English Grammar Zhong Caishun Tel: 13699529035 Email: [email protected] QQ: 641911103 First thing goes first! 1. What is grammar? 2. Why do we study grammar? 3. How can grammar be acquired/learned? 4. What shall we do in this course? 1. What is grammar Grammar is the formal study of the structure of a language and describes how words fit together in meaningful constructions. A property of brain a specific description, study or analysis of rules for language use Home computers are now much cheaper. Home computers now much are cheaper.* Susan likes Tom. Tom likes Susan. operational grammar vs. analytic grammar We acquire a working knowledge of our native language simply through being exposed to it from early childhood. You study grammar, however, if you want to be able to analyse your language. The analytic grammar makes explicit the knowledge of the rules with which you operate when you use the language. Descriptive vs. prescriptive A descriptive rule is one that describes how people use their language. Sometimes people speaking the same dialect disagree in their evaluation of particular sentences. For example, some speakers of standard British English find acceptable I demand that she gives her reasons; others prefer or require a different form of the verb in the thatclause, either that she give her reasons or that she should give her reasons. Rules that specify which usages should be adopted or avoided are called prescriptive rules. Examples of prescriptive rules are: Don’t use like as a conjunction, as in He speaks like his father does. Don’t use between you and I. Don’t split an infinitive, as in to actually feel. Don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Knowing the rules in evaluative and operational senses does not mean that you can say what the rules are. What makes a good rule? Truth Limitation Clarity Simplicity Familiarity Relevance 2. Why do we study grammar? Read the following two reflective comments and discuss your opinions Reflection A language is learned through practice. It is merely perfected through grammar. 3. How can grammar be acquired or learned? Implicit or explicit Inductive or deductive Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP) Models a structured three-stage sequence: a presentation stage a practice stage In the presentation stage, the new grammar rule or structure is introduced, usually through a text, a dialogue, or a story that includes the structure. The students listen to the text or read it out loud. The main purpose of this stage is to help students become familiar with the new grammatical structure and keep it in their short-term memory (Ur, 1988). In this stage, students are given various kinds of written and spoken exercises to repeat, manipulate, or reproduce the new forms. The practice stage usually begins with controlled practices that focus learners’ attention on specific structures and then moves to less controlled practices with more open-ended activities. The aim of the practice stage is to help students gain control of the knowledge introduced in the presentation stage, to take it in, and to move it from their short-term memory to their long-term memory (Ur, 1988). and a production stage In the production stage, learners are encouraged to use the rules they have learned in the presentation and practice stages more freely and in more communicative activities. The aim of this last stage is to fully master the new form by enabling learners to internalize the rules and use them automatically and spontaneously. PPP Presentation Present continuous Can any body tell me what Jim is doing? What is Mary doing? Practice Repetition in chorus or individually Production Describe an ongoing activity criticism While there is substantial evidence that grammar instruction results in learning as measured by discrete-point language tests (e.g., the grammar test in the TOEFL), there is much less evidence to show that it leads to the kind of learning that enables learners to perform the targeted form in free oral production (e.g., in a communicative task). Where syntax is concerned, research has demonstrated that learners rarely, if ever, move from zero to targetlike mastery of new items in one step. Both naturalistic and classroom learners pass through fixed developmental sequences in word order, negation, questions, relative clauses, and so on—sequences which have to include often quite lengthy stages of nontargetlike use of forms as well as use of nontargetlike forms. Besides practice, language acquisition processes appear to be governed by many psychological constraints (Pienemann, 1998). Communicative approaches the aim of language learning as acquiring communicative ability, that is, the ability to use and interpret meaning in real-life communication (Widdowson, 1978), not simply learning formal grammatical rules and structures linguistic competence (i.e., knowledge of grammar rules) and communicative competence (i.e., knowledge of language use and the ability to use language) no established instructional procedures notional-functional curriculums, the procedural, process-based syllabuses, content-based and immersion models, task-based instruction Integrative approaches Recent research in second language acquisition (SLA), however, has led to a reconsideration of the importance of grammar. Many researchers now believe that grammar teaching should not be ignored in second language classrooms. Language teaching professionals have also become increasingly aware that grammar instruction plays an important role in language teaching and learning. There are a number of reasons for this re-evaluation of the role of grammar. 4. What to do in this course? Course syllabus The focus today is on entertainment to such a degree that society expects even learning to be “fun,” an attitude that trivializes the hard work necessary to master any subject (see Williams, 2002). ? Don’t forget assignment for next week! Read Chapter 1 Write memo Do E.B. (pp.1-7) Prepare presentation if it is your group’s turn.