ROLE OF GRAMMAR IN LEARNING A LANGUAGE
For decades grammar had been regarded as the only means of teaching and learning language. The advocates of old system thought grammar and language almost identical. Therefore, a great importance was given on the acquisition of grammatical rules to lay correct foundation for correct speech and writing.
With the rise of Direct Method the importance of grammar started coming down. The advocates of Direct Method rejected the dominance of grammar in teaching language. They thought that grammår should be given up in teaching language. They argued that in spite of knowing the essential rules of grammar it had been found that the pupils often committed most elemental mistakes in speech and writing. Such mistakes can be avoided by giving pupils most repeated practice in the use of language.
But modern educationists on the other hand, have given grammar its proper place in the curriculum. They think that grammar should not be eliminated altogether from the course of teaching a language. A language can not be learnt haphazardly. There must be a systematic way of learning a language. Grammar provides us with this systematic way.
We should remember in this regard that ‘Grammar is not an end in itself it is a means to an end a guide ; and pupils must be practised in the use of that guide. No learner ever gains sure command over any form of construction in a foreign language by an other means than the frequent use of that form of construction. Practice alone makes perfect and without practice it is vain for the pupils to learn rules, defination and usage.
So in modern curriculum grammar is taught as an integral part. But it is given less importance. The place it should occupy should have following
main features :
- (a) Grammar must have a definite place in school curriculum in the systematic study of the language.
- (b) The descriptive grammar which puts emphasis on function of language should be taught.
- (c) It should be taught incidentally and informally at the early stage.
- (d) It should occupy a secondary place.
- (e) Teaching of grammar should only start when pupils acquire some command over the language.
- (f) It should be co-ordinated with the lessons in reading, speaking and writing.
MERITS AND DEMERITS OF GRAMMAR
(i) Grammar is essential for correct expression.
(ii) Grammar is behind the logic of a lánguage.
(iii) To proceed from concrete to abstract grammar testing is necessary.
(iv) It provides insight into the structure of the language.
(v) It is the systematized knowledge of the language.
(vi) It provides the criterion for judging the correctness of language.
(vii) It helps to develop various mental abilities such as reasoning, observation and concentration.
(viii) It helps in writing correctly.
(i) Only learning rules is not enough for language learning. Language learning basically depends upon practice, perception and habit formation. Because it is a matter of skill.
(ii) Knowledge of grammar never helps in either fluency of speech or articulation and colloquial expression.
(iii) It never provides ideas.
(iv) According to Palmer, “It actually hinders the spontaneous learning of foreign language.
(v) The errors in language are not always related to the knowledge of grammar.
(vi) Skill in language acquired through only learning of grammar is a language without life, language without essence.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN FORMAL AND FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR
Formal grammar lays emphasis on form rather than. function, on definition rather than on their application. No emphasis is laid on verbal expression. Students only know how to apply them. Thus grammar is taught for the sake of grammar , role of grammar in learning a language.
Functional grammar does not emphasis the form or the rules of grammar but the function of the word in particular context. It implies that whatever pupils learn, they should use it immediately in real and written composition.
Methods of Teaching Grammar
- Traditional Method : This method takes help of a grammar book for teaching the grammar. The book contains various rules, definitions etc. and the teacher tries to make clear these to the students by citing suitable examples. ter
- Informal Method : It advocates the teaching of grammar not by rules but by usages. By continuously using words while speaking, reading and writing grammar can be learnt.
- The Reference or Correlation Method : While teaching the text book, translating a passage or doing composition the teacher explains the grammatical rules, complex structures and also their implications
- The Inductive-Deductive Method :
Inductive means to proceed from observation to law. Deductive means to proceed from law to observation.
Inductive Methods consists of the following steps-
(i) Present some examples
(ii) Observe and analyse them
The steps in Deductive Method are-
(i) Verification and application of rule
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS of Role of grammar in learning a language -Set 1
1.In Direct Method
(A) dominance of grammar is accepted (B) dominance of grammar is rejected
(C) grammar is thought as essential and primary
(D) grammar is regarded as integral part.
2.Teaching of grammar is useful to improve
(D) finency (CTET, 2012)
3.In modern curricular of learning language, grammar should occupy
(A) primary place (B) secondary place (C) an indispensible place (D) no place at all
4.When a test item expects the learners to use tense forms, voice, connectors, prepositions and articles accurately, such an approach can be called
(A) asserted grammar practice
(B) mixed grammar task
(C) improper grammar testing
(D) integrated grammar testin
5.Which of the followings is a demerit of grammar
(A) grammar is behind the logic of a language
(B) it provides insight into the structure of the language
(C) skill of language acquired through only learning of grammar is a language without life
(D) It is the systematic knowledge of language
6.Functional grammar emphasises on
(A) form (B) definition
7. Inductive method of teaching grammar
(A) procecds from general to particular (B) procesed from particular to general
(C) the rules are imposed from outside
(D) makes grammar lesson dull and ineffective
8. In deductive method
(A) language follows grammar
(B) grammar follows language
(C) grammar is taught in connection with the reader
(D) the rules are developed from within.
9. The best methodology of teaching grammar is
(A) Direct Method (B) indrect method (C) both (A) and (B) (D) practical exercise
10. In speaking language role of grammar is
(A) not at all important (B) most important (C) liberal (D) none of these.
1.(B) 2.(C) 3.(B) 4.(D) 5.(C) 6.(C) 7.(B) 8.(A) 9.(C) 10.(C)
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS of Role of grammar in learning a language -Set 2
- Scribbling is a stage of
- Which of the following helps in learning the second language without using the printed text?
(1) Natural approach
(2) Language immersion
(3) Grammar-translation method
(4) Situational approach
- A good teacher is the one who
(1) gives the useful information.
(2) explains concepts and principles.
(3) gives printed notes to students.
(4) gives them ample opportunities to learn.
- ‘Critical reading’ requires learners to read
(1) for understanding the information directly in the text.
(2) to recognize ideas and information not directly stated.
(3) in a manner that requires judgements about the accuracy of the text and validity of conclusions drawn.
(4) for the generation of new and more relevant ideas, and proposing alternative ideas.
- Reading between the lines as a sub-skill of reading mainly involves
(1) giving sufficient space between lines
(2) inferring the unstated using the contextual and verbal clues
(3) identifying the grammatical item
(4) understanding the stated facts
- Children’s oral language development forms an important foundation for learning literacy. Which of the following classroom practices enables oral language development?
(1) Chorus reading of a story in the textbook along with the teacher.
(2) Practising the correct pronunciation of words in a chorus.
(3) Participating in role-plays on favourite stories.
(4) Memorising and reciting poems individually or in a chorus.
- ‘Awareness raising’ grammar games encourage students to
(1) think consciously about the structures they have learnt.
(2) collaborate in completing a given activity.
(3) engage and feel about human relationships while the teacher controls the structures.
(4) use learnt structures to communicate with one another about a given theme.
- ‘To live a life half-dead, a living death’ is a statement which uses a literary device called
(1) transferred epithet
- Regression is a
(1) reading problem
(2) psychological problem
(3) neurological problem
(4) physical problem
- Some students make mistakes while playing a grammar game. The teacher should
(1) call aside the erring student and offer some guidance.
(2) call aside the student in-charge of the group and instruct him/her to guide the erring student.
(3) quietly note down the mistakes and hold a remedial class for the erring students.
(4) quietly note down the mistakes and discuss them with the class after the activity.
- When the relationship between two successive sentences is in terms of time, the relationship is______.
- Students of Class IV can recognise flawed usage or sentence construction when the teacher
(1) tells them something wrong.
(2) gives alternatives as possible corrections.
(3) lets them find the corrections.
(4) focusses on certain surface errors.
- How does the mother tongue help in the development of a child?
(1) Mentally, biologically
(2) Philosophically, socially
(3) Mentally, emotionally
(4) Emotionally, biologically
- The spoken skills in a language teaching classroom can be developed through
(1) engaging in small talk as confident aggressive learners.
(2) emotionally connecting with learners.
(3) enabling activities with a focus on conversation skills leading to communicative competence.
(4) group activities where learners can talk in whichever language they would like to.
- Grammar should be taught by
(1) asking students to learn rules.
(2) making learners do written assignments.
(3) giving clear explanations.
(4) enabling practice in context.
- A child studying in Class-III says: “I dranked the water.” It indicates that the child
(1) has not learnt grammar rules properly.
(2) should memorise the correct sentence.
(3) has over-generalised the rule for making past tense verbs, showing that learning is taking place.
(4) is careless and needs to be told that she should be conscious of such errors.
- Which is a function word?
- Strut, stride and trudge are words that describe a manner of __.
- The documents have been downloaded by the students. The students have downloaded the documents. The two given statements can be differentiated by drawing students’ attention to the
(1) use of ‘by’ in the passive form.
(2) differences in the arrangement of words.
(3) roles of the subject and object in both sentences.
(4) change in the verb forms.
- ‘By far, the grammar issue I am most consistently challenged by is the dreaded dangling modifier. I’m not sure why, but this is an error I make with alarming regularity. I’ve learned to catch them, but I’m certain some manage to sneak through in my corrections.’ Which sentence has this error?
(1) Hoping to excuse my lateness, I wrote a note and gave it to my teacher.
(2) After reading the new book, Sara thought the movie based on it will be exciting.
(3) Having finished the assignment, Rahul turned on the TV.
(4) Upon entering the doctor’s office, a skeleton approached me.
- The principle of discovery implies that in a grammar class, students
(1) engage in activities that require them to think about collaborating.
(2) formulate certain rules by working through a number of examples.
(3) think consciously of grammar rules while completing an activity.
(4) are facilitated by the teacher to avoid grammatical errors.
- When teaching the pronunciation of the word ‘penchant’, you would
(1) encourage students to use an ‘English’ word as an option.
(2) find its meaning and give it to your class.
(3) use a pronunciation dictionary and say the word for the class to listen.
(4) draw students attention to the fact that it is a French word.
- A ‘critical period’ during language learning is
(1) the period during which language can be acquired with greater ease than any other time.
(2) the length of time before a comprehensive assessment takes place in class.
(3) best preparatory period for any language project.
(4) special time set aside for students to intensively practise language use.
- The two skills required to take notes effectively are
(1) using symbols and abbreviations instead of words.
(2) re-writing a text, using your own words.
(3) writing legibly with correct punctuation.
(4) writing fluently, using conjunctions.
- What is wrong with the following multiple choice question?
Tick the most appropriate:
The Metro theatre is located __ Lodhi Road.
(1) All answers are wrong.
(2) Two are wrong.
(3) The statement is not correctly framed.
(4) ‘Over’ is the correct answer.
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