English grammar

Trimis la data: 2014-11-26
Materia: Engleza
Nivel: Facultate
Pagini: 21
Nota: 10.00 / 10
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Autor: Cosmin_L
Dimensiune: 25kb
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What is grammar? Is it necessary to teach grammar? Will grammar help students to better understand and use the language? These are only some of the questions that need to be answered.
Grammar is defined in the "THE LONGMAN DICTIONARY OF CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH" as "(the study and practice of) the rules of a language by which words change their forms and are combined into sentences".
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".

Widdowson (1984:59) points out that: "Fluency and accuracy are complementary and interdependent phenomena: the problem is to know how the dependency works in natural language use and how it can best be developed in the process of language learning."
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.
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