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Grammar: Not a Tough Exercise!

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May 7, 2016

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Grammar: Not a Tough Exercise!

The immense contribution of Grammar to any language cannot be overlooked! Sans Grammar, language cannot stand on its feet to deliver something to children in a profound way.

Teaching any language without Grammar is like pulling a cart without wheels. Perhaps, you achieve that uphill battle of taking the cart to the requisite place but it will affect that cart, poorly. The same is the case with learners’ minds—teaching them language by giving less prominence to Grammar could make their approach towards English pretty crooked and in the long run, it will mould them into the road roller that, for sure, evens the surface. However, it might fall apart, thereby weakening the growth road; numerous vehicles of unknown experience would bulldoze the already weakened foundation.

Let’s take a bird eye’s view of grammar hailing from the first grammarian—Panini who once invented an innovative system more like a power algorithm, which bore resemblance to a computer’s function in the current scenario. His suggestions on Grammar are regarded with high value and all of them have been helpful for current scholars when it comes to adaptation.

While teaching grammar to children, there are several points to be kept in mind – First, don’t be too quick on a sweeping judgements! Step by step procedure is ideal as it aids better retention for learners But that does not mean one shall adhere to the strategy of that tortoise who slowly and steadily wins the race. In the contemporary world of stiff competition, we don’t have careless hares who take their competitors for granted. So, there should be a little pace but a systematic approach to keep the work burden under check.

The teaching method should stay simple and the teaching level must match the learner’s level. If the teacher steps a level up while elucidating a lesson to young learners (K–5), it will not be an easy acquisition for beefed-up learning. It’s like offering someone an ice-cream when he or she is thirsty (read: mishandling the learner’s need).

No doubt, an ice cream is a heartthrob, but when someone is thirsty, he would want water and not ice-cream to quench his thirst. When it comes to Grammar, the most common problems students initially face is with singular and plural nouns. When they are asked to give the plural of a word by adding‘s’ they are usually correct. However, the graph of mistakes rises when they are asked to write plurals for nouns ending in (s, x, z, ch, sh). With singular nouns ending in a consonant, the situation becomes more chaotic for them. They fail to add ‘ies’. Some learners become witty when there’s a case of irregular nouns—like the plural of man is men. But with the terms like – goose, knife, fungus and many more, they are not able to deliver the right answer.

Not only that, singular and plural verbs are often mistaken by learners. The concept of ‘is’ and ‘are’ puzzles them with specific cases like — the list of items is on the desk. Here, ‘list’ is the ‘subject’ so we choose ‘is’ instead of ‘are’. The basic rule for has and have is quite well understood, but for learners in the beginning it becomes a challenge to differentiate between the third person and other pronouns. For this, the teacher should make the concept of pronouns clear and then follow with teaching the third person.

This would make learning much easier and more comfortable. In short, the ideal strategy for teaching Grammar is to make the basics clear. Tell students to jot down every rule and revise the rules the next day by taking a 5 to 10 minutes session. Beyond doubt, vocabulary, idioms and several other factors contribute to your language, but Grammar has its own role.

So, don’t cram, just understand with basics!

Sahil Bhat is an ardent writer who admires writing on every possible theme. Although the fervent writer has done his masters in mass communication, it does not limit his skills to a particular domain. He is just a jack of all trades in terms of writing. With immense passion for writing, evident in his blogs, he has really touched the hearts of several with a total market experience of merely one and a half years. You can get in touch with him at sahilbhat.info@gmail.com

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