Teaching Grammar

What is the grammar. The Importance of Grammar in Learning a Foreign Language. The Psychological characteristics of grammar skills. The Content of Teaching Grammar. Methods and principles. A Brief Review of the Major Methods of Foreign Language Teaching.

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Язык английский
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This term paper is dedicated to theme “Teaching Grammar”. It is clear that the term “grammar” has meant various things at various times and sometimes several things at one time. This plurality of meaning is characteristic of the present time and is the source of confusions in the discussion of grammar as part of the education of children. There have been taking place violent disputes on the subject of teaching grammar at school.

The aim of this term paper is to investigate the steps and stages of teaching grammar in accord with definite rules. The ability to talk about the grammar of a language, to recite its rules, is also very different from ability to speak and understand a language or to read and write it.

The object of the term paper is English grammar rules.

The objectives of the research work put forward the following tasks to fulfill:

ь to define the importance of Grammar in foreign language teaching;

ь to analyze the Psychological Characteristic of Grammar Skills;

ь to adduce types of exercises for the assimilation of grammar

Grammar organizes the vocabulary and as a result we have sense units. There is a system of stereotypes, which organizes words into sentences. But what skill does grammar develop? First of all it gives the ability to make up sentences correctly, to reproduce the text adequately. (The development of practical skills and habits). The knowledge of the specific grammar structure helps pupils point out the differences between the mother tongue and the target language. The knowledge of grammar develops abilities to abstract systematize plural facts.

In this term paper the following methods of investigation are used:

Researching method is used in analyzing the psychological characteristic of Grammar Skills and adducing types of exercises for the assimilation of grammar.

Methods of comparison is used in clarifying and comparing teaching grammar of two languages: English and Russian.

1. What is the grammar?

Grammar is the system of a language. People sometimes describe grammar as the "rules" of a language; but in fact no language has rules*. If we use the word "rules", we suggest that somebody created the rules first and then spoke the language, like a new game. But languages did not start like that. Languages started by people making sounds which evolved into words, phrases and sentences. No commonly-spoken language is fixed. All languages change over time. What we call "grammar" is simply a reflection of a language at a particular time.

Do we need to study grammar to learn a language? The short answer is "no". Very many people in the world speak their own, native language without having studied its grammar. Children start to speak before they even know the word "grammar". But if you are serious about learning a foreign language, the long answer is "yes, grammar can help you to learn a language more quickly and more efficiently." It's important to think of grammar as something that can help you, like a friend. When you understand the grammar (or system) of a language, you can understand many things yourself, without having to ask a teacher or look in a book.

So think of grammar as something good, something positive, something that you can use to find your way - like a signpost or a map.

Grammar is the structural foundation of our ability to express ourselves. The more we are aware of how it works, the more we can monitor the meaning and effectiveness of the way we and others use language. It can help foster precision, detect ambiguity, and exploit the richness of expression available in English. And it can help everyone--not only teachers of English, but teachers of anything, for all teaching is ultimately a matter of getting to grips with meaning.

It is necessary to know grammar, and it is better to write grammatically than not, but it is well to remember that grammar is common speech formulated. Usage is the only test. (William Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938)

1.1 The Importance of Grammar in Learning a Foreign Language

To judge by the way some people speak, there is no place for grammar in the language course nowadays; yet it is, in reality, as important as it ever was exercise of correct grammar, if he is to attain any skill of effective use of the language, but he need not know consciously formulated rules to account to him for that he does unconsciously correctly.

In order to understand a language and to express oneself correctly one must assimilate the grammar mechanism of the language studied. Indeed, one may know all the words in a sentence and yet fail to understand it, if one does not see the relation between the words in the given sentence. And vice versa, a sentence may contain one, two, and more unknown words but if one has a good knowledge of the structure of the language one can easily guess the meaning of these words or at least find them in a dictionary.

No speaking is possible without the knowledge of grammar, without the forming of a grammar mechanism.

If learner has acquired such a mechanism, he can produce correct sentences in a foreign language. Paul Roberts writes: “Grammar is something that produces the sentences of a language. By something we mean a speaker of English. If you speak English natively, you have built into you rules of English grammar. In a sense, you are an English grammar. You possess, as an essential part of your being, a very complicated apparatus which enables you to produce infinitely many sentences, all English ones, including many that you have never specifically learned. Furthermore by applying you rule you can easily tell whether a sentence that you hear a grammatical English sentence or not.”

A command of English as is envisaged by the school syllabus cannot be ensured without the study of grammar. Pupils need grammar to be able to aud, speak, read, and write in the target language.

1.2 The Psychological characteristics of grammar skills

To develop one's speech means to acquire essential patterns of speech and grammar patterns in particular. Children must use these items automatically during speech-practice. The automatic use of grammar items in our speech (oral and written) supposes mastering some particular skills - the skills of using grammar items to express one's own thoughts, in other words to make up your sentences.

We must get so-called reproductive or active grammar skills.

A skill is treated as an automatic part of awareness. Automatization of the action is the main feature of a skill.

The nature of Automatization is characterized by that psychological structure of the action which adopts to the conditions of performing the action owing frequent experience. The action becomes more frequent, correct and accurate and the number of the operations is shortened while forming the skill the character of awareness of the action is changing, i.e. fullness of understanding is paid to the conditions and quality of performing to the control over it and regulation.

To form some skills is necessary to know that the process of the forming skills has some steps:

- Only some definite elements of the action are automatic.

- The Automatization occurs under more difficult conditions, when the child can't concentrate his attention on one element of the action.

- The whole structure of the action is improved and the automatization of its separate components is completed.

What features do the productive grammar skills have?

During our speech the reproductive grammar skills are formed together with lexis and intonation, they must express the speaker's intentions.

The actions in the structural setting of the lexis must be learnt.

The characteristic feature of the reproductive grammar skills is their flexibility. It doesn't depend on the level of Automatization, i.e. on perfection of skill here mean the original action: both the structure of sentence, and forms of the words are reproduced by the speaker using different lexical material. If the child reproduces sentences and different words, which have been learnt by him as “a ready-made thing” he can say that there is no grammar skill. Learning the ready-made forms, word combinations and sentences occurs in the same way as learning lexis.

The grammar skill is based on the general conclusion. The grammar action can and must occur only in the definite lexical limits, on the definite lexical material. If the pupil can make up his sentence frequently, accurately and correctly from the grammatical point of view, he has got the grammar skill.

Teaching grammar at school using the theoretical knowledge brought some critical and led to confusion. All the grammatical rules were considered to be evil and there were some steps to avoid using them at school.

But when we learn grammatical items in models we use substitution and such a type of training gets rid of grammar or “neutralizes” it. By the way, teaching the skills to make up sentences by analogy is a step on the way of forming grammar skills. It isn't the lexical approach to grammar and it isn't neutralization of grammar, but using basic sentences in order to use exercises by analogy and to reduce number of grammar rules when forming the reproductive grammar skills.

To form the reproductive grammar skills we must follow such steps:

- Selection the model of sentence.

- Selection the form of the word and formation of wordforms.

- Selection the auxiliary words-preposition, articles, and etc. and their combination with principle words.

The main difficulty of the reproductive (active) grammar skills is to correspond the purposes of the statement, communicative approach (a questionan answer and so on), words, meanings, expressed by the grammatical patterns. In that case we use basic sentences, in order to answer the definite situation. The main factor of the forming of the reproductive grammar skill is that pupils need to learn the lexis of the language. They need to learn the meanings of the words and how they are used.

1.3 The Content of Teaching Grammar

Before speaking about the selection of grammar material it is necessary to consider the concept “grammar”, i.e., what it meant by “grammar”.

By grammar one can mean adequate comprehension and correct usage of words in the act of communication, that is, intuitive knowledge of the grammar of the language. It is a set of reflexes enabling a person to communicate with his associates. Such knowledge is acquired by a child in the mother tongue before he goes to schools.

This “grammar” functions without the individual's awareness of technical nomenclature; in other words, he has no idea of the system of the language, and to use all the word-endings for singular and plural, for tense, and all the other grammar rules without special grammar lessons only due to the abundance of auding and speaking. His young mind grasps the facts and “makes simple grammar rules” for arranging the words to express carious thoughts and feelings. This is true because sometimes little children make mistakes by using a common rule for words to which that rule cannot be applied. For example, a little English child might be heard to say Two mans comed instead of Two men come, because the child is using the plural “s” rule for man to which the rule does not apply, and the past tense ed rule for come which does not obey the ordinary rule for the past tense formation. A little Russian child can say ножов instead of ножей using the case-ending “ов” for ножи to which it does not apply. Such mistakes are corrected as the child grows older and learns more of his language.

By “grammar” we also mean the system of the language, the discovery and description of the nature of language itself. It is not a natural grammar, but a constructed one. There are several constructed grammars: traditional, structural, and transformational grammars. Traditional grammar studies the forms of words (morphology) and how they are put together in sentences (syntax); structural grammar studies structures of various levels of the language (morpheme level) and syntactic level; transformational grammar studies basic structures and transformation rules.

What we need is simplest and shortest grammar that meets the requirements of the school syllabus in foreign languages. This grammar must be simple enough to be grasped and held by any pupil. We cannot say that this problem has been solved.

Since graduates are expected to acquire language proficiency in aural comprehension, speaking and reading grammar material should be selected for the purpose. There exist principles of selecting grammar material both for teaching speaking knowledge (active minimum) and for teaching reading knowledge (passive minimum), the main one is the principle of frequency, i.e., how frequently this or that grammar item occurs. For example, the Present Simple (Indefinite) is frequently used both in conversation and in various texts. Therefore it should be included in the grammar minimum.

For selecting grammar material for reading the principle of polysemia, for instance, is of great importance.

Pupils should be taught to distinguish such grammar items which serve to express different meanings.

The selection of grammar material involves choosing the appropriate kind of linguistic description, i.e., the grammar which constitutes the best base for developing speech habits. Thus the school syllabus reflect a traditional approach to determining grammar material for foreign language teaching, pupils are given sentences patterns or structures, and through these structures they assimilate the English language, acquire grammar mechanisms of speech

The content of grammar teaching is disputable among teachers and methodologists, and there are various approaches to the problem, pupils should, whatever the content of the course, assimilate the ways of fitting words together to form sentences and be able to easily recognize grammar forms and structures while hearing and reading, to reproduce phrases and sentences stored up in their memory and say or write sentences of their own, using grammar items appropriate to the situation.

II. Major methods and principles

The grammatical systems of Russian and English are fundamentally different. English is an analytical language, in which grammatical meaning in largely expressed through the use of additional words and by changes in word order. Russian is a synthetic language, in which the majority of grammatical forms are created through changes in the structure of words, by means of a developed system of prefixes, suffixes and ending. (p. 121, Brown C. and Jule “Teaching the spoken language”, Cambridge, 1983)

No one knows exactly how people learn languages although a great deal of research has been done into the subject.

Many methods have been proposed for the teaching of foreign language. And they have met with varying degrees of success and failure.

We should know that the method by which children are taught must have some effect on their motivation. If they find it deadly boring they will probably become de-motivated, whereas if they have confidence in the method they will find it motivating. Child learners differ from adult learners in many ways. Children are curious, their attention is of a shorter duration, they are quite differently motivated in, and their interests are less specialized. They need frequent of activity; they need activities which are exciting and stimulating their curiosity; they need to be involved in something active.

We shall examine such methods as “The Grammar - Translation Method”, ”The Direct Method”, “The Audio-lingual Method”. And we pay attention to the teaching grammar of the foreign language. We shall comment those methods, which have had a long history.

This method was widely used in teaching the classics, namely Latin, and it was transferred to the teaching of modern languages when they were introduced into schools.

In the grammar-translation mode, the books begin with definitions of the parts of speech, declensions, conjugations, rules to be memorized, examples illustrating the rules, and exceptions. Often each unit has a paragraph to be translated into the target language and one to be translated into native one. These paragraphs illustrate the grammar rules studied in the unit. The student is expected to apply the rules on his own. This involves a complicated mental manipulation of the conjugations and declensions in the order memorized, down to the form that might fit the translation. As a result, students are unable to use the language, and they sometimes develop an inferiority complex about languages in general. Exceptionally bright and diligent students do learn languages by this method, or in spite of it, but they would learn with any method. (R. Lado)

We list the major characteristics of Grammar Translation.

- Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language.

- Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.

- Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given.

- Grammar provides the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of word.

- Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.

- Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis.

- Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue.

- Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.

(Brown H., Douglas `Principles of language teaching', N.Y., 1987)

The grammar-translation method is largely discredited today. With greater interest in modern languages for communication the inadequacy of grammar-translation methods became evident.

The Direct Method appeared as a reaction against the grammar-translation method. There was a movement in Europe that emphasized language learning by direct contact with the foreign language in meaningful situations. This movement resulted in various individual methods with various names, such as new method, natural method, and even oral method, but they can all be referred to as direct methods or the direct method. In addition to emphasizing direct contact with the foreign language, the direct method usually deemphasized or eliminated translation and the memorization of conjugations, declensions, and rules, and in some cases it introduced phonetics and phonetic transcription.

The direct method assumed that learning a foreign language is the same as learning the mother tongue, that is, that exposing the student directly to the foreign language impresses it perfectly upon his mind. This is true only up to a point, since the psychology of learning a second language differs from that of learning the first. The child is forced to learn the first language because he has no other effective way to express his wants. In learning a second language this compulsion is largely missing, since the student knows that he can communicate through his native language when necessary.

The basic premise of Direct Method was that second language learning should be more like first language learning: lots of active oral interaction, spontaneous use of the language, no translation between first and second languages, and little or no analysis of grammatical rules. We can summarize the principles of the Direct


- Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language.

- Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught.

- Oral communication skills were built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and student in small, intensive classes.

- Grammar was taught inductively, i.e. the learner may discover the rules of grammar for himself after he has become acquainted with many examples.

- New teaching points were introduced orally.

- Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.

- Both speech and listening comprehension were taugh

2.1 A Brief Review of the Major Methods of Foreign Language Teaching

The Audiolingual Method (It is also called Mimicry-memorization method) was the method developed in the Intensive Language Program. It was successful because of high motivation, intensive practice, small classes, and good models, in addition to linguistically sophisticated descriptions of the foreign language and its grammar.

Grammar is taught essentially as follows: Some basic sentences are memorized by imitation. Their meaning is given in normal expressions in the native language, and the students are not expected to translate word for word. When the basic sentences have been overlearned (completely memorized so that the student can rattle them off without effort), the student reads fairly extensive descriptive grammar statements in his native language, with examples in the target language and native language equivalents. He then listens to further conversational sentences for practice in listening. Finally, practices the dialogues using the basic sentences and combinations of their parts. When he can, he varies the dialogues within the material hr has already learned. The characteristics of ALM may be summed up in the following list:

- New material is presented in dialog form.

- There is dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and overlearning.

- Structures are sequenced by means of contrastive analysis and taught one at a time.

- Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills.

- There is a little or no grammatical explanation: grammar is taught by inductive analogy rather than deductive explanation.

- Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context.

- There is much use of tapes, language labs, and visual aids.

- Great importance is attached to pronunciation.

- very little use of the mother tongue by teachers is permitted.

- Successful responses are immediately reinforced.

- There is a great effort to get students to produce error-free utterances.

- There is a tendency to manipulate language and disregard content.

We shall briefly review the treatment of grammatical explanations by some of the major methods. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study of all available methods; rather it is an attempt to show the variety of ways in which different methods deal with grammar explanations and may help teachers in evaluating available materials.

Grammar translation is associated with formal rule statement. Learning proceeds, deductively, and the rule is generally stated by the teacher, in a textbook, or both. Traditional abstract grammatical terminology is used. Drills include translation into native language.

The direct method is characterized by meaningful practice and exclusion of the mother tongue. This method has had many interpretations, some of which include an analysis of structure, but generally without the use of abstract grammatical terminology.

The audio-lingual method stresses an inductive presentation with extensive pattern practice. Writing is discouraged in the early stages of learning a structure. Here again, there has bee considerable variation in the realization of this approach. In some cases, no grammatical explanation of any kind is offered. In other, the teacher might focus on a particular structure by isolating an example on the board, or through contrast.

Each method is realized in techniques. By a technique we mean an individual way in doing something, in gaining a certain goal in teaching learning process. The method and techniques the teacher should use in teaching children of the primary school is the direct method, and various techniques which can develop pupils` listening comprehension and speaking. Pupils are given various exercises, connected with the situational use of words and sentence patterns.

2.2 Some General Principles of Grammar Teaching

This means that in sentence patterns teaching points are determined so that pupils can concentrate their attention on some elements of the pattern to be able to use them as orienting points when speaking or writing the target language. For example, I can see a book. I can see many books.

The teacher draws pupils' attention to the new element in the form of a rule, a very short one. It is usually done in the mother tongue. For example: Помни, что во множественном числе к существительному прибавляется окончание -s [s,z] или -es [IZ]. Or: Помни, что в отрицательных предложениях ставится вспомогательный глагол “do not” (“does not”).The rule helps the learner to understand and to assimilate the structural meaning of the elements. It ensures a conscious approach to learning. This approach provides favourable conditions for the speedy development of correct and more flexible language use. However it does not mean that the teacher should ask pupils to say this or that rule, Rules do not ensure the mastery of the language. They only help to attain the practical goal. If a pupil can recognize and employ correctly the forms that are appropriate, that is sufficient. When the learner can give ample proof of these abilities we may say that he has fulfilled the syllabus requirements.

Conscious learning is also ensured when a grammar item is contrasted with another grammar item which is usually confused. The contrast is brought out through oppositions. For example:

I get up at 7 o'clock.

It's 7 o'clock. I am getting up.

He has come.

He came an hour ago.

Give me a book (to read into the train).

Give me the book (you have promised),

I like soup (more than any other food).

I like the soup ( you have cooked).

Rule for the teacher:

The teacher should realize difficulties the sentence pattern presents for his pupils. Comparative analysis of the grammar item in English and in Russian or within the English language may be helpful. He should think of the shortest and simplest way for presentation of the new grammar item. The teacher should remember the more he speaks about the language the less time is left to practice. The more the teacher explains the less his pupils understand what he is trying to explain, this leads to the teacher giving more information than is necessary, which does not help the pupils in the usage of this particular grammar item, only hinders them.

It means that pupils learn those grammar items which they need for immediate use either in oral or written language. For example, from the first steps of language learning pupils need the Possessive Case for objects which belong to different people, namely, Mike's textbook, Ann's mother, the girl's doll, the boys' room, etc. The teacher masters grammar through performing various exercises in using a given grammar item.

Grammar items are introduced and drilled in structures or sentence patterns.

It has been proved and accepted by the majority of teachers and methodologists that whenever the aim to teach pupils the command of the language, and speaking in particular, the structural approach meets the requirements.

Pupils are taught to understand English when spoken to and to speak it from the very beginning. This is possible provided they have learned sentence patterns and words as a pattern and they know how to adjust them to them to the situations they are given.

In our country the structural approach to the teaching of grammar attracted the attention of many teachers. As a result structural approach to grammar teaching has been adopted by our schools since it allows the pupil to make up sentences by analogy, to use the same pattern for various situations. Pupils learn sentence patterns and how to use them in oral and written language.

Rule for the teacher: the teacher should furnish pupils with words to change the lexical (semantic) meaning of the sentence pattern so that pupils will be able to use it in different situations. He should assimilate the grammar mechanism involved in sentence pattern and not the sentence itself.

Pupils learn a grammar item used in situations. For example, the Possessive Case may be effectively introduced in classroom situations. The teacher takes or simply touches various things and says This is Nina's pen; That is Sasha's exercise-book, and so on.

Rule for the teacher: the teacher should select the situations for the particular grammar item he is going to present. He should look through the textbook and other teaching materials and find those situations which can ensure comprehension and the usage of the item.

Grammar items pupils need for conversation are taught by the oral approach, i.e., pupils add them, perform various oral exercises, finally see them printed, and write sentences using them.

For example, pupils need the Present Progressive for conversation. They listen to sentences with the verbs in the Present Progressive spoken by the teacher or the speaker (when a tape recorder is used) and relate them to the situations suggested. Then pupils use the verbs in the Present Progressive in various oral sentences in which the Present Progressive is used. Grammar items necessary for reading are taught through reading.

Rule for the teachers: If the grammar item the teacher is going to present belongs to those pupils need for conversation, he should select the oral approach method for teaching. If pupils need the grammar item for reading, the teacher should start with reading and writing sentences in which the grammar item occurs.


We will consider ways in which children can be introduced to new language structure.When we present grammar through structural patterns we tend to give students tidy pieces of language to work with We introduce grammar, which can easily be explained and presented. There are many different ways of doing this, which do not (only) involve the transmission of grammar rules.

It is certainly possible to teach aspects of grammar - indeed that is what language teachers have been doing for centuries - but language is a difficult business and it is often used very inventively by its speakers, In other words real language use is often very untidy and cannot be automatically reduced to simple grammar patterns. Students need to be aware of this, just as they need to be aware of all language possibilities. Such awareness does not mean that they have to be taught each variation and linguistic twist, however. It just means that they have to be aware of language and how it is used. That is why reading and listening are so important, and that is why discovery activities are so valuable since by asking students to discover ways in which language is used we help to raise their awareness about the creative use of grammar - amongst other things.

As teachers we should be prepared to use a variety of techniques to help our students learn and acquire grammar. Sometimes this involves teaching grammar rules; sometimes it means allowing students to discover the rules for themselves.

What do we introduce? Our job at this stage of the lesson is to present the pupils with clear information about the language they are learning. We must also show them what the language means and how it is used; we must also show them what the grammatical form of the new language is, and how it is said and/or written.

What we are suggesting here is that students need to get an idea of how his new language is used by native speakers and the best way of doing this is to present language in context.

The context for introducing new language should have a number of characteristics. It should show what the new language means and how it is used, for example. That is why many useful contexts have the new language being used in a written text or dialogue.

A good context should be interesting for the children. This doesn't mean that all the subject matter we use for presentation should be wildly funny or inventive all of the time. But the pupils should at least want to see or hear the information.

Lastly, a good context will provide the background for a lot of language use so that students can use the information not only for the repetition of model sentences but also for making their own sentences.

Often the textbook will have all the characteristics mentioned here and the teacher can confidently rely on the material for the presentation. But the textbook is not always so appropriate: for a number of reasons the information in the book may not be right for our students in such cases we will want to create our own contexts for language use.

3.1 Introduction of new Material

Context means the situation or body of information, which causes language to be used. There are a number of different context types, but for our purposes we will concentrate on three, the students' world, the outside world and formulated information.

The students' world can be a major source of contexts for language presentation. There are two kinds of students' world. Clearly we can use the physical surroundings that the students are in - the classroom, school or institution. But classrooms and their physical properties (tables, chairs, windows, etc.) are limited. The students' lives are not constrained in the same way, however, and we can use facts about them, their families, friends and experiences.

The outside world provides us with rich contexts for presentation For example, there is an almost infinite number of stories we can use to present different lenses. We can also create situations where people speak because they are in those situations, or where the writer describes some special information. This is especially useful for the practice of functional language, for example.

We can ask students to look at examples of language which show the new language in operation, though this last category can sometimes have no context. These three sub-categories, story, situation or language, can be simulated or real. Most teachers are familiar with 'made-up' stones which arc often useful for classwork: real stories work well too, of course. In the same way we can create the simulation of an invitation dialogue, for example. But here again we could also show students a real invitation dialogue. In general we can say that real contexts are better simply because they are real, but they may have complexities of language and comprehensibility which can be avoided by simulated contexts - life-like but clearly mode-up to some extent.

Formulated information refers to all that information which is presented in the form of timetables, notes, charts etc. Once again we can use real charts and timetables, growth statistics, etc. or we can design our own which will be just right for our students.

One of the teacher's jobs is to show how the new language is formed - how the grammar works and how it is put together. One way of doing this is to explain the grammar in detail, using grammatical terminology and giving a mini-lecture on the subject. This seems problematical, though, for two reasons; firstly many pupils may find grammatical concepts difficult, secondly- such explanations for beginners will be almost impossible.

A more effective - and less frightening - way of presenting form is to let the students see and/or hear the new language, drawing their attention in a number of different ways to the grammatical elements of which it is made. For whilst advanced students may profit from grammatical explanations to a certain extent, at lower levels we must usually find simpler and more transparent ways of giving students grammatical information.

The model has five components: lead-in, elicitation, explanation, accurate reproduction, and immediate creativity.

During the lead-in the context is introduced and the meaning or use of the new language is demonstrated. This is the stage at which students may hear or see some language (including the new language) and during which students may become aware of certain key concepts. The key concepts are those pieces of information about the context that are vital if students are to understand the context and thus the meaning and use of the new language.

During the lead-in stage, then, we introduce our context (making sure that key concepts are understood) and show the new language in use.

During the elicitation stage the teacher tries to see if the students can produce the new language. If they can it would clearly be wasteful and de-motivating for them if a lot of time was spent practicing the language that they already know. At the elicitation stage - depending on how well (and if) the students can produce the new language - the teacher can decide which of the stages to go to next. If the students can't produce the new language at all, for example, we will move to the explanation stage. If they can, hut with minor mistakes, we may move to the accurate reproduction stage to clear up those problems.


These exercises are the easiest type of exercises for pupils to perform. They observe the grammar item in structures (sentence patterns) when hearing or reading. Since pupils only observe the new grammar item the situations should be natural and communicative. For example:

- Listen to the sentences and raise your hands whenever you hear the verbs in the Past Simple.

Mike lives in Pushkin Street. I lived there last year. Ann gets up at 7 o'clock in the morning. She got up at half past seven yesterday. Etc.

It is desirable that sentences formed should concern real situations and facts.

Pupils listen to the teacher and raise their hands when they hear a verb in the Past Simple. The teacher can see whether each of his pupils has grasped the sentence.

- Read the sentences and choose the correct form of the verb. The following sentences may be suggested:

I (go, went) to school yesterday.

Tom (takes, took) a bus when he goes to school.

She (got, gets, gets) up at 7 o' clock every day.

Pupils should read the sentences and find the signals for the correct choice of the form. Since the necessary form is suggested in each sentence they should only recognize the one they need for a given context.

Recognition exercises are indispensable as pupils retain the grammar material through auditory and visual perception. Auditory and visual memory is at work.

Drill exercises

They are more completed as they require reproduction on the part of the pupils. In learning a foreign language drill exercises are indispensable. The learners cannot assimilate the material if they only hear and see it. They must reproduce it both in outer and inner speech. The more often they say it the better they assimilate the material. Though drill exercises are those in which pupils have only one difficulty to overcome, they should also be graded:

- Repetitive drill. Pupils pronounce the sentence pattern after the teacher, in imitation of the teacher, both individually and in unison. For example:

Teacher: They are dancing in the park.

Class: They are dancing in the park.

Individuals: They are dancing in the park.

Or pupils listen to the dialogue and say it after the speaker.

-Is Ann dancing now?

-No, she isn't.

-What is she doing?

-She is watching television.

The use of a particular verb is stimulated with pictures (or a Russian word). Quick revision is achieved with a small expenditure of effort. In this way they review many words and phrases. As pupils have only one difficulty to overcome the work does not take much time. Or pupils are invited to replace the words in the dialogue with those given in columns (see the dialogue above).

Grammar tests

A check on the assimilation of grammar material is carried out through:

auding (if a pupil understands what he auds, he knows grammar);

speaking (if a pupil uses the grammar item correctly, he has assimilated it);

reading (if a learner understands what he reads, he knows grammar);


Tests allow the teacher to evaluate pupils' achievement in grammar, that is, how each of them has mastered forms, meaning, and usage. Tests in grammar may involve: filling in the blanks; opening the brackets; transformation (e. g., make it negative, change into plural, etc.); extension; completion (e. g., When I came home..); making statements on the pictures given; translation.


In order to understand a language and express oneself correctly one must assimilate the grammar mechanism of a language. Indeed, one may know all the words in a sentence and yet fail to understand it, if one does not see the relationship between the words in the given sentence. And vice versa, a sentence may contain one, two, and more unknown words but if one has a good knowledge of the structure of the language one can easily guess the meanings of these words or at least find them in a dictionary, No speaking is possible without the knowledge of grammar, without the forming of a grammar mechanism. Children need grammar to be able to speak, and write in the target language.

Our aim is to form grammar skills and prevent children from making grammar mistakes in their speech. The aim of foreign languages in primary schools is to develop pupils' skills in order to understand speech and participate in conversation.

The method and techniques the teacher should use in teaching children of primary school is the direct method and various techniques which can develop pupils' listening comprehension and speaking.

We have examined two kinds of grammar skills: the reproductive and receptive grammar skills. The reproductive grammar skills give pupils an opportunity to make up their own sentences in oral and written forms in other words to communicate and the receptive grammar skills give them an opportunity to read texts or aud and understand it.

To master the reproductive grammar skills one should study the basic sentences or models (grammar is presented as itself in the basic sentences), to master the receptive grammar skills one should identify and analyze the grammar item. We teach children to read by means of grammar. It reveals the relationship between the words in the given sentence.

We have such a conclusion that the forming of grammar skills depends on training. Training is of great importance to realize the grammar item. We must use a lot of training exercises for the assimilation of grammar. We should provide the motivation of learn English, encourage children to communicate and remember that the correction of errors in the early stages of a language course may foster the following negative aspects:

- children lose confidence when they have fear of making grammar mistakes

- children become reluctant to take risks: they only the say the information they know they can say

We should realize the importance of training exercises and the role of the individual approach to teaching the children. Besides, the teacher must have a clear idea of the grammar of the language, its structure and usage; everything he teaches must be based on it; he should always be conscious of introducing or practicing some point of grammar.


1. Rogova, G.V., “Methods of teaching English”; М.,1970

2. Harmer, Jeremy, “the practice English language teaching”; London-New York; Longman,1991

3. Синявская, Е.В. и др., «Вопросы методики обучения иностранным языком за рубежом.» /сост.: Е.В.Синявская, М.М. Васильева, С.В.Калинина/; М., Просвещение,1978

4. Handschin, Charles H., “Methods of teaching modern languages.”; N.Y.,World Book Co.,1926

5. Bennett, William Arthur., ”Aspects of Language and language teaching.”; London-New York., Cambridge univ. press, 1968

6. Lado Robert and Fries Charles C., “English pattern practices. Establishing the patterns as habits.”; The univ. of Michigan press, 1970

7. F.L Billows., “The Techniques of Language Teaching.”; Longman, 1962

8. Fries, Charles Carpenter., “Teaching and Learning English as a foreign language.”; The univ. of Michigan press, 1964

9. Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rogers., “ Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching.”; Cambridge univ. press, 1986

10. Elaine Tarone and George Yule., “Focus on Language Learner.”; Oxford univ., 1991

11. Michael H. Long, Jack C. Richards., “Methology in Tesol: A book of Readings.”; USA., 1987

12. Pooley, Robert., “teaching English grammar.”; N.Y., Appleton - Century - Crofts, 1957

13. F.Genesee., “Educating second language children: the whole child, the whole curriculum, the whole community.” Cambridge, 1994

14. Griffith,S. “Teaching English Abroad”; Oxford,1991

15. Rivers, Wilga M., “Speaking in many tongues: Essays in foreign-language teaching.”; 3rd ed., Cambridge, 1983


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