That's strange. We had to teach grammar as a matter of course. If it came up as part of the new work, we couldn't just skip it. It's not that hard to teach really. Callan will teach you how to shortcut the teaching of it.
To be honest, I just don't like teaching it. Callan's explanations are truly dreadful and outdated, and it seems a fair bet to say that barely anyone could understand it from the grammar questions 'in the book' alone anyway. And I still haven't found a textbook that actually makes it interesting. Until I do, I'm refusing to teach it ;)
I do like revising grammar with people though - it can be good fun to show them different ways in which the rules can be broken in speech, as well as showing them how I'd use the language as opposed to what the rules say. But Callan grammar?...no words can express my loathing for that.
I actually think Callan realised after writing two of the books that he needed to start introducing grammar, but it's clearly obvious that he didn't understand what he was writing about. The 5th stage is so badly written, even for his times.
The maximum at any time is 12. I found 6 to be a good number. 2 to your left, 2 in front of you and 2 to the right. 12 with a beginner group is a nightmare, so exhausting it was. You cannot take the foot off of the gas pedal for long with them.
I'd be inclined to say that any less than 5 is a nightmare, to be honest. I've found that with larger groups (though again, one of my agreed conditions is not to teach book 1 classes!), they're more willing to make comments about the language. But this does depend on the group dynamics - there's a group in my school who have nearly finished the 10th stage, yet you can see the way that Callan just teaches people to be parrots rather than actual speakers. But then again, there's a stage 3 class who are constantly using their knowledge in various ways and it's great fun - so I think it's a personality thing.
Bloody hell for once I agree with you!!!
Callen on its own is a lost method and needs to be supplemented with grammar lessons that need to be assessed at each stage level throughout the book. There is even a need for extra English coursework to be included, because the callan method is mainly focused on oral improvement and doesn't really take into account the in depth use of writing and grammar use of English.
At least that is what we used when I was teaching Callan for over four years and our school had a 100% success rate in FCE and ADV English.
Exactly the same method is used in my school. We all teach different things - I'm interested in getting people to use English creatively, so this is what I focus on. Others will concentrate on their knowledge of irregular verbs, others might concentrate on their actual hard grammar knowledge. It works - at least to a certain extent.
I've also started experimenting with different methods in the class - for instance, making people stand up when they have to read. Or making them turn the chairs round to face the wall when doing a dictation. Or even simply making them do part of the class in the corridor - and I'm thankful for having a boss that lets me experiment in such ways.
But the fundamental problem with Callan, at least in my eyes, is the fact that people can get to the 10th stage and still not be able to use the language at all.