ADAPTIVE INSTRUCTION MARKET RESEARCH
Grammar Matters and Should Be Taught – Differently
By Misty Adoniou
Review Summary by Bhagyalakshmi Makam
Market Research, Adaptive Instruction
Bhagyalakshmi M is an Assistant Professor and Guest Faculty of English at Govt First Grade College, Frazer town, Bangalore. She is a copy editor and contributing writer at FIPRESCI-INDIA, India chapter of the International Federation of Film Critics. A lover of travelling, teaching, reading, and writing. Holding a master’s degree in English Literature, and a bachelor’s in Psychology, English and Journalism, she aspires to become an avid researcher and writer. She has also started her own blog exploring different genres of language and literature through her love for observing and understanding human nature in all its faults and flawlessness.
English language teaching has become an essential forte in every country around the world. The skill of teaching English is in high demand and so has the need for understanding the underlying aspects of this arena. This is a summary of an article written by Misty Adoniou, senior lecturer in Language, Literacy and TESL, University of Cambridge.
Grammar teaching methods have been changing slowly but not at the needed pace! Teaching grammar with the help of rules where the number of exceptions is more than the rules themselves doesn’t help!
The gradual disappearance of grammar being taught in schools hinders the development of language skills. Grammar becomes a calculative arena where students try to frame proper sentences through formulae and not through intuition and free flow of thought.
The question arises as to whether old teaching methods are relevant in contemporary times. Asking children to circle nouns and adjectives does not help them. Grammar workbooks feed on the insecurities of parents and teachers who have little or no direction in developing language skills.
Spoken and Written Language
Good grammar is seen through great literature where words are organized to capture the reader’s attention. Teachers need to know how effective writing works so as to teach them. The grammar of speaking and writing are different and need to be taught differently. This gap is caused as they write only what they hear, and what they hear in their daily lives does not enhance creativity. Students who need the most help expressing themselves, especially those whose first language isn’t English, are often left out of the system.
Testing the teacher’s knowledge of grammar does little help. Newer methods that cater to a more diverse set of students with different learning patterns must develop. Every child deserves to learn grammar in the best way possible. Building the teacher’s knowledge within the framework of teaching methods, reasons for learning gaps and a call for action is further delved into by the author.