According to The Guardian there is evidence that the explicit teaching of grammar rules leads to better learning. Nothing that surprises researchers in Form-focused instruction. The article has been written by Dr Catherine Walter, Lecturer in applied linguistics at the University of Oxford, co-author with Michael Swan of the Oxford English Grammar Course.
What really interests me is the fact that such specialized topic has been discussed in a newspaper. I must say that we find these days more and more linguistics in everyday media and news, possibly one of the effects of globalization, “viral” language learning and the attention to apllied sciences.