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Teaching Grammar Outline.

1. Aims and tasks of teaching Grammar in a secondary school;

2. Selection of the active and passive grammar material for secondary schools;

3. Chief stages of formation of grammatical habits:

a) ways and techniques of presenting Gr. Material;

b) automatization of grammatical habits;

c) adaptation of speech Gr. Habits to various kinds of language activities.


The main aim of teaching Gr. in a secondary school is to have pupils form their grammatical habits as one of the basic components of speech skills of Sp., Aud., R., and Wr.

Aspects of teaching Grammar have 3 sides:

form is the word or part of the word a grammar item is made of (e.g. Present Progressive =verb “to be”+ verb + ing);

meaning” is the concepts a grammar item expresses (e.g. Present Progressive is an action in progress at the present moment);

use” is what the grammar item is used to do in a particular context (e.g. giving a comment on a present action (such as sports commentary or talking about future plans).


The minimum of grammar material which is required should be:

1) sufficient for using the language as a means of communication within the limits of the school syllabus;

2) real (realistic) for assimilating under school conditions.


Under the active minimum of grammar material we understand the grammatical phenomena which are meant for usage in oral speech (speaking and writing).

To the passive minimum of grammar material we refer the grammatical phenomena which pupils can recognize and comprehend in a text (while reading or listening).

The basic principles of selection of grammar material for the active minimum are as follows:

1) principle of prevalence (wide usage) in oral and written speech;

2) principle of modeling, that is capability of a grammatical form to serve as a model for constructing other forms by analogy.

3) principle of excluding synonymic grammatical phenomena (the Pres.Perf.Cont. is not included in the minimum).

In accordance with these principles the active minimum includes the grammatical phenomena which:

§ can be spread on a considerable part of vocabulary;

§ most widely used in oral speech;

§ stylistically neutral.

The principles of selection of the passive minimum of grammar material as follows:

1.principle of prevalence in the bookish style;

2.principle of polysemy.


The content of teaching grammar in a secondary school includes:

§ assimilation of grammatical forms, parts of speech, their meanings and functions (within the limits of the school syllabus);

§ knowledge of the rules of usage of these 2 forms in dependence with a situation of communication and a context;

§ development of habits of usage of grammatical material under study in oral and written speech, namely, development of the following habits:

a) selection of the structure of a speech-pattern adequate to the speaker’s intention and to the situation;

b) selection of forms of the chosen words to be used in a speech-pattern according to the norms of the target language;

c) choice of form-words and their correct combination with the notional words

Methodological classification of the grammar material of the English language comprises 3 groups:

1.The grammar phenomena which do not require any explanation since they are similar to those in the mother-tongue of the pupils: e.g. word-order in the sentences.

2.Grammar phenomena which require corrections, e.g. the family are…

2.Language phenomena which are strange for Ukrainian-speaking pupils. They require explanations because new habits should be formed in pupils, e.g. articles, tenses, verbal, modal verbs.


The ways of forming grammatical habits:

Ø Lexical approach: within this approach pupils from the very beginning are taught to communicate; grammatical correctness of their speech being of minor importance. In such a way pupils gain some language experience with support of analogy, not abstraction and later on this experience is subconsciously analyzed and turns into grammatical rules.

Ø Structural approach, which presupposes teaching through structural models (sentence speech patterns), is a communicative and situational realization (embodiment) of a language model in a particular situation of communication.

Ø Grammar in action ( communicative grammar) deals with the language in action and uses the language as a system of symbols, abilities and command rather than knowledge.

Ø Text-based approach. New grammar material is concentrated in one text, where it is repeated for many times in different situations (context) and with appropriate formal signs.


Chief stages of formation of grammatical habits.

I stage – (Presentation): the aim is - presentation of the grammatical phenomenon and creation of an orientation basis for further formation of a habit.


Different ways of introducing a grammatical phenomenon to pupils:

- Inductive (practical) - from the partial to the general. From a speech pattern: pupils come to understand it independently, perform grammatical acts by analogy, by means of imitation.


- Deductive (theoretical-practical) time-line. It implies some theoretical explanation. Explanation can be either very detailed or short. Detailed explanation is given only in some specific cases (if a certain Gr. phenomenon is completely strange to the mother-tongue and, thus, it is impossible to learn how to use it correctly without full understanding


There are exist different kinds of short-formulated rules:

· Explanation rules (e.g. the Pr. Ind. Tense is used to denote…..);

· Instruction rules (no particle “to” after modal verbs);

· Scheme rules:

I, we, they was read + ing

She, he, it were listen+ ing


· Operation rules with language units.

e.g. Change the sense by adding Participle One: He does – he is doing.

How to introduce a grammatical structure to pupils:

Step 1. State the subject (in its functional aspect;

Step 2. Introduce a grammar structure in connected speech/ a situation/ a text;

Step 3. Check up understanding of a Gr. structure (by means of translation into the mother-tongue or of laconic answers to the teacher’s questions);

Step 4. Explain the meaning and some peculiarities of formation (preferably with the help of instructions;

Step 5. Phonetic drill of a new gram. Structure which is organized in imitation exercises with a speech task (not a formal one);

Step 6. Summing up: the teacher’s conclusion, remarks about the pupils’ activities.

II stage (focused practice) – formation of speech grammatical habits by means of their automatization in oral speech. It is at this very stage – dynamic stereotype is formed. The basic type of ex. is drill ex-se of communicative character, e.g. combination ex-ses:

- Transform the statement into a question;

- Make up a sentence using key words;

- Enlarge the idea, develop the idea;

- Answer the question to the picture;

- Complete the sentences/story;

- Fill in the crosswords…..

III stage (communicative practice) – adaptation of speech grammatical habits to various language activities. At this stage speech (communicative) ex-ses in R., Wr., Sp. and Aud. are to be used.

Speech ex-ses may be conducted by the teacher or may be not:

- Telling a story about….using the language material under study;

- Make up a dialogue after the model (text-centered);

- A talk/discussion on the basis of the text;

- Work with a film-strip;

- A topic-centered monologue/dialogue on the topic;

- Translation.

Evaluation of pupils’ achievements in grammar can be done through tests.

Tests in grammar may involve:

- Filling in the blanks;

- Opening the brackets;

- Transformation (make it negative, change into the plural);

- Extension (if the weather keeps fine….);

- Completion;

- Making statements on the picture/sentences/words given;

- translation


Lecture # 8

Date: 2015-02-16; view: 2281

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