توجه ! این یک نسخه آرشیو شده می باشد و در این حالت شما عکسی را مشاهده نمی کنید برای مشاهده کامل متن و عکسها بر روی لینک مقابل کلیک کنید : Another Way to Look at Teaching Grammar

04-02-2012, 05:57 PM
Another Way to Look at Teaching Grammar
Teaching grammar is quite often a thankless job. Many students consider learning grammar useless, a colossal waste of time, and quite hateful; similarly, many teachers, even though they may lament the poor writing skills of students in general, claim grammar instruction is worthless as it does not lead to better writing. These students and educators share the notion it is not how a student expresses him- or herself that matters but what he or she has to say about a subject. In short, they argue for a focus on content not grammar.
Where one stands in debates about grammar locates him or her in the historical dialectic continuum of composition teaching pedagogy: the decade in which one was instructed and its particular language teaching methodology reflects his or her beliefs about language learning and, in turn, how much he or she esteems grammar. You can see this by looking at foreign language (FL) teaching pedagogy in general and English-as-a-second-language (ESL) teaching in specific over the past 100 years. The latter has been informed and shaped by some of the same linguistic and cognitive learning principles that have shaped most American public school English composition classes over the century. What follows is a quick sketch of grammar's up-and-down role in FL and ESL language classrooms from the late 1980s to the present.
For eons grammar was unquestionably an intrinsic part of language and writing pedagogy--to separate it out would have been unthinkable. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy1 informs me that to learn a language was to learn its grammatical rules and memorize its vocabulary and verb structures, which one did through various writing exercises and by translating literary texts. With little to no emphasis on content or the communication of ideas, the focus of this Classical Method was on grammar. In the 1800s this classical pedagogy took its current name of Grammar Translation and its first challengers, François Gouin and Charles Berlitz.
By memorizing not only an entire grammar book but also 248 irregular verbs, Gouin valiantly tried but failed to teach himself German using the Classical Method. Observing how toddlers learned first languages and deducing second language learning might be similar, he developed what he called the Series Method, which he presented in The Art of Learning and Studying Foreign Languages. He essentially argued people learn languages by using them for communicative purposes and talking about the real things and situations around them, not by memorizing rules. By not focusing on grammatical forms, you could say Gouin shifted the focus in language teaching to content and meaning. Although first, Gouin's work never gained the prestige of Berlitz's work.
Still with us today, the Berlitz Method was for the early 20th century a popular way to learn a foreign language. That it subordinated the role of grammar is clear in my grandmother's old French textbook, Méthode Berlitz: 1er Livre.2Explaining his method, Berlitz aims to teach "in a novel and attractive way….To avoid the dry instruction in theoretical grammar, we have presented the subject in the garb of practical and entertaining illustrations, closely connected with object teaching. The student, through in reality studying grammar, does not perceive that he is familiarized with the rules of that dreaded wearisome science, but enjoys the exercises as an attractive and useful conversation" (p. 7). Evidently, a general antipathy towards grammar is not new, so learning it inductively would be a great plus.
Berlitz's method and those of Gouin and others are known as the Direct Method. Although popular, this method was superseded in the 1920s by the old, classical, form-emphasizing Grammar Translation Method, which held reign until the 1950s when it was supplanted by the Audiolingual Method (ALM), a method morphed out of, you guessed it, the Direct Method. In a kind of behavioral conditioning, students did language drills, memorized set phrases and patterns, learned vocabulary in context, and focused on correct form and the production of error-free sentences, but they did not receive explicit grammar instruction. Once again, it turns out learning grammar happens inductively.
By the 1960s, however, Chomsky's linguistic theories and the recognition ALM students weren't proficient speakers put grammar in the spotlight again. Also, a definite split in educators' beliefs about the efficacy of teaching grammar in FL and ESL classes appeared, and this split is still with us. Painting it broadly, one camp believes grammar is learned inductively while the other believes it has to be learned deductively. From the 1970s through the early 1980s, we see a great variety in methods, ranging from the grammar-based Total Physical Response Method to the meaning-focused Natural Way. The 1980s presented a shift from method-based pedagogy to a broader approach, communicative language teaching (CLT) which, rightfully so I think, focuses on the expressive use of language for communicating and interacting meaningfully with others. Unfortunately, however, CLT's breadth has resulted in broad misinterpretations of its concepts, and under fuzzy terms such as "whole language" and the belief that grammar is learned inductively, grammar instruction disappeared from many language classrooms, FL, ESL, and regular English composition alike. But not forever.
Yes, since the 1990s many are calling for explicit grammar instruction. Students and educators shaped by a particular decade's methodology will pick a seat at one end or the other of this meaning/content-grammar/form seesaw. For me, the obvious seat is the fulcrum. I just cannot divorce the one from the other. To talk about a student's meaning, her content, is to talk about her form, the grammar through which she expresses herself, from the overall structure down to individual morphemes. And our trip through the century tells us the obvious: grammar is both inductively and deductively learned.
Rather than seeing grammar and meaning as linear opposites, we might envision them as the circular uroborus, the snake eating its tail. This would remind us that they are both necessary, critical parts not only of the whole communicative process but also of language pedagogy. It also recognizes that the "dreaded wearisome science" grammar is difficult to swallow.Brown, H. D. (2001). A "methodical" history of language teaching. In Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (2rd ed.). New York: Longman Press.
Berlitz, M. D. (1889). Méthode Berlitz: 1er Livre. New York: M. J. Pendergast.

Ms. Grammars (http://www.siue.edu/IS/WRITING/NewsletterC/Issue%204/page3.html)