Author Topic: The Importance of Grammar  (Read 835 times)

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Offline yama2to

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The Importance of Grammar
« on: May 03, 2016, 01:38:31 PM »
Although too much focus on grammar is considered to be detrimental in a sense that it can deviate from the interactive learning of students as a part of social literate community, I would like to emphasize how the grammatical aspect of language learning is necessary for L2 acquisition.

First, although it is true that accumulating the knowledge of lexicons can help us especially L2 learners enormously, it also cannot be denied that the grammatical aspect might be overlooked because of the focus on vocabularies. This is not to say that the acquisition of vocabularies are not helpful, and I think the vocabularies are the key part for L2 learning. But at the same, as some research findings indicate to date, some students just rely on lexical information to retrieve intended meanings from their interlocutors conversations; this can inhibit the students from acquiring grammar.

Second, it is almost impossible for L2 speakers to convey their messages if they do not have a solid knowledge in their L2 grammar. This can be seen in the oft-cited study of Japanese artist Wes done by Schmidt; the lack of acquisition of grammar tremendously prohibited Wes's capability of conveying his messages to his interlocutors, mainly native speakers of English.

Although difficult to teach, the significance of focusing on grammar instruction should not be underestimated. Unless students have learned grammar to a certain extent, they would not be able to 1) construct sentences in a discourse (=speaking), 2) understand long complicated sentences uttered by other interlocutors (usually L1 English speakers) (=listening), 3) write well academically (=writing), 4) and read academic sources as well as i -1 level of readings (ex. comic books, magazines, books for children, etc) (=reading). Grammar, thus, is important for every single aspect of language. Along with lexicons, it is the core of language learning.

One online website I really liked for teaching grammar is http://www.englishgrammar.org/. I found this useful because this has not only the detailed grammatical instruction but also the writing prompts that can grab attention from students who desire to practice applying their grammatical knowledge into the construction of sentences. The finished paragraphs can also be presented in a presentation format, if a teacher using this source has enough time. This also has videos that can be attractive to auditory-oriented students.