Essay Teaching English As A Foreign Language

Essay Teaching English As A Foreign Language

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Transformational Generative Grammar, Functional Grammar, and Pragmatics etc. has left the language teachers bewildered with their jargon and hypotheses. Hence in this existing context, a grammar teacher remains in a state of confusion to decide whether he should follow the old prescriptive approach or the descriptive approach of the Structural Linguists; whether he should aim at the achievement of grammatical competence or communicative competence of the learners; whether he should concentrate on the parts of sentences by parsing them or on the utterances of the speakers; whether a teacher should concentrate in his pedagogy on the teaching of rules or the correct use of language. This paper briefly examines some of the cardinal problems or challenges that teachers of English grammar generally wrestle with while teaching English as a foreign language.
Key Words: Structuralism, Transformational Generative Grammar, Functional Grammar, Pragmatics, cardinal problems, challenges faced by teachers.




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Introduction:
The determination of the target learners whether learners of L1 or L2 itself becomes a major problem to wrestle with. That is to say, In an L1 situation, learners learn their mother tongue intuitively. It is culturally and environmentally inherited by them. The culture or the environment around them becomes their covert teacher that provides them sufficient exposure through which grammatical forms and structures required to use a language correctly and proficiently are naturally transferred to their memory. But when it comes to the learning of a second language and if it is a foreign language, exposure is very limited, artificial and conscious.
Learners, therefore, do not feel at home a...


... middle of paper ...


...and sensitive about committing mistakes. And to this extent speech becomes inhibited” (Verghese1989:21).
A teacher should select those grammatical rules and patterns which have greater communicative potential. Overtaxing of learners with rules which do not exist and which are pedantic and do not facilitate the learning of a language have a retarding effect on the learners. Teaching excess of rules and the irrelevant ones which do not exist in the current form of a language makes the learning irrelevant.
There are many grammatical categories which do not exist in English today and yet are taught to the children over years. . Generally, in most of the school syllabuses a list of 200 to 250 structures are prescribed. To make the learning of a language smooth and convenient, this long list can be reduced and a priority list should be prepared by a teacher.

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