In the process of building academic-level written literacy in English language learners (ELLs), teachers face numerous trials, such as how to identify the most pressing problem areas, how to provide effective feedback in absorbable amounts, and how much explanation or theory to integrate into lessons. While answers to this vary widely by culture, time limits, systemic restraints, instructor style, and student personality, this paper makes a case for using explicit grammar instruction with a focus on form (FonF). In the following analysis of one learner’s writing sample, persistent pronoun errors indicate a gap in the learner’s knowledge, which can be effectively dealt with through introducing the basic tenets of Government and Binding Theory (GBT) in order to aid memory and assist rule formation. This approach is presented, not to be the final word in syntax instruction, but in the hope that the approach and process might confirm and inspire instructors as they navigate these shoals within their own classrooms.

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. Ettien Koffi



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