Формирование грамматических навыков на начальном этапе обучения иностранному языку (Introduction)

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Language is the chief means by which the human personality expresses itself and fulfills its basic need for social interaction with other persons.

The aim of the foreign language is primary schools is to develop pupils` skills and understanding English speech and participating in conversation based on the topics covered.

Robert Lado wrote that language functions owing to the language skills. A person who knows a language perfectly uses a thousand and one grammar lexical, phonetic rules when he is speaking. Language skills help us to choose different words and models in our speech.

In my diploma paper I examine the forming of grammar skills. Grammar is known to be an important component of the language as a system. Communicative skills without regular using grammar are limited.

It is clear that the term “grammar” has meant various things at various times and sometimes several things at one time. This plurality of meaning is characteristic of the present time and is the source of confusions in the discussion of grammar as part of the education of children. There have been taking place violent disputes on the subject of teaching grammar at school.

The ability to talk about the grammar of a language, to recite its rules, is also very different from ability to speak and understand a language or to read and write it. Those who can use a language are often unable to recite its rules, and those who can recite its rules can be unable to use it. Nowadays we can hear the following opinions among teachers of foreign language: One teacher says, “ I do not favor teaching any grammar before the fifth grade, and not much then,” another is likely to reply, “But if you do not, how will your students learn to capitalize correctly, to punctuate sentences, or to spell accurately?” Another teacher remarks,

“If you teach no grammar, how can you expect to have correct usage in speech and writing?”

In the elementary grades the major emphasis will be upon the actual use, rather than upon knowledge of the language itself and attention to restrictive rules. Grammar of the analytical and structural sort will have little place or no place in the elementary grades, but the oral and written conventions of English, those which function in actual speaking and writing, will be of chief concern.

Grammar organizes the vocabulary and as a result we have sense units. There is a system of stereotypes, which organizes words into sentences. But what skill does grammar develop?

First of all it gives the ability to make up sentences correctly, to reproduce the text adequately. (the development of practical skills and habits)

  • The knowledge of the specific grammar structure helps pupils point out the differences between the mother tongue and the target language.

  • The knowledge of grammar develops abilities to abstract systematize plural facts.

Examining the problem of grammar skills we must acquire how they are defined in literature. We must differentiate their kinds, features, and the conditions under which they are formed, the steps of forming grammar skills, and the grammar minimum for the primary school.

Learning grammar and forming grammar skills are important tasks of the subject “Foreign language” at the primary school. It is necessary for children not to make grammar mistakes. Roberto Lado wrote that a mistake is the wrong skill the aim of my diploma paper is to prevent children from making grammar mistakes, i.e. to form grammar skills. I think that the best way to form grammar skills is to use a lot of training exercises and individual approach in teaching grammar.


Theoretical part

he Importance of Grammar in Learning a Foreign


To judge by the way some people speak, there is no place for grammar in the language course nowadays; yet it is, in reality, as important as it ever was exercise of correct grammar, if he is to attain any skill of effective use of the language, but he need not know consciously formulated rules to account to him for that he does unconsciously correctly.

In order to understand a language and to express oneself correctly one must assimilate the grammar mechanism of the language studied. Indeed, one may know all the words in a sentence and yet fail to understand it, if one does not see the relation between the words in the given sentence. And vice versa, a sentence may contain one, two, and more in known words but if one has a good knowledge of the structure of the language one can easily guess the meaning of these words or at least find them in a dictionary.

No speaking is possible without the knowledge of grammar, without the forming of a grammar mechanism.

If learner has acquired such a mechanism, he can produce correct sentences in a foreign language. Paul Roberts writes: “ Grammar is something that produces the sentences of a language. By something we mean a speaker of English. If you speak English natively, you have built into you rules of English grammar. In a sense, you are an English grammar. You possess, as an essential part of your being, a very complicated apparatus which enables you to produce infinitely many sentences, all English ones, including many that you have never specifically learned. Furthermore by applying you rule you can easily tell whether a sentence that you hear a grammatical English sentence or not.” *1

A command of English as is envisaged by the school syllabus cannot be ensured without the study of grammar . Pupils need grammar to be able to aud, speak, read, and write in the target language.

*1 Roberts P. English Sentences. New York, 1962, p.1

A Brief Review Of The Major Methods

Of Foreign Language Teaching.

The grammatical systems of Russian and English are fundamentally different. English is an analytical language, in which grammatical meaning in largely expressed through the use of additional words and by changes in word order. Russian is a synthetic language, in which the majority of grammatical forms are created through changes in the structure of words, by means of a developed system of prefixes, suffixes and ending. ( p. 121,

Brown C. and Jule “Teaching the spoken language”, Cambridge, 1983)

No one knows exactly how people learn languages although a great deal of research has been done into the subject.

Many methods have been proposed for the teaching of foreign language. And they have met with varying degrees of success and failure.

We should know that the method by which children are taught must have some effect on their motivation. If they find it deadly boring they will probably become de-motivated, whereas if they have confidence in the method they will find it motivating. Child learners differ from adult learners in many ways. Children are curious, their attention is of a shorter duration, they are quite differently motivated in, their interests are less specialized. They need frequent of activity; they need activities which are exciting and stimulating their curiosity; they need to be involved in something active.

We shall examine such methods as “The Grammar – Translation Method”, ”The Direct Method”, “The Audio-lingual Method”. And we pay attention to the teaching grammar of the foreign language. We shall comment those methods, which have had a long history.

The Grammar Translation method will be discussed.

This method was widely used in teaching the classics, namely Latin, and it was transferred to the teaching of modern languages when they were introduced into schools

In the grammar-translation mode, the books begin with definitions of the parts of speech, declensions, conjugations, rules to be memorized, examples illustrating the rules, and exceptions. Often each unit has a paragraph to be translated into the target language and one to be translated into native one. These paragraphs illustrate the grammar rules studied in the unit. The student is expected to apply the rules on his own. This involves a complicated mental manipulation of the conjugations and declensions in the order memorized, down to the form that might fit the translation. As a result, students are unable to use the language, and they sometimes develop an inferiority complex about languages in general. Exceptionally bright and diligent students do learn languages by this method, or in spite of it, but they would learn with any method.



  1. Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language.

  2. Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.

  3. Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given.

  4. Grammar provides the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of word.

  5. Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.

  6. Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis.

  7. Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue.

  8. Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.

Brown H., Douglas ‘Principles of language teaching’, N.Y., 1987

e list the major characteristics of Grammar Translation.

The grammar-translation method is largely discredited today. With greater interest in modern languages for communication the inadequacy of grammar-translation methods became evident.

The Direct Method.

The Direct Method appeared as a reaction against the grammar-translation method.

There was a movement in Europe that emphasized language learning by direct contact with the foreign language in meaningful situations. This movement resulted in various individual methods with various names, such as new method, natural method, and even oral method, but they can all be referred to as direct methods or the direct method. In addition to emphasizing direct contact with the foreign language, the direct method usually deemphasized or eliminated translation and the memorization of conjugations, declensions, and rules, and in some cases it introduced phonetics and phonetic transcription.

The direct method assumed that learning a foreign language is the same as learning the mother tongue, that is, that exposing the student directly to the foreign language impresses it perfectly upon his mind. This is true only up to a point, since the psychology of learning a second language differs from that of learning the first. The child is forced to learn the first language because he has no other effective way to express his wants. In learning a second language this compulsion is largely missing, since the student knows that he can communicate through his native language when necessary.

  1. Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language.

  2. Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught.

  3. Oral communication skills were built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and student in small, intensive classes.

  4. Grammar was taught inductively, i.e. the learner may discover the rules of grammar for himself after he has become acquainted with many examples.

  5. New teaching points were introduced orally.

  6. Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.

  7. Both speech and listening comprehension were taught.

  8. Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized.

The basic premise of Direct Method was that second language learning should be more like first language learning: lots of active oral interaction, spontaneous use of the language, no translation between first and second languages, and little or no analysis of grammatical rules. We can summarize the principles of the Direct


The Direct Method enjoyed considerable popularity through the end of nineteenth century and well into this one.

Now we shall discuss “The Audiolingual Method”.

The Audiolingual Method (It is also called Mimicry-memorization method) was the method developed in the Intensive Language Program. It was successful because of high motivation, intensive practice, small classes, and good models, in addition to linguistically sophisticated descriptions of the foreign language and its grammar.

  1. New material is presented in dialog form.

  2. There is dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and overlearning.

  3. Structures are sequenced by means of contrastive analysis and taught one at a time.

  4. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills.

  5. There is a little or no grammatical explanation: grammar is taught by inductive analogy rather than deductive explanation.

  6. Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context.

  7. There is much use of tapes, language labs, and visual aids.

  8. Great importance is attached to pronunciation.

  9. very little use of the mother tongue by teachers is permitted.

  10. Successful responses are immediately reinforced.

  11. There is a great effort to get students to produce error-free utterances.

  12. There is a tendency to manipulate language and disregard content.

Grammar is taught essentially as follows: Some basic sentences are memorized by imitation. Their meaning is given in normal expressions in the native language, and the students are not expected to translate word for word. When the basic sentences have been overlearned (completely memorized so that the student can rattle them off without effort), the student reads fairly extensive descriptive grammar statements in his native language, with examples in the target language and native language equivalents. He then listens to further conversational sentences for practice in listening . Finally, practices the dialogues using the basic sentences and combinations of their parts. When he can, he varies the dialogues within the material hr has already learned. The characteristics of ALM may be summed up in the following list:

Grammar explanations as used in the major methods.

We shall briefly review the treatment of grammatical explanations by some of the major methods. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study of all available methods; rather it is an attempt to show the variety of ways in which different methods deal with grammar explanations and may help teachers in evaluating available materials.

  1. Grammar translation is associated with formal rule statement. Learning proceeds, deductively, and the rule is generally stated by the teacher, in a textbook, or both. Traditional abstract grammatical terminology is used. Drills include translation into native language.

  2. The direct method is characterized by meaningful practice and exclusion of the mother tongue. This method has had many interpretations, some of which include an analysis of structure, but generally without the use of abstract grammatical terminology.

  3. T


    he audio-lingual method stresses an inductive presentation with extensive pattern practice. Writing is discouraged in the early stages of learning a structure. Here again, there has bee considerable variation in the realization of this approach. In some cases, no grammatical explanation of any kind is offered. In other, the teacher might focus on a particular structure by isolating an example on the board, or through contrast. When grammatical explanation is offered it is usually done at the end of the lesson as a summary of behavior (Politzer, 1965), or in later versions of this method the rule might be stated in the middle of the lesson and followed by additional drills.

Conscious grammar explanation



(rule of structure)

Deductive or Inductive presentation

The “explainer”

Language type used for explanation

Oral or written explanation





Book and/or teacher



Direct method

Yes or no


Inductive (if at all)

Teacher (when done)




Yes or no




Example or non-abstract


Each method is realized in techniques. By a technique we mean an individual way in doing something, in gaining a certain goal in teaching learning process. The method and techniques the teacher should use in teaching children of the primary school is the direct method, and various techniques which can develop pupils` listening comprehension and speaking. Pupils are given various exercises, connected with the situational use of words and sentence patterns.

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