knowledge about sentence structure.

2.The Top-down Model:

In this listening process, learners use their previous knowledge to understand the meaning of the message. According to Flowerdew and Miller (2007), this model developed when researchers considered the fact that experimental subjects are unable to truncate induvial sounds from the words they a part of. On the other hand, learners are more able to identify the words presented in the surrounding context. In comparison with Buttom-up Listening Model, this processing goes from meaning to linguistic units. When instructors want to teach this model, they follow this process up:

  • Using keywords to construct a schema of a discourse.
  • Inferring the setting for a text. 
  • Inferring the role of the participants and their goals.
  • Infer causes or effects.
  • Inferring unstated details of a situation.
  • Anticipate questions related to the topic or situation.

3.The Interactive Model:

In this processing, the two models above are required, it combines both listening styles in a listening lesson. The Interactive Model makes room for a different learning style. The extent of using one of two models depends on listeners’ purpose, topic, content and text type.  We can consider this model as more realistic. Because in a real classroom environment both of the two models occur naturally.

In the listening skills, the instructors have an important role, they must be aware of learners’ intentions to learn the target language. Therefore, the responsibility for choosing the right strategy to improve listening skills.

Every learner has a different learning style which depends on their age, gender, educational and cultural backgrounds. For this reason, the instructors have to make a room for that kind of variabilities while they design their materials and activities. 

On the other hand, the improvement of listening skills based on the evolution of achievements to metalinguistic skills. In this sense, the factor which made the language learning skills an acquisition had a huge impact. Compendiously, the learner must recognize the linguistic specialties in the input. For this reason, improvement of the listening skill is possible only by using the right activity with the right level. 

References:

Durmuş, M. (2013) Yabancılara Türkçe Öğretimi, Grafiker Yayınları.

Flowerdew, J. ve L. Miller (2005), Second Language Listening: Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press.

Ihde, D. (2007), Listening and Voice: Phenomenologies of Sound, State University of New York Press.

Richards, J. (2008), Teaching Listening and Speaking: From Theory to Practice, Cambridge University Press.

Appropriacy in Language Learning

As one of the important aspects of language acquisition and use, appropriateness has many considerations. For instance, should foreign language instructors teach learners how to use an appropriate form of the target language and how to make a distinction between appropriate and inappropriate usage of speech? If they teach, what kind of consequences they should expect?

Slang and swear words are the reality for every language. Knowledge of this kind of speech gives learners an awareness to produce appropriate speech. It made them know “what to say to whom in what circumstances and how to say it” as Hymes (1927) remarked. Besides this, he also underlines the relationship of appropriateness with linguistic and sociocultural competence in the same study. According to Dewale (2008), second language learners need to have awareness of the full range of sociolinguistic and sociopragmatic variants and know to use them by considering different situations. He also adds:

“A comparison between patterns of variation in the L1 and those occurring more or less comparable situations in the TL is most useful. Teachers can develop an awareness of culture-specific norms of appropriate behavior in the TL if no comparable norm exists in their L1.”

Dewale (2008) also suggests that applying consciousness-raising activities in foreign language classrooms as useful and effective methods. Therefore, he points out sociolinguistic and sociopragmatic competence and says that those should be focused from the start of the acquisition process.
Teaching the distinction between appropriateness and inappropriateness also helps to Communitive Language Teaching. In this approach, native language use is very limited and language is considered as primary speech but also other skills are thought from the beginning. The purpose of communicative orientation is communication which also contains learning about the culture of the target language. The importance of teaching appropriateness on this approach is showing itself when it comes to using the target language in its natural environment. Pragmatic background of this approach raises awareness on this issue by using authentic samples of spoken discourse. This awareness also helps to the acquisition of intercultural communication competence in language teaching classrooms.
How necessary is to know rudeness, disrespect, and impoliteness as realities of daily communication in language classrooms? Because as we all know, impoliteness is likely to be experienced by interacting with native language speakers. However, interacting with another user in the target language context is not an option for every learner. On this basis, it is possible to say that the necessity of inappropriate speech in language classrooms can change on English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) settings. Learning the target language as a second language gives an opportunity to discover the natural atmosphere of the language. Second language learner always has easier possibilities to interact with locals. For this reason, it is not essential to be neglected in English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom. Nevertheless, when it comes to English as Foreign Language (EFL) settings, instructors should teach learners reacting appropriately when they confronted with any form of inappropriate usage.

Besides all these, there are some methodological, theoretical and ethical considerations. Different individuals may interpret quite differently when they faced with appropriate or inappropriate usage. Alongside the sociocultural aspects, learners must make allowance for this possibility. Methodologically, appropriateness in language classrooms presents a quandary between researchers. Toya and Kodis (1996 as cited in Dewale, 2008) report that the acquisition of rude language is a sensitive issue because of its possible danger and probability of misunderstanding involved in these kinds of expressions. According to Dewale (2008), it could be argued that knowledge of slang and (some) swearwords constitutes an essential part of sociocultural competence in the target language and should, therefore, be taught, albeit with the necessary words of caution. When it comes to the instructors, all the questions turn to ethical considerations. Dewale (2008) explains this that way:

“…any foreign language teacher is faced with the ethical question whether or not to teach L2 learners words and expressions that are considered inappropriate in polite conversation, and whether or not an L2 learner should be equipped with the linguistic and pragmatic means to be consciously impolite. The final ethical question lies with the L2 user who decides to deviate from the local norm.”

He also adds that from the instructor’s point of view, it is safer to teach grammar rules than expressions with lethal illocutionary effects. However, the point is not to teach this list of expressions, an English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners may go to the natural environment of the target language and broadened their repertoire, but still, be unable to make a distinction between appropriateness and inappropriateness. The judgment of appropriateness depends on the context of interaction. The reasoning of appropriateness is already a quite difficult situation, in case of a foreign language is especially hard for learners. As we mentioned before, sociopragmatic, sociocultural and sociolinguistic competences have a crucial part in the extent of judging appropriateness. As Dewale (2008) pointed out:

“It may seem unfair that there always seem to be more ways to be unconsciously inappropriate in a foreign language rather than consciously appropriate. However, this should not discourage foreign language learners to take the plunge and become confident L2 users.”

In this case, instructors have an important role to raise learner’s self-reliance. They must be aware that being unable to apply target language as much as a native speaker for a while is an ordinary situation. For this reason, they should try to use an appropriate form of target language without hesitation in making mistakes and causing misunderstandings. Another incumbency for instructors on the appropriate speech is to make a differentiation on English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms’ settings and English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms’ settings. They have to be conscious of teaching appropriate usage has a specific fundamental role in English as a Foreign Language classroom. It is not easy to be involved in the natural atmosphere of the target language and experienced appropriate and inappropriate usage of it for foreign language learners. This usage can be achieved through using social media, films, TV series, advertisements and news as material by instructors.

All aspects considered, mean by appropriateness in language use comprise sociolinguistic skills, intercultural communication competences and pragmatics in foreign language teaching. Besides all the quandaries, teaching appropriate speech has an important mission to make foreign language learner a part of local usage in the target language.

References:

Dewale, J.M. (2008). “Appropriateness” in foreign language acquisition and use: Some theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL).
Hymes, D. (1972). On communicative competence. In Sociolinguistics. J.B. Pride and J. Holmes (eds.), 269-293. Harmondsworth: Penguin.