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Chapter I

Introduction
Grammar is central to the teaching and learning of languages. It is also one of the
more difficult aspects of language to teach well.
Many people, including language teachers, hear the word "grammar" and think of a
fixed set of word forms and rules of usage. They associate "good" grammar with the
prestige forms of the language, such as those used in writing and in formal oral
presentations, and "bad" or "no" grammar with the language used in everyday
conversation or used by speakers of no prestige forms.
Language teachers who adopt this definition focus on grammar as a set of forms and
rules. They teach grammar by explaining the forms and rules and then drilling students on
them. This results in bored, disaffected students who can produce correct forms on
exercises and tests, but consistently make errors when they try to use the language in
context.
Other language teachers, influenced by recent theoretical work on the difference
between language learning and language acquisition, tend not to teach grammar at all.
Believing that children acquire their first language without overt grammar instruction,
they expect students to learn their second language the same way. They assume that
students will absorb grammar rules as they hear, read, and use the language in
communication activities. This approach does not allow students to use one of the major
tools they have as learners: their active understanding of what grammar is and how it
works in the language they already know.
The communicative competence model balances these extremes. The model
recognizes that overt grammar instruction helps students acquire the language more
efficiently, but it incorporates grammar teaching and learning into the larger context of
teaching students to use the language. Instructors using this model teach students the
grammar they need to know to accomplish defined communication tasks.Teaching
grammar to young learners requires an extensive knowledge of a great number of issues.
Not only is it crucial to be aware of various teaching methods and approaches but also it
is fundamental to be familiar with the principles of the development of childrens
intelligence.

Whenever we attempt to present grammar to young learners, we have to face several


difficulties. As it is usually not possible to avoid explaining the theory of grammar, it is a
challenging task to find such ways which enable young learners to internalize the new
pieces of information and encourage them to use the new skills and knowledge in
practice.
The aims of this paper are to study and describe the development of childrens
intelligence from the viewpoint of learning abilities and mention such methods and
techniques which follow the principles of the development. All the issues mentioned will
be involved in the discussion part.

Chapter II
Discusion
1. Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of
clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study
of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often
complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. Linguists do not normally use the
term to refer to orthographical rules, although usage books and style guides that call
themselves grammars may also refer to spelling and punctuation.

2. Characteristics of Young Learners


Here are some characteristics of young learners.
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They have short attention span. So teachers should vary their techniques to break

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the boredom. They should give varied activities as handwriting, songs, games etc.
They are very active. Try to ask them to play games, role play dialogues and

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4.

involve them in competitions.


They respond well to praising. Always encourage them and praise their work.
They differ in their experience of language. Treat them as a unit; don't favor those

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who know some English at the expense of those who do not know.
They are less shy than older learners. Ask them to repeat utterances, resort to

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mechanical drills.
They are imaginative. Use realia or pictures to teach new vocabulary related to

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concrete meanings.
They enjoy learning through playing. Young learners learn best when they learn

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through games. Let games be an essential part of your teaching.


They are less shy than older learners.
They enjoy imitating and skilful in listening accurately and mimicking what they

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have heard.
They respond well to rewards from the teacher.
They are imaginative but may have some difficulties distinguishing between
imagination and real world

1. Teaching Grammar
4.1 The Importance of Teaching Grammar

Grammar is important because it is the language that makes it possible for us to


talk about language. Grammar names the types of words and word groups that make
up sentences not only in English but in any language. As human beings, we can put
sentences together even as children--we can all do grammar. But to be able to talk
about how sentences are built, about the types of words and word groups that make up
sentences--that is knowing about grammar. And knowing about grammar offers a
window into the human mind and into our amazingly complex mental capacity.
People associate grammar with errors and correctness. But knowing about
grammar also helps us understand what makes sentences and paragraphs clear and
interesting and precise. Grammar can be part of literature discussions, when we and
our students closely read the sentences in poetry and stories. And knowing about
grammar means finding out that all languages and all dialects follow grammatical
patterns.

4.2 Goals and Techniques for Teaching Grammar


4.2.1 Goal for teaching grammar
The goal of grammar instruction is to enable students to carry out their
communication purposes. This goal has three implications:

Students need overt instruction that connects grammar points with larger
communication contexts.

Students do not need to master every aspect of each grammar point, only those
that are relevant to the immediate communication task.
4.2.2 Techniques for teaching grammar
An important part of grammar instruction is providing examples. Teachers need to

plan their examples carefully around two basic principles:

Be sure the examples are accurate and appropriate. They must present the
language appropriately, be culturally appropriate for the setting in which they are
used, and be to the point of the lesson.

Use the examples as teaching tools. Focus examples on a particular theme or topic
so that students have more contact with specific information and vocabulary.
In the communicative competence model, the purpose of learning grammar is to

learn the language of which the grammar is a part. Instructors therefore teach

grammar forms and structures in relation to meaning and use for the specific
communication tasks that students need to complete.
Compare the traditional model and the communicative competence model for
teaching the English past tense:
Traditional: grammar for grammar's sake

Teach the regular -ed form with its two pronunciation variants

Teach the doubling rule for verbs that end in d (for example, wed-wedded)

Hand out a list of irregular verbs that students must memorize

Do pattern practice drills for -ed

Do substitution drills for irregular verbs

Communicative competence: grammar for communication's sake

Distribute two short narratives about recent experiences or events, each one to half
of the class

Teach the regular -ed form, using verbs that occur in the texts as examples. Teach
the pronunciation and doubling rules if those forms occur in the texts.

Teach the irregular verbs that occur in the texts.

Students read the narratives, ask questions about points they don't understand.

Students work in pairs in which one member has read Story A and the other Story
B. Students interview one another; using the information from the interview, they
then write up or orally repeat the story they have not read.

4.3 Teaching Grammar for Young Learners


4.3.1 Methods for Teaching Grammar
There are three common methods used to teach children: Grammar
Translation, Total Physical Response (TPR), and Communicate Language
Teaching (CLT).
a. Grammar Translation
The teacher gives children lists of vocabulary with translations or example
sentences with translated grammar explanations. Students should memorize these
and then are tested.
o

Advantages

It is an easy way to present new language and it ensures that students


understand the second language.
o

Disadvantages
It can be boring, especially for children who prefer more active learning
tasks.

b. Total Physical Response (TPR)


The teacher asks students to perform actions, e.g. Stand up. Give me a
pen. Action songs, stories, and rhymes are often used in TPR.
o

Advantages
It is a very useful method for beginners, and is more entertaining and
active than Grammar Translation.

Disadvantages
It is not as useful with higher level students, and focuses mostly on
listening.

c. Communicate Language Teaching (CLT)


Students work together to perform real-life communication. Surveys,
interviews, and solving puzzles are examples of CLT activities.
o

Advantages
Focuses on fluency, engages children, and allows children to express
themselves.

Disadvantages
Shy students may have difficulty with this method, and the teacher many
have difficulty keeping students speaking in English (rather than Chinese).
Teachers should remember to include not only fluency but accuracy as
well in their CLT lessons.

All three methods can be used in the classroom; the teacher does not need to
choose one. There is no proof that one is better than the others. If you get to know
your students and their likes and dislikes, you can choose the type of activities that
they enjoy the best

4.3.2 Techniques for Teaching Grammar


1. Play games. Games that incorporate grammar keep young learners motivated
and entertained while encouraging them to participate in a more relaxed
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environment. There are plenty of board games for teaching ESL grammar to
young learners, usually for specific grammar points, such as using the present
tense or understanding determiners. If you are feeling particularly creative,
you can design your own classroom games to teach grammar to your students.
2. Use animated TV shows and movies. The simple language and visual imagery
of animated TV shows and movies makes them easy for young learners to
follow, even if they don't understand everything that is being said. Watching
something during a class seems like a fun day off for children, but they
actually absorb a significant amount of grammar and vocabulary from TV
shows and movies. Take notes during the showing of which grammar points
you want to review from the film.
3. Sing songs with your students that reinforce grammar points. Songs use simple
language and a repetitive structure that children remember and understand
easily. You can find free ESL songs for children online or invest in a song
book with an audio CD if you give a lot of ESL classes to young learners.
4. Create or find grammar exercises with clear illustrations or pictures.
Illustrations help young learners understand and remember grammar lessons.
Associating grammar point with pictures helps them recall the language
elements that were learned and use them in a new context.
5. Speak slowly and avoid using slang, idioms or too many phrasal verbs. It's
easy to become relaxed and begin switching words such as "increase" for the
more spoken "go up," but these times of language elements are difficult for
young ESL learners to understand. Speak as you would to a child two to three
years younger than the actual age of your students.
6. Choose politically neutral and religion-free material. Subjects that are not
controversial in the United States may be taboo in other countries and cultures.
Make sure you understand what is appropriate for your students and choose
accordingly.

4.3.3 Example of Real Application in Teaching Grammar to Young Learners


a. Game-like activities
Although a game-like activity seems to be a very easy and natural way of
learning, it is not an easy task for a teacher to prepare a good activity. We have to be
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aware of two basic aspects. Firstly, what we expect from the particular activity. We
should consider whether the game-like activity is for children only to make the lesson
more attractive and protect them from being bored or whether we tend to revise and
practise some particular part of grammar, vocabulary etc. Secondly, it is important not
to waste our time. Some activities have too complicated rules or on the other hand,
some activities are too simple and both the cases make children speak their native
language, which we definitely want to avoid. Most of them concern giving commands
(e.g. Simon Says etc.). Such activities are actually he last category concerns game-like
activities in which we use some materials, e.g. pictures, puzzles, crosswords,
matching exercises etc. Pictures are usually considered to be suitable only for
vocabulary revision but we can use them to practise grammar as well. Children look at
the picture and then they tell us what the people in the picture are doing. This is good
for practising the present continuous tense.
We can think about a number of such activities, e.g. various types of
crosswords and puzzles. Let us mention just one type of a puzzle which children
usually enjoy very much. We have chosen the simplest version possible but we can
add more verbs, change the shape of the chain and actually adapt it as we need.

Firstly, we prepare the following puzzle.


swimminglucksleepingwxopeningwritinggoingdoinghapyfallingboloin

Secondly, children are told to find all the verbs ending with ing. Such activities are
usually played in pairs or small groups as children prefer playing games in groups.
When they find all the verbs, they are encouraged to make their own sentences
containing the verbs in the ing forms. After that the children are asked to read their
sentences. If we have enough time, we can ask a child to act a sentence from the
puzzle and the other children try to guess what the sentence is. As you can see, in a
short time we are able to involve and practise visual differentiation, making sentences,
reading sentences and acting.

b. Drama
All the vocabulary and grammar which they have already been taught
suddenly gains the quality of something real, something which really exists and is
useful for their lives. There are several types of activities which concern drama.
Actually all the activities which are based on movement and imagination could be
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included into this category. The ways in which we present drama in our lessons can
involve very simple activities, such as miming.
Other activities are more difficult and they deal with speaking as e.g. in the
cases mentioned above. We try to imagine that we are in a shop and we want to do
some shopping. Firstly we have to teach the children all the necessary phrases and
expressions and then we let them act the real situation in a shop. It is more interesting
for them if we tell them a lesson before so that they can bring all the things they need.
They enjoy if they have some real goods to sell and buy, if they can change their
clothes etc. The most demanding way of presenting drama in our lessons is to perform
real plays adapted for young learners. Either we can prepare the script ourselves or we
can use some specialised literature.
c. Literature
Either pupils can read texts and articles in their textbooks or they can read real
books with stories and fairy tales adapted for young readers. Both kinds of texts are
usually accompanied by related activities which concern asking and answering
questions, drawing pictures etc. Let us draw our attention to a different way of
working with literature and reading skills and it is making a story. Making a story is
an enormous popular activity among children. Not only are they told to use some
particular parts of grammar and vocabulary but also they are encouraged to use their
creativity and imagination.
The simplest version possible is to tell the children to write a story. If we
intend to practise a particular part of grammar or vocabulary, we tell them to write the
story in the particular tense and we give them a list of words which we want them to
use. It is fundamental not to help the children too much because it is not our main
purpose to get stories without any mistakes but to make them use their knowledge as
much as they can and what is more, it is essential for them to learn how to work with
a dictionary.
d. Total Physical Response (TPR)
Total Physical Response, known as TPR, was developed by Dr. James J.
Asher. The method is based on the fact that young children learn their mother tongue
by listening to the speech of their parents. They listen to what their mothers tell them
and they react. They do not have to study from textbooks to learn the language. It is
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enough just to listen carefully. Mothers tell their children to smile, to grab something,
to look at something or somebody and the baby does what he/she is told to do. They
do not speak for a long time but their responses are purely physical, they move, smile,
look at people etc. After some time they are able to speak as well. The method of TPR
works with the same principles. (Asher, James J. Total Physical Response).
The teacher says his/her students to do something, e.g. to swim, to run, to
write, to walk, to turn left, to turn right, to jump etc. and the students react according
to the instructions. Then it is up to the students to utter the instructions themselves and
they say the commands to the teacher. What is important is the fact that a teacher is
the first person who speaks and students just listen and react. Students have to be
given enough time to internalise what the teacher is saying to them.
Although it is very common to use commands as the practical method of TPR,
it is possible to use TPR in many more ways. Some of them cannot be considered as
strictly TPR methods but all of them are based on the most important principles of
TPR. If we intend to practise the present simple tense, we choose a pupil and we
describe what the pupil does every day. We say that he/she gets up at seven oclock,
then he/she washes his/her face, has breakfast, drinks tea, puts on his/her jeans, combs
his/her hair, goes to school etc. The chosen pupil listens to our description and acts
according to the instructions. Of course, it is possible to practise similarly the present
continuous tense, the past simple tense etc. Not only grammatical tenses, but also
other aspects of a foreign language are possible to practise with the help of TPR. Let
me mention how for example prepositions can be taught in this way. You call pupils
and tell them exactly where they are supposed to sit or stand. You say, Peter, sit on
the carpet in front of the board. Paul, stand behind Peter. Lucy, sit between Peter and
Paul. Susie, stand next to Lucy. Then you choose a pupil who describes where
his/her friends are exactly standing / sitting. After a few lessons it is good to let
students instruct their friends and make them speak. It is a natural and enjoyable way
of acquiring new vocabulary and grammatical structures.
e. Multisensory approach
Teacher should know our pupils well and it is our task to offer them the best
and most suitable ways of learning. Some people prefer visual learning, other people
like auditory learning and others need kinaesthetic experience. That is the reason why
it is so important to combine various teaching methods and not to be focused only on
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such methods which make students employ just one sense. We want our pupils to
read, speak and actually think in English. Therefore we should use the multisensory
approach which leads to the development of all their skills.
Such students remember best everything what they can see. We have to use
enough texts, pictures, videos etc. Visual types of people have to imagine the texts an
pictures in their minds and therefore they need enough time and space for
communicating their thoughts. They often move when they speak and they do not
usually look directly at the person they are speaking to. It is not caused by their
impoliteness but by the fact that they need to avoid all the distracting elements in their
surroundings. On the other hand, visual types of people are very good in creative
thinking and they have many interesting ideas and opinions. (Hanzelinova, Lada et al.
Neurolingvistick programovn).
The people auditory like if new pieces of information and instructions are
presented in a spoken way. For them it is much more important what their teachers
say than what their teachers write on a board. If they want to understand a problem,
they usually have to say the problem aloud. Although auditory types of people like
listening to what other people say and speaking, they need certain calm conditions to
be able to communicate, otherwise they become nervous and sometimes aggressive.
The last remarkable group of people are people preferring a kinaesthetic type
of stimulation. For these people it is crucial to experience the feeling of motion. Not
only motion is important for them, but also emotions in general. These people are
very sensitive, although they can look like being completely insensitive as far as other
people are concerned because they are too focused on their own feelings and
emotions. We should offer these people enough opportunities to move as motion is
what makes them relaxed and calm.
f. Song
Since the meaning is an important device in teaching grammar, it is important
to contextualize any grammar point. Songs are one of the most enchanting and
culturally rich resources that can easily be used in language classrooms. Songs offer a
change from routine classroom activities. They are precious resources to develop
students abilities in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They can also be used to
teach a variety of language items such as sentence patterns, vocabulary,
pronunciation, rhythm, adjectives, and adverbs. As stated by Lo and Fai Li (1998:8),
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learning English through songs also provides a non-threatening atmosphere for


students, who usually are tense when speaking English in a formal classroom setting.
Songs also give new insights into the target culture. They are the means
through which cultural themes are presented effectively. Since they provide authentic
texts, they are motivating. Prosodic features of the language such as stress, rhythm,
intonation are presented through songs, thus through using them the language which
is cut up into a series of structural points becomes a whole again.
There are many advantages of using songs in the classroom. Through using
contemporary popular songs, which are already familiar to teenagers, the teacher can
meet the challenges of the teenage needs in the classroom. Since songs are highly
memorable and motivating, in many forms they may constitute a powerful subculture
with their own rituals. Furthermore, through using traditional folk songs the base of
the learners knowledge of the target culture can be broadened. Correctly chosen,
traditional folk songs have the dual motivating attack of pretty tunes and interesting
stories, plus for many students- the added ingredient of novelty (Hill, 1999:29). Most
songs, especially folk songs, follow a regularly repeated verse form, with rhyme, and
have a series of other discourse features, which make them easy to follow.

Chapter IV
Conclusion
In the theoretical part we the problems of the development of childrens intelligence.
We mentioned typical features of childrens abilities, skills and their approaches towards
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learning and what is more, we described several methods that can be used in teaching young
learners.
It is always up to a teacher to decide which methods and approaches he/she is going to
introduce. Every teacher has a different way of teaching, presenting new information and
dealing with children. Nevertheless, there are some basic and fundamental rules that ought to
be followed by all the teachers.
Although young learners differ from adults, they are not without any previous
experience, knowledge and they have several skills, abilities and instincts that facilitate
teachers attempts to present new information and make children be able to use this
information in practice.
The last section of the theoretical part dealt with particular methods used by teachers.
It is a teachers choice to choose the most suitable methods which fulfil both teachers and
childrens needs. Notwithstanding this teachers freedom, a good teacher has to avoid using
only one type of similar methods and he/she has to combine methods that stimulate all the
pupils senses. That is the only way that a child can be able to pay attention to what the
teacher is presenting and only such an approach makes the child remember all the important
facts and use them in practice. Every child is an individual and so he/she needs and deserves
an individual approach. That is the reason why a teacher has to be a psychologist and should
try to ascertain what kind of learning the particular child needs and offer him/her such
methods that enhance the childs attitude towards learning in general.

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