English grammar: An investigation of Hong Kong ESL books

Fung King Jackie LEE, Peter COLLINS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Over the past decade the need for explicit grammar teaching in ESL curricula has been quite widely accepted. However, how well are learners served by the presentation of English grammar in ESL materials? This study of 41 current textbooks and grammar books published and used in Hong Kong suggests that while textbook writers have incorporated meaningful tasks for learners, many grammar book writers are reluctant to engage with the task-based approach recommended by the Hong Kong Curriculum Development Council. The findings also suggest that both textbook and grammar book writers need to pay more heed to the insights presented in the influential and authoritative descriptive grammars of recent years. Teachers and textbook writers are encouraged to become more aware of the problems identified in the study-which we assume are not limited to Hong Kong-and to find ways to address them. Copyright © 2009 English Centre, University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
JournalHong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


Lee, J. F. K., & Collins, P. (2009). English grammar: An investigation of Hong Kong ESL books. Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 51-70.


  • English language
  • Education
  • Curricula
  • Textbooks
  • Books
  • Curriculum planning
  • Grammars
  • Foreign speakers
  • Language and languages
  • Study and teaching


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