Jumat, 18 Mei 2012

Is English Grammar Important or not?

| Jumat, 18 Mei 2012
Is English grammar important or not? To answer this question, read the following text. You can give your opinion in the commentary box below.

Several days ago when I taught in my private English course, one of my students asked me about some language terms like what phrasal verb is, what present tense is, why there are 16 tenses in English. I explained to him. After explaining I asked why he asked that terms. He said that he had an examination. The items of the examination were those he had asked. He told that he was very confused about those questions.

I got surprised. How did the teacher teach grammar to the Junior High School students? Is it right young learners learn and explain about grammar terms?

Teaching grammar is important. It's needed mainly in writing skills. Teachers teach grammar to help students to express their idea through writing so that their notion can be read well. If the grammar is broken, people who read, will be confused or will not catch the meaning.

What about in speaking? Is grammar important? In speaking or daily conversation, grammar is not really important. We talk to others in unstructured way sometimes. Example: I come into the class and my students greet me "Good morning, sir." Then I answer "Morning, guys." Or I go to the shop to buy something. I would say "That book, how much?" rather than say "How much is that book?" I think the shopkeeper would understand me.

So how important is grammar in English language teaching? I would say that's important but not the most.

Back to the teacher who asked my students to explain the rule and grammar terms. I thougt the teacher still uses old method i.e. Grammar Translation Method. This method considers that language is like machine, so we can modify. 

In modern English language teaching, linguists considers that communicative competence is the main aim of language teaching and learning. Grammar is just one of  some components. 

For young learners, it's better to teach English for communicative purpose. The examples of communicative purpose are daily expressions and composing text based on genre.

Teaching grammar to young learners shouldn't be stressful. Asking them to explain the rule and language terms will probably make students confused and anxious. If they feel worried in learning language, the effect is they will never cope with the new language.

Grammar seems to make students stressful. It's better to teach grammar when it's needed e.g. there is grammar in reading text that you think you need to tell them. Or when you want them to compose a text, you need to teach grammar first.

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2 komentar:

  1. I only read first and last, lagi males :))

    My opinion..... grammar is very important in writing essay, news, etc, but it's not so important for speaking or just writing something that not so important like my comment.

  2. Thanks for your comment, bro. We need good grammar in writing.