“…before you get too starry-eyed about the functional-notional approach… it would be good to remember Chris Brumfit’s worry that teaching formulaic ‘doing-things-with-language’ was a way of trying to force students to say things that WE wanted them to say, rather than allowing them the freedom to use their own language combinations…functional-notional syllabuses were prescriptive and ‘nugget’-like in many ways. And still are. And so is quite a lot of chunk teaching (which is what functions were all about long before the lexical Approach etc.
In a way i think grammar nuggets may be far more liberating – since they contain more freedom of use and collogation/collocation than some of the more pre-digested functional chunks we used to teach”
From S is for Strategies on Scott Thornbury’s ever excellent (damn him, does this man never sleep!?) A to Z of ELT blog.