Teaching Grammar?

SHOULD GRAMMAR BE TAUGHT TO ESL LEARNERS?  IF ‘YES’ HOW SHOULD IT BE TAUGHT?

Some English language teachers believe that grammar should be taught as a
set of rules to be memorized, practiced, and followed.  Others argue that
grammar instruction should be tailor-made to meet the needs of students and
matched to the purpose of the user.

How important is grammar?  Can ESL learners learn English effectively without being taught the grammar of the language?   As teachers of English can we assume that prescriptive or descriptive approaches are singularly effective?
Professor S Mohanraj

The topic for discussion this time centers around the teaching of grammar.
This is a subject that has been discussed inconclusively since time
immemorial.  However, this does not make the discussion any redundant
today.  Here are some of my views, once again let me say these are my stray
thoughts:

Grammar teaching became a centre of controversy after the coining of the
terms ‘prescriptive’ and ‘descriptive’ grammars.  Can we really have completely descriptive grammars?  Any grammar by definition needs to be prescriptive, for it is a set of rules. If we accept this premise, I am also sure all of you agree with me that some grammar needs to be taught.

If we need to teach grammar, which grammar should we teach and how should we teach it are the two moot questions.

Grammar has a sentence as its unit of analysis.  A sentence for analysis in
grammar is often decontextualised.  Such sentences do not carry any meaning and they are analysed merely from point of view of structures.  In other words they are not understood in terms of situations in which they might acquire a different meaning.

It would therefore be best to think of teaching grammar in context.  Language can be perceived as performing a set of social functions. We need to negotiate these functions in order to live. Each situation demands not one
structure but a cluster of structure to negotiate.  These structures can be
put together and made into a bunch or cluster, and it is possible for the same
structure to exist in more than one cluster and perform different functions.

By doing this how do learners benefit?  Do they get confused?  In fact,
learners tend to associate a group of structures with a function and the new
language they are learning will acquire a realistic dimension.  They would be
able to compare their own language with the new language and understand
that there is a lot of similarities in the functions the two languages perform.
This also offers confidence.

Secondly, as the structures get repeated in different functions, the learning
gets reinforced in new ways.  The learners will realise that as in their mother
tongues the same structure (read sentence) can have more than one meaning
and use. This develops a healthy attitude among the learners.

If the teacher can read a lesson, and find out the various structures used in
the lesson in relation to a context or a function that these structures perform,
and relate it to learners life, that would be the best method of teaching
grammar.  A transformation exercise, filling the blanks, etc which are
conventional exercises have their place in learning.  But being able to use
language in appropriate contexts has a greater value.

What I have said here may sound idealistic. But there is no harm giving it a try.

note:

Do you agree with Professor Mohanraj’s views on grammar teaching?  You are welcome to respond to his views.

Expert Comment 1 :

The level of the learner matters

This is with reference to Prof. Mohanraj’s views on grammar teaching. I agree
with Prof. Mohanraj that teaching structures as rules to be blindly followed is
what is popularly understood as teaching of grammar and that we need to
relate grammar teaching to the social functions of structures.

However, I think there are some important points which we need to pay
attention to when considering teaching of grammar.  We need to extend our
concept of what constitutes grammar. Grammar is the underlying organization of thought structures. It is the way our intentions are realized in choosing certain words, arranging them in certain orders.
Therefore, once we begin from our intentions and how to link them to actual
language bits.  We are learning how to use grammar. There will be many
grammars. How does the teacher select which one is to be used? It is here
that the level of the learner is important.

At a young age, when students from class 1 to 4 learn English, explicit
teaching of ‘rules’ would be irrelevant. Stories with questions and answers,
simple descriptions, beginnings and conclusions are the best way students can be helped to internalize the linking between intentions and language.

At a later level, performing various tasks useful in school life may be
considered to be important. There will be some parts of the organization that
will be highlighted and some might not be so useful. But helping learners to
perform these tasks through easy to break down steps is a sure way of
enabling them to use grammar of communication.

Maya Pandit
Pro Vice-Chancellor
EFLU, Hyderabad

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About eltians

At present offering services as an Assistant Professor in M.A. ELT at H.M.Patel Institute of English Training & Research, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India View all posts by eltians

107 responses to “Teaching Grammar?

  • FAISAL

    Yes sir,As per my opinion,i would say that teaching grammar is an essential in the classroom cirriculum though taking into accoun certain criteria.Prescriptive grammar is something that may aid ESL learners which enables them to gulp the rules of grammar on their own rather than getting baffled by cramming them . Additionally,Contexualisation of language is quite crucial as one needs to learn language ultimately not grammar considering situation.

    • JITENDRA J. PRAJAPATI

      GOOD MORNING FAISAL,
      I read your comment upon given topic and I agree with your opinion that you believe, teaching grammar is an essential in the classroom curriculum though taking into account certain criteria.And I also think like so.And another idea that you think [Contextualization of language is quite crucial as one needs to learn language ultimately not grammar considering situation]is also right.

  • FAISAL

    Yes sir, as per my opinion, teaching grammar is prerequisite in classroom cirriculum though taking into account certain criteria.Additionally,Prescriptive grammar aids the learners of ESL and enables them to strive in language and get rules on their own.Hence,contexulization of language considering situation need is required to be stimulated As language learning is an ultimate goal and not grammar.However,teachers must be properly trained.

    • sharon

      i agree with your opinion and i support the teachers who teach grammar deductively. students learn language grammar significantly by this method and they lean more through this method.

  • Binny

    sir,
    I am agree to the ideas of teaching grammar of pro.Mohanraj.Grammar should be taught in the context.If the Grammar is taught in a contextual way,the learner learn easily and fast.We can use same topic of grammar in different situations with different types of structures.We have to teach Grammar by the use of mother tongue.So students can easily grasp the structure of grammar.

    • meera patel, Dipika rohit

      yes, i fully agree with what you want to say about teaching grammar. but herewith, i request you to see the two grammars in various terms. you can view this in my first comment. don’t confuse these two types of grammars.it is a very easy .

  • yunus

    Grammar is necessary thing for any language learne so definately we have to teach grammar. Answer of the question how to teach grammar is: it should be taught by descriptive because we learn our mother language in same manner. Learner who learn grammar descriptively, they can easily get context and through context they better understand rules. Learners dont know about how to use language and which construction should be use in which context. Grammar is a very important part of language.

    • yunus

      sorry i made a mistake we learn grammar perspective not descriptive.sorry sir and friends.

    • NAJNINBANU

      friend! you are right in some way but if you want to learn L2 you can not ignore grammatical rules. can we learn other languages without rules? don’t try to see English only as a language of spoken and audible language. But try to think about the usage of English as a written and readable form.

  • MEERA PATEL

    I am agree with S.Mohanraj. I think grammar should be taught descriptively though definitions are also necessary. Teacher should give example first and than teach rule. By this student can learn how one structure can use in different context. I am impressed by the idea of teaching structure or rule by relating it with student’s life. This seems very practical. Teacher should apply this in classroom. By this student can know how one structure or rules change when it use with different context. It is hard to teach only with perspective method or rule.

    • rohit dipika

      I disagree with Meera Patel because i think that grammar should be taught in descriptive manner. The more they focus on practical use of language , the more they learn language.But in order to get mastery over the language it is necessary to have knowledge of the rules of grammar so i prefer both prescriptive and Descriptive method for teaching grammar.

    • bharat

      I agree with Meera Patel. Teacher should give exmple first and then teach rules of grammar so learner can easily understood the structure of grammar.

    • pragnesh

      Yes Meera I agree with you.Grammar should be taught descriptive.

  • MEERA PATEL (peer comment)

    Binny has suggested that ‘we have to teach grammar by mother tongue’.I am disagree with this. I think it is not necessary to use mother tongue. you can use it if you need (facilitator) but compulsory use of mother tongue in classroom is not necessary.If l2 grammar taught in l2 lg. than student need to focus on lg. and rule rather than focus on translating it in MT.

    • Dipal Patel

      I agree with Meera. It is always said that for a strong hold on a language, one should learn that language in the same one, rather than learning in any other. The rules and norms of the grammar of the language would be understood more if the examples are live, because our mind memorizes more by sight rather than just by listening.

    • Binny

      I said about mother tongue that we have to teach structure in the mother tongue and also in the second language so students can know that there is different usage in mother tongue as well as in the second language.

  • Tushar Brahmbhatt

    Dear sir,
    Meanwhile,my school days i realized that it must be taught in class but it should not be taught in traditional way.As far as i am concerned,there are two ways to tech Grammar in the classroom First,deductive grammar and secondly Inductive Grammar.Among these two ways Inductive grammar would be the best way to teach in the class:let student struggle with some situation and later on explain them rules.on the other hand,Deductive grammar all about the exception of rules.Thanks
    By For Now!!!!!!!!

    • Ankita raj

      yes, i agree with tushar that we learn grammar only through traditional way and it is not proper way of teaching grammar.because of it , we only learn the rules and not language.it is also require to know that how & when it works in real life. there should be practical way of teaching grammar with theory part of it.

  • anita solanki

    yes, i agree with the views of pro.s mohanraj that prescriptive grammar should be taught in ciassroom.Teaching grammar in context can be conducive to learn language in a better way. student can learn different structure through prescriptive method.so it is very crucial thing to do in classroom teaching.The teacher has to teach example first and then rules of grammar can be gained by the learners at the later stage.

  • nehal

    second language acquisition is a complex process.students need to understand the grammar in order to understand the language.however i terms of teaching second language,i agree with what prof. Mohanraj said.In order to teach language in effective manner grammar should be taught inductively.it is better to give students the context or situation where different structures are used repeatedly.students can easily understand the function of the rules.

    • darshana

      i agree with what nehal said.she rightly said that grammar is more important to understand the language.but it should be taught in inductive manner.through real life situation or context, students learn in appropriate manner.

    • Binny

      I am aree with what was Nehal said. Grammar should be teach practically and not only teach rules to the students.And also we have to teach grammar in the context so students can understnd its usage.

  • nupur

    i think proff. Mohanraj is true. grammar should be taught in perspective manner. by doing so the learners can use language in better form. they can also use their mother tongue easily with their second language. it would prove beneficial for students if the teachers teach grammar in context. it is very necessary to teach examples and then teach the rules.

    • JITENDRA J. PRAJAPATI

      Hi Nupur,
      I agree with your opinion about grammar teaching and the way you think for grammar teaching.

    • Ansuya Ajmeri

      I’m also agree with views of Nupur. Grammer of any language should be taught in perspective manner. The perspective manner for teaching English or any language is good for each level of student. By providing examples for different rules and when students understand the context, then that rule will be easily remembered by students.

  • Tushar Brahmbhatt

    Actually,It’s one of rubbish way to teach the grammar with rules.Practicality is the most incredible thing to teach the grammar on account of that unconsciously they will learn rules.

    By For Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • pathik dodiya

      dear tushar,
      i agree with you but i believe its not that rubbish as much u think. because improper use of grammar leads to confusion/misunderstanding/miscommunication. so it must be a part of Prescriptive Grammar Teaching. we cant avoid.

    • JITENDRA J. PRAJAPATI

      Hi Tushar,
      whatever you think may be possible as per as your experience about grammar teaching but one thing i want to say that knowledge of grammar builds confidence in their use of language and it also helps them spot, explain and root out errors and the way that Pro. s. Mohanraj saying is not bad as we think.

  • tusharelt

    As per my knowledge grammar should be taught in the classroom by only example.while we go through context,we can gives contextual example,so go on the story,and as per situation we can teach some of the rules and basic feature of the second language.so descriptive method is more effective than Prescriptive.while we learn our mother tongue we could use descriptive method.so same we can teach grammar by descriptive method

  • pathik dodiya

    Though idealistic, it is preferable to follow Prescriptive method in the classroom as it includes teaching through real life situation. i agree with prof S Mohanraj because one can acquire/use ESL as simply as the way one has experienced mother tongue.

  • Ajit A Marchant

    For ESL learners teaching a grammar with the help of native context can not create as much impact. As we know that grammar is important for everyone to become effective learner but the thing is that we need to set our purpose first. Because to the learners chief concerned is about English is used for real life purposes. Here descriptiveness of grammar is refers to the structure of a language as it is actually used by speakers and writers. And perceptiveness of grammar is refers to the structure of a language as certain & several people think it should be used.While illustrating these various these approaches i suggest that Prescriptive grammarians are agree with giving practical advice about “how to use English language?”

  • sweta simariya

    dear sir,
    i agree with the views of s.mohanraj.AS grammar should be thought in descriptive manner.context and meaning is more important than rules of grammar.learners acquire new language through real life situation.through real life examples they are able to compare one language with another.different context enables them to realize that same structure is also used in mother tongue.Conventional exercises are important in learning but context has greater value.

    • mayurika

      yes,I Agree with sweata’s point of view about descriptive grammar and context.Grammar should be context and important rules of grammar.

  • vandana

    i am agree with what professor s. mohanraj said . i think grammar should be taught descriptively , by descriptive grammar student can understand easily. it can be useful and easy for students to teach rules by example ,so students can be learn the structure of grammar.

    • Gaurav Gohil

      yes, vandana i agree with your opinion. but i would like to add something. you are right that grammar should be taught with using examples . but that examples should not be alone. it should be in group or context. context increases its effect on learners.it becomes intresting for learners.

  • ansu ajmeri

    yes,i agree with what mohanraj said,grammar of the second language should be taught inductively.student should be given the context first,then rules should be taught to them.student can easily understand the functions of language structures and use them correctly.

  • Faisal

    There was a bit of confusion regarding prescriptive and descriptive.However, rather than knocking my head for this comparision,according to me, LEARNING LANGUAGE IN CONTEXT,is undoubtedly the more preferable than carrying sack of rules in the mind.

  • tusharelt

    every language has rules,we can acquired only and only by situation,position.we learn our mother tongue by descriptive way like listening,hearing,and slowly gradually we learn it.so same way we can acquired second language by descriptive way.first focus on the example,situation,position,we can easily understand it,and also teach our student in better way

    • tusharelt

      I am also agree with Faisal Prescriptive grammar is something that may aid ESL learners which enables them to gulp the rules of grammar on their own rather than getting baffled by cramming them.descriptiveness of grammar is refers to the structure of a language as it is actually used by speakers and writers.by this way we can easily acquired some of the basic element

    • Hiral Rana

      Yes, it is good to teach grammar in a prescriptive way. but descriptive way is also useful. both are necessary due to different context

      • eltians

        Well Hiral I am happy with your opinion. But which of the ways / methods would you think work well in presumed context where you may happen to teach? Could you please explain your point of view when you say both ways i.e. prescriptive as well as descriptive are necessary in different context?

      • niketa

        sir i am disagree with Hirals point of view but on my point of view descriptive method is more useful then perspective. because on it we first learn example then teach grammar so student can learn grammer easily.

  • Kajal Patel

    Hello Sir…

    I am agreed with the idea of s. Mohanraj grammar. Also Mira has suggested that grammar should be taught descriptively. Teacher should give example first and then teach rules. It is a very helpful for the students.Students can learn easily. Grammar is necessary thing for language learner

  • Hardik Thakkar

    It seems true that prescriptive grammar is batter than the descriptive. But it’s not always true with all cases as where the purpose for learning the new language is not concerned with academics but with routine life and it’s also near to impossible in practice in routine life to go through with the structural approach.

  • mayurika

    Yes sir,
    I agree with pro.Mohanraj views on teaching grammar.Grammar should be thought through descriptive point of views context and meaning of the sentence is more important than rules of grammar.Students learn new language through real life examples.Conventional examples are important for learning. But context has more value in comparison of traditional examples.

    • Anita B Patel

      I disagree with that the meaning of the sentences are more important in grammar teaching because such sentences do not any have meaning as Mohanraj says.the teacher needs to teach grammar on context based.

    • chandani patel

      Yes,i agree with Mayurika’s point of view about descriptive approach. Grammar should be taught effectively through real life example or context based situation.

  • Faisal

    According to me, prescriptive and descriptive create a bit problem in terms of understanding.Meanwhile, language learning in context can be taken into account as a most preferred method of learning language.

  • gaurav gohil

    i think that its a debatable question that Can ESL learners learn English effectively without being taught the grammar of the language? we can see that without learning rules of grammar, we acquire language. so many of my friends from gujarat, now live in other states, are able to speak local language without learning rules of grammar.it is acceptable that grammar should be taught prescriptive but i also think that some rules should be taught .we should teach that rules of grammar in context. instead of using single or alone sentence, we should give them in group of sentence so that it can create a context.it becomes familiar with learners’ mother tongue. and it creates confidence into them which motivate them to use the second language.

  • Hardik Thakkar

    It seems true that prescriptive grammar is batter than the descriptive. But it’s not always true with all cases as where the purpose for learning the new language is not concerned with academics but with routine life and it’s also near to impossible to go through with the structural approach in routine life.

  • sharon

    teaching grammar is essential for second language acquisition.i agree with prof. mohanraj’s views on how to teach grammar.learners can easily comprehend the language when they are taught the structures n rules of grammar inductively. it’s beneficial for the leaners to learn grammar rules in a particular context.

  • Anita B Patel

    Teaching grammar should be contextualized.We can easily teach the grammar by context.I agree with the ideas of Pro.S.Mohanraj.We can teach the structures of the grammar by the context,it is the good method of teaching grammar.The teacher should teach the examples first and then move on the rules so that the learner can easily acquire the language.such sentences do not carry any meaning,so it is better to used context.

  • Ankita raj

    Sir,
    Teaching grammar is fundamental for learner .And the way of teaching grammar is basic thing which affect their learning process. I agree with Prof. S Mohanraj that any grammar teaching needs to be prescriptive.Teacher should teach rules by lots of examples with different context. That it should be contextualize way which connect their real life to function of grammar. It also improve their reflective thinking and autonomy. they come to know that how function of grammar is also similar their mother tongue.so,this way of grammar teaching motivates self learning.

  • rohit dipika

    I agree with prof.Mohanraj that grammar should be taught in classroom but it should be thought in descriptive manner.Teacher should give example and then give actual rule of the same grammar point.teacher should teach students how one grammar point can be used in different context because meaning differs in different contexts.Thus by practical use of language students get mastery over the language and becomes able to relate language with their real-life and this serves the purpose of language teaching.

  • darshana

    i am agree with the view of s.mohanraj,grammar play the most important role in language teaching and learning.i think grammar should be taught descriptively,it is the way by which student get the opportunity to acquire the rules of grammar by example.so i think descriptive grammar is best than perspective grammar, by descriptive grammar student can understand the function of grammar easily.

  • Hiral R. Rana

    sir, I agree with pro.Mohanraj’s idea to teach grammar by the DESCRIPTIVE method. Because as we learn or acquire our mother tongue,[listen,understand,rehears and than use it] descriptive method also work like that and its easy for second language learner to understand and use it in real life.

  • jayendravasava

    hello sir,
    i read your opinion about teaching of grammar.i think grammar should be taught descriptively with definitions.teacher should use example first than teach rules.so student can learn how one structure can use in different context. i am happy to read your idea of teaching structure or rule. i think teacher should apply this in classroom. by this student can know how one structure or rules changes when it use with different context.

  • Hardik Thakkar

    We often see the problems in discriminating between the descriptive and prescriptive grammar. But, it’s easy to conceive the idea with just keeping the meaning of the term ‘prescriptive’(written stuff) and the ‘descriptive’(the spoken stuff) in our mind. Thus the prescriptive grammar is concerned with the structures and written form and on the other side, the descriptive grammar is concerned with the rough language which generally is spoken in day-to-day life.

  • Hiral Rana

    Sir,
    I agree with S.Mohanraj. The grammar should be taught prescriptively as well as descriptively. A good teacher should teach grammar from examples to rules not from rules to examples. If the grammar is taught in a perspective way, there are more chances to forget it and confuse about it. But in some particular circumstances it is better to use rules first. So according to me, it is better to teach grammar using different context

  • Chandani patel

    I agree with pro.S.Mohanraj’s idea of ‘teaching grammar’ that we can easily teach grammar by context.I think that teacher should teach grammar through descriptive approach.Teacher should give examples first and then teach rules of grammar. So, teacher can make classroom more interesting and collaborative.

    • vandana

      i agree with what chandani said ,she rightly said that context should be necessary to teach grammar and with the help of example students can understand the structure of grammar easily.

    • gayatri

      I agree with chandni patel that teacher shoud give example first and than teach rules of grammar so learner can easily understood

  • Hiral R. Rana

    I am agree with the views of pro s. Mohanraj. I think that grammar should be thought in descriptive method. so the learners can easily get it.If teacher used descriptive method for language teaching learner motivated by reinforcement because structured repeated in different function in this method.and repetition is useful for language learning.

  • anita solanki

    According to me, prescriptive and descriptive create a bit problem in terms of understanding.Meanwhile, language learning in context can be taken into account as a most preferred method of learning language.

  • vivek

    yes,sir i also agree with professor S Mohanraj view of teaching grammar but for my points of view descriptive manner is more suitable then perspective because in descriptive student first learn example so learn very easily but in perspective grammar student first learn the rules so it take to much time.

  • bharat

    yes, i agree with what prof. mohanraj said about teaching of grammar for second language acquisition.grammar rules should be taught descriptvely as students are exposed to real life situation or context.though that way learners can easily comprehend the language and rules also.

  • jaya gamit

    sir, I agree with pro.Mohanraj’s idea to teach grammar by the DESCRIPTIVE method. Because as we learn or acquire our mother tongue,[listen,understand,rehears and than use it] descriptive method also work like that and its easy for second language learner to understand and use it in real life.

  • anita solanki

    i agree with Hiral that grammar should be taught through descriptive method, in which learner learn language in a better way. language learning in context is the best way to learn language and grammar items also.

  • niketa

    hello,
    Yes, i also agree with Mr. Mohanraj view regarding teaching grammar. Today’s generation believe in practicality therefore teacher’s need to add in the class room authentic situation. students might be crammed the rules at home or their leisure time but they have a problem of how to use language in the real life. therefore teacher need to add in the class room real situation through descriptive grammar.

  • NAJNINBANU

    I AGREE WITH THE VIEW OF Pro.Mohanraj.grammar should be thought descriptively as well as prescriptively because students can learn and understand in different contexts. only prescriptive or only descriptive grammar can make students confuse.

  • Kajal Patel

    Hello Sir…

    Yes, I agree with the views of S. Mohanraj the persepctive grammar should be taught in classroom. student can learn different structure through perspective method.

  • Atika mala

    I am agree with the views of pro s. Mohanraj. I think that grammar should be thought in descriptive method. so the learners can easily get it.If teacher used descriptive method for language teaching learner motivated by reinforcement because structured repeated in different function in this method.and repetition is useful for language learning.

  • Atika mala

    Dear Sir, I really sorry for made a mistake while posting my comment, I forget to change Hiral’s Id that’s why my comment appear in her id.

  • soebdt

    Grammar teaching plays a central role in every ESL teacher’s classroom. The important question that needs to be answered is: how do we teach grammar? In other words, how do we help students learn the grammar they need.At first look, we might think that teaching grammar is just a matter of explaining grammar rules to students. However, teaching grammar effectively is a much more complicated matter.

  • Viki modi

    Hello sir,
    As far as i know grammar should be taught two ways;
    1) traditional grammar (deductive method)
    2) descriptive grammar (inductive method). I also agree with this article because here mr.Mohanraj also follow the way of authenticity. Firstly i also believe that grammar only learn through rules but here my expertes Mr. kiran sir, broke down my that speculation. Today’s generation needs easy and rapid way to learn english. Therefore expertes need to add in curricum real life situtinal learning. Through inductive method learners should learn how to use language in real life.

  • Viki modi

    Hello sir,
    When Mr. Mohanraj wrote this article that time they kept in my today’s students requirement. As i know students might be crammed the rules at home for that they don’t need any expertes but while apply that rule in real situation they need helps otherwise they mistake in their language function. first i also crammed the rules but i had no any idea how to apply in spoken or written language.

    • yashpalgadhvi

      yes viki you are right. one of the reason of the failure of these methods academically could be the cramming of rules. many students just crammed the rule but gets fail in applying it to the real context

  • Viki modi

    Hello sir,
    I would also like to give one comment, through rules everything we can’t translate in our mother tongue always rules are not follow.
    For instance,Colorless green ideas, sleep furiously.
    Above example don’t follow the rule of grammar

  • kiran panchal

    for my part, grammar is an indispensable element for learning any language in the world,particularly for second language learners.in other words,it can be considerd as a main base of second language. here considering English as a second language, it plays a major role more in writing and less in speaking.
    nowadays,in the domain of academic education, there are a host of teachers who do not have a sound knowledge of grammar and if yes, then not aware of hoe to teach grammar to students. so in this concern, teacher needs to have a competency upon grammar and adopts a real way to teach it to them. thus, here i can say that all the ABC of grammar should be utilized to teach in a classroom in a tenor that assists first them to think, to speak,and to write in their own accord.

  • kiran panchal

    In this redard, as having much experiences in teaching grammer, i have noticed in many of classroom that grammar is taught directly or explicitly. this is what i call prescriptive or deductive or rather top-down process.while in some of the classroom the grammar is taught indirectly or implicitly which is often refereed to as descriptive or inductive or bottom-down process.

    from these two kinds of grammar, i can say that the prescriptive grammar emphases on the first rules and regulations and then applying them as speaking writing skills.while the second one focuses on teaching grammar in contextual clues.

    if i react to these two kinds of grammars, then i would like to adopt a descriptive approach.this is because it compels learners to think a lot and to speak, to write in their own way. and this ultimately leads them to struggle with the language. moreover, this helps them to remember freshly for long run.

  • dipal patel

    i agree with Prof. Mohanraj that the teaching of the language should always be done by exemplifying any of the ncidents that are interesting and common to most of the people so that any other time, they would remember that example and then that rule which was taught to them

  • gayatri

    I agree with pro.s.mohanraj.I think descriptive grammar should be thaught in various examples.learners can esily understand because of meaning is more important than rules of grammar and also

  • JITENDRA J. PRAJAPATI

    GOOD MORNING SIR.
    According to me the teaching of grammar has become the most controversial subject in second as well as in foreign language teaching.An important point against making grammar part of second language teaching is that knowing grammar does not by itself guarantee being able to use language for meaningful communication. And also it is not uncommon to meet people who know most rules of grammar but continue to use the language both incorrectly and inappropriately. grammar teaching became suspect because grammarians themselves disagreed not only on how best to study language but on how to make its results known to teachers or learners in the classroom. Grammar cannot teach anyone how to write well or speak appropriately. but the way of teaching grammar by is best learn t when it grows from language in use rather than when it gets taught as a system of rules which are not yet anchored in the pupils’ own use of language.I would say that teaching grammar is an essential in the classroom curriculum though taking into account certain criteria and the way which explain by Professor S Mohanraj is good in term of teaching grammar terminology in ESL classroom.

  • varsha vaghela

    yes sir i agree with what s. mohanraj said . i would like to say that the topic of grammar to be used in classroom descriptively for the students, because without examples only rules and words may not work the level at the mind of the students. students should be given examples beside our surroundings. so, they may follow it quickly. and become active and intrested towards gramar .

  • madhukar

    As i was going through the article about the methods to teach the grammar i found a confusion arousing in my mind. because here pro. Mohanraj advocates a collaborative work of descriptive and prescriptive grammar but when you think over this issue this context based grammar teaching seems to be a really confusing thing for students. and its because students are not children any more. they start relating and questioning the problems they face what they can not collaborate with their mother tongue. because how many students know the feature of their mother tongue? so it would be batter to simply introduce the students a little bit to the basic grammatical functions and then move on to the contextual grammar teaching. that would certainly inspire those young minds to collaborate context with their knowledge of grammar functions.

    so gist is that implement both descriptive and prescriptive both at the right time and right place.

    • yunus

      i support mdhukar’s view of teaching grammar even i say it is better to use prescriptive method initially and later on go to the descriptive method so learners would get better platform for grammar learning.

  • sweta simariya

    I agree with nehal’s comment. as Sla is a complex process.Grammar should be thought in descriptive manner in order o understand any language.it should be done through real situation and context.

  • nehal patel

    i agree with sharon’s point of view.As teaching grammar is necessary for second language. It should be taught in inductive manner.it is benificial for learners to comprehend rules in real situation or in the particular contex.

  • sharon patel

    I agree with sweta’s views on teaching grammar.conext and meaning is more important in teaching grammar so it should be done in descriptive manner.it should teach through real life situstion and examples.

  • nehal patel

    I agree with shron’s point of view on teaching grammar. Grammar is necessary for second language. it should be taught in descriptive manner. it is benificial for learner to comprehend the rules in real situation and in the particular contex.

  • yashpalgadhvi

    SL is bit complex process for the learner to achieve in comparison to FL as learner gets no environment like FL. So during the process of acquiring it , s/he struggles with language. As far as the grammar teaching is concerned in SL, I slightly disagree. Language can be acquired if you are constantly exposed to the target language environment. For example, my cousin was used to live in Tamilnadu during school years and due to upbringing in Tamil environment, he picked up that language without being taught grammar of that language. Another examples are when outstate people becomes inhabitant of Gujarat, they tend to pick up Gujarati without learning of grammar rules.
    However I am not completely disagree with Prof. Mohanraj’s view. Grammar teaching is needed in order to make learners aware about different language functions in different context in a particular language for the perfection of that language. But before teaching a Grammar teacher should the know the purpose of the learner i.e. academic, professional, for knowledge etc. And after knowing the purpose teacher should decide on best of method.

  • yashpalgadhvi

    As far as the SL grammar teaching is concerned, I have used both the methods in my classroom teaching but none of them have served the purpose as I intend to. I try to analyze that failure and come up with conclusion that there are some criteria which should be followed by a teacher before teaching them grammar or any language functions. They are as follows:
     I would like to go with the Expert’s comment that Level of learner proves to be crucial factor in grammar teaching. Because form my teaching experience of Gujarat board curriculum in std.8th to 12th , I found, this issue matters a lot. Modification in method of grammar teaching needs to be changed according to learner’s level.
     However level of learner also incorporates with the interest of the students. Because whatever method you adopt for grammar teaching will result in a failure without learner’s interest.

  • Madhukar

    When i was going through the artical and considaring the suggestion of Pro. Mohanraj of teaching grammar contextually a question raised to me was do this contexts help students to learn more effectively? the answer i found was if a child is brought up in an envirment of the secoend language from the age of two years then this context based teaching is benifitial. but when a child crosses the age of 7 or 8 then it starts resoning, connecting and contextualising things as well as two diffrant langages. here starts the confusion of a child. if we dont give them basics of the grammatical rules then they would feel it veryconfusing to contextualise and relate two languages. this would also work with the adults.

    so i feel it is better to use simple grammar functions initially and then move on to the context based language teaching.

    • eltians

      You raised a very interesting argument that of ‘comparison of two languages’. Its only the teaching of structure of a language in isolation which makes a child compare two languages otherwise the child treats two languages quite equally. The child will be interested in language performance and not language nuances i.e. how it is composed.
      Good job!

  • vivek nayi

    I am agree with Tushar joshi comments because grammar depends on context.as per situation,and gives such kind of example also,then it will be increased.I am agree with you

  • Bhavik patel

    my point of views about teaching grammar,it is useful for learner.grammar function must be important but we have to learn them by only and only context.slowly and gradually learner can understand the language.

  • pragnesh

    Sir,
    I agree with Professor S Mohanraj views. Grammar should be taught descriptively.Teacher firstly gives the particular example and after teach rules.So learner easily can understand example and apply rules. I think it is easier for student to learn grammar.

  • charmi.parekh.

    what i think is that if language is taught through context then it would be easier to comprehend otherwise it becomes complex. We can learn the rules and understand but we can not apply if we don’t learn through context. So what i think is that grammmar is taught descriptively.

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