Meaningful form: transitivity and intentionality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grammar has often found itself at the centre of innovations in English language teaching. In the last forty years the role of grammar has gone through three main stages: absolute prominence, exclusion, reintroduction with caution. These three stages have been associated respectively to three different approaches to instruction: ‘focus on forms’, ‘focus on meaning’, and ‘focus on form’. In the third stage, the teaching of grammar is meant to take place as the need arises during communicative activities. Even in such cases, however, there appears to remain a fundamental distinction between form and meaning. This paper suggests that such a distinction is unnecessary, given that form has its own semantic value. A practical task is proposed which analyses the semantic value of the grammatical system of transitivity, showing how it expresses the idea of intentionality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalELT Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


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