Grammar

Trimis la data: 2010-06-18 Materia: Engleza Nivel: Liceu Pagini: 20 Nota: / 10 Downloads: 14
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Unfortunately, in many of the English classes, grammar is taught for its own sake, not with the purpose of being used in communication. The knowledge of the rules of grammar gives the students only some measure of algebraic "accuracy", which by itself can, and perhaps generally does, help them to pass the examinations in English, but does not give them the ability to communicate meaningfully in real-life situations. What is needed to remedy the situation is a methodology that can effectively blend "accuracy" and "fluency", a methodology that aims at developing "communicative competence".

Grammar can be taught in different ways. One of them is when the teacher actually provides the students with grammatical rules and explanations-the information is openly presented, in other words.

Another way is when grammatical facts are hidden from the students-even though they are learning the language. In other words, the students may be asked to do an information gap activity or read a text where new grammar is practiced or introduced, but their attention will be drawn to the activity or to the text and not to the grammar.

Jeremy Harmer, calls the first type of teaching grammar-overt grammar teaching, and the second type-covert grammar teaching. With overt teaching we are explicit and open about the grammar of the language, but with covert teaching we simply get students to work with new language and hope that they will more or less subconsciously absorb grammatical information which will help them to acquire the language as a whole.

The middle way is always the best, so teachers should use both covert and overt grammar teaching during their lessons. Students need to learn how to perform the functions of language, but they need a grammatical base as well. Modern courses often teach a grammatical structure and then get students to use it as part of a functional conversation.

Although at an early stage we may ask our students to learn a certain structure through exercises that concentrate on virtually meaningless manipulations of language, we should quickly progress to activities that use it meaningfully. And even these activities will be superseded eventually by general fluency practice, where the emphasis is on successful communication, and any learning of grammar takes place only as incidental to this main objective.

In order to be good teachers of English, before even planning the organization of our teaching, we need to have clear in our minds exactly what our subject matter is. Some grammatical structures in English have exact parallels in the native language and are easily mastered; others have no such parallels but are fairly simple in themselves; there are others, which are totally alien and very difficult to grasp.

Some have fairly simple forms, but it may be difficult to learn where to use them and where not; others have relatively easy meanings, but very varied or difficult forms. Some involve single-word choices, others entire sentences.

When we teach any one of these types we should be getting our students to learn quite a large number of different, though related, bits of knowledge and skills: how to recognize the examples of the structure when spoken, how to identify its written form, how to produce both its spoken and written form, how to understand its meaning in context and produce meaningful sentences using it themselves.

Some teachers have a tendency to concentrate on some of these and neglect the others. It is important to keep a balance, taking into account the need of the particular class being taught.

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