The first GrOC, Gramática Orientada a las Competencias, or Teaching Grammar for Basic Language Skills Conference, took place last January 30th at Europa International School and was organized by the school’s Spanish Department in collaboration with Mr. Ángel Gallego, professor of Hispanic Studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
The GrOC Conference’s main goal was for all the parties involved in the teaching of Spanish in Secondary Education, to meet and join forces in order to work on new materials that will optimize efforts and improve the teaching experience for schools.
Throughout the GrOC, which continued on Friday 31st January at the UAB School of Humanities, more than a hundred teachers attended the conferences and participated in round tables, where they talked about the main problems they face when trying to help students to develop their communication skills through the study of grammar.
Contrary to the belief in the need to put an emphasis on the sociolinguistic and pragmatic aspects of language learning, the organizers of the Congress pointed out that “grammar, especially when it involves the need for reflection and not just a simple list of grammatical functions, can improve students’ written expression and reading comprehension significantly”. Nevertheless, Mr. Germán Cánovas said at the end of the GrOC Conference “this new approach requires the right attitude from those teachers involved and the development of new materials that will facilitate their work”.