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Learning GrammarThere has been a long-running debate in the ESL language learning community about the role of 'grammar' in the classroom, and even about whether grammar belongs in the classroom at all. This debate roughly parallels a similar one regarding the role of grammar in American english classrooms, and it's instructive to look at this debate, as many of the issues are similar. In American schools, what is called 'prescriptive grammar' was the norm during the 1950's and 1960's. 'Prescriptive grammar' meant learning grammatical terms and rules, doing lots of worksheets based on these terms and rules, and diagramming sentences. Many students, and even teachers, regarded this as boring, and not really relevant to becoming a good speaker and writer of the english language. Some educators even began to use the pioneering work of linguist Noam Chomsky to advocate for the removal of prescriptive grammar from the classroom. Thus, the concept of 'descriptive grammar' was developed. Some educators, influenced by Chomsky's research about how native speakers acquire an innate 'feel' for grammatical structures and rules, argued for a more 'natural' way of 'teaching' language, one where students would learn spelling, pronunciation,