Grammar is the sound, structure, and meaning system of any language. All languages have grammar, and every language has its own grammar. people that speak an equivalent language are ready to communicate because they intuitively know the grammar system of that language—that is, the principles of creating meaning. Students who are native speakers of English already know English grammar. They recognize the sounds of English words, the meanings of these words, and therefore the alternative ways of putting words together to form meaningful sentences. In this era, Grammar Check tools have also been introduced for finding grammar errors.
However, while students could also be effective speakers of English, they have guidance to become effective writers. They have to find out the way to transfer their knowledge of grammatical concepts from oral language to written communication.
Effective grammar instruction begins with what students already realize grammar, and it helps them use this data as they write. By connecting their knowledge of oral language to written communication, teachers can demystify abstract grammatical terminology in order that students can write—and read—with greater competence and confidence.
WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY ABOUT GRAMMAR and therefore the TEACHING OF WRITING?
Research strongly suggests that the foremost beneficial way of helping students improve their command of grammar in writing is to use students’ writing because of the basis for discussing grammatical concepts. Researchers agree that it’s simpler to show punctuation, sentence variety, and usage within the context of writing than to approach the subject by teaching isolated skills.
As students revise and edit their writing, teachers can provide grammar instruction that guides students in their attempts to spot and proper problems in syntax and usage. for instance, an educator who sees that a lot of students are writing sentences containing misplaced modifiers can present a minilesson on this idea, using examples from student writing. The teacher can have students edit their own and one another’s drafts for this problem.
Integrating grammar instruction into the revising and editing process helps students make immediate applications, thus allowing them to ascertain the relevance of grammar to their own writing.
TO WHAT SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF WRITING DOES GRAMMAR CONTRIBUTE?
Because writing may be a complex and challenging activity for several students, teachers should specialise in the grammatical concepts that are essential for the clear communication of meaning.
Research conducted since the first 1960s shows that grammar instruction that’s break away from writing instruction doesn’t improve students’ writing competence (Braddock et al., 1963; Hillocks, 1986). additionally, research indicates that the transfer of formal grammar instruction to writing isn’t applicable to larger elements of composition. Through detailed studies of students’ writing, Shaughnessy (1977) concludes that the simplest grammar instruction is that which provides the best return for the smallest amount of investment of your time. Shaughnessy advocates four important grammatical concepts: the sentence, inflection, tense, and agreement. She recommends that teachers encourage students to look at grammatical errors in their own writing. She also cautions teachers to not overemphasize grammatical terminology to the detriment of students’ ability to know and apply the concepts.
Weaver (1998) proposes an identical approach to teaching grammar within the context of writing. She writes, “What all students need is guidance in understanding and applying those aspects of grammar that are most relevant to writing.” Weaver proposes five grammatical concepts that enable writers to point out improvement in sentence revision, style, and editing. (See chart below.)
A MINIMUM OF GRAMMAR
FOR MAXIMUM BENEFITS
- Teaching concepts on subject, verb, sentence, clause, phrase, and related concepts for editing
- Teaching style though sentence combining and sentence generating
- Teaching sentence sense through the manipulation of syntactic elements
- Teaching both the facility of dialects and therefore the dialects of power
- Teaching punctuation and mechanics for convention, clarity, and style
Reprinted by permission of Constance Weaver: Lessons to Share on Teaching Grammar in Context (Boynton-Cook, A division of Reed Elsevier Inc., Portsmouth, NH, 1998).
Rather than strive to show all grammatical concepts to all or any students, teachers should prioritize and supply instruction on the grammatical elements that the majority affect their students’ ability to write down effectively. Teachers should even be sensitive to individual students’ readiness to find out and apply grammatical concepts.
HOW DOES SENTENCE COMBINING IMPROVE WRITING?
Sentence combining is that the strategy of joining short sentences into longer, more complex sentences. As students engage in sentence-combining activities, they find out how to vary syntax so as to vary meaning and elegance. Numerous studies show that the utilization of sentence combining is an efficient method for improving students’ writing. the worth of sentence combining is most evident as students recognize the effect of sentence variety (beginnings, lengths, complexities) in their own writing.