ERIC Number: ED197608
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Meaningful Grammar Teaching. Acts of the Colloquium of the Swiss Interuniversity Commission for Applied Linguistics. CILA Bulletin, No. 31.
Hirtle, Walter H.
Two aspects of the problem of native language grammar instruction, in this case English, are addressed. First, it is argued that a combination of linguistic and pedagogical factors contribute to the explanation for the apparent decline in English grammar instruction in the schools. Secondly, it is argued that effective grammar teaching should produce closely observant readers and precise writers. This goal could be achieved by making students aware that grammar provides access to meaning. This involves helping students to become more aware of what the student knows already. It is a process of making more explicit and developing and refining the student's implicit knowledge of the language. The proposal is made that grammar teaching should go beyond parsing to morphology, that is, to awareness of the grammatical form and meaning on the level of the word. This proposal is illustrated by several examples of the distinction in sense and reference that is produced by the use of the progressive tenses. In addition to making students better readers and writers, sensitivity to the varied expressive effects to be obtained from grammatical forms will foster the student's intellectual development. Through such study, the student can be led to view language as a coherent whole, rather than as a mass of individual facts. (AMH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission Interuniversitaire Suisse de Linguistique Appliquee (Switzerland).