«Grammar is to a writer what anatomy is to a sculptor, or the scales to a musician. You may loath it, it may bore you, but nothing will replace it, and once mastered it will support you like a rock». B.J Chute
The fundamental structure of a language that any natural speaker of that language intuitively knows is a popular contemporary definition of grammar. A grammar is a systematic description of the qualities of a language. These characteristics are phonology (sound), morphology (word creation system), syntax (word organization patterns), and semantics (meaning). A grammar can be prescriptive (i.e., establish rules for proper usage), descriptive (i.e., explain how a language is actually used), or generative, depending on the grammarian's approach (i.e., provide instructions for the production of an infinite number of sentences in a language). The traditional focus of research has been on morphology and syntax, and for some contemporary linguists (and many traditional grammarians), this is the subject's only proper scope.
The Greeks were the first to write grammars in Europe. Grammar was a tool for them to utilize in the study of Greek literature, which is why they concentrated on the literary language. The Alexandrians of the first century BC refined Greek grammar in order to maintain the language's integrity.
Traditional grammar refers to a set of prescriptive rules and principles regarding language structure that are frequently taught in schools. Traditional English grammar, commonly known as school grammar, is mostly based on Latin grammar principles rather than recent English linguistic research.
Traditional grammar establishes what is and is not right in the English language, disregarding culture and modernization in favor of tradition. Traditional grammar is frequently regarded archaic and regularly questioned by specialists because it is fairly inflexible and entrenched in the traditions of the past. Despite this, many children nowadays are taught this appropriate, historical version of grammar.
Traditional grammar and other prescriptive kinds of grammar are governed by rigorous rules. The majority of these were defined a long time ago in traditional grammar. Some professionals defend prescriptivism and traditional grammatical ideals, while others mock them.
James D. Williams, author of The Teacher's Grammar Book, outlines the traditional grammar creeds: "Traditional grammar is prescriptive because it emphasizes the distinction between what some people do with language and what they should do with it, according to a set of rules. Traditional grammar's main purpose is to maintain a historical paradigm of what apparently defines correct language " (Williams 2005).
Traditional grammar is undeniably divisive among professionals, but what impact does it have on students? In practice, George Hillocks illustrates some of the difficulties of school grammar: "Traditional school grammar (i.e., the definition of parts of speech, sentence parsing, and so on) has little effect on improving the quality of student writing." Every other aspect of instruction studied in this study is more effective. Grammar and mechanics training, when taught incorrectly, has a negative impact on student writing. In other studies, a strong focus on mechanics and usage (e.g., highlighting every mistake) resulted in considerable quality reductions. School boards, administrators, and teachers that force their kids to study traditional school grammar over long periods of time in the name of teaching writing are doing them a disservice that should not be condoned by anyone interested in successful writing instruction. We need to learn how to teach normal usage and mechanics with minimum grammar after rigorous study" (Hillocks 1986).
Writing, reading, and speaking all lose meaning and value if proper grammar is not used. Teachers should stress the importance of grammar to their students. Unfortunately, many students find it to be one of the most boring courses, and most teachers dislike prolonged grammar drills as well. As a result, educators are exploring for ways to make grammar instruction more enjoyable and engaging. Students are more likely to pay attention when they are able to enjoy the lessons. Here are five lesson suggestions to get the lesson started.
Bingo for grammar and punctuation
This entertaining game can be customized for kids of all ages. Teachers start by making bingo cards with various directions on them, such as "identify a statement written in the active voice." Students are given a common resource, such as the most recent issue of the Wall Street Journal, and are challenged to see who can get 'BINGO' earliest. Card questions for elementary school kids may focus on nouns, pronouns, and verbs, but cards for older students will focus on more complicated word usage and sentence structures. Short activities like this one can be done in the classroom on a regular basis to keep grammar fresh in students' thoughts.
Solving crossword puzzles
Teachers can use a variety of word puzzles to encourage student understanding and practice of various parts of a sentence, verb conjugations, and concepts such as synonyms and antonyms. Many of these are crossword puzzles with clues like "three letter antonym for cheerful" or "run in the past tense." Students can compete in enjoyable puzzle tournaments or utilize them as take-home projects.
The grammatical equivalent of 'hot potato'
Many pupils, particularly those in primary school, value the ability to get up and walk around. Get the pupils to get up and form a circle. Set a basic timer for a random interval, such as one minute and six seconds, and give the first pupil a bean bag. The student holding the bean bag must rapidly think of a word that fits within a specific category, such as a verb, and then pass it to the left. When the timer dings, the student holding the bag must exit the circle.
Biographies of celebrities
Find a celebrity biography that you can read in class quickly and easily. Allow kids to use the biography to determine the many past tense forms. Make a distinction between "she has played many concerts in her career" and "she had performed in many performances" versus "she was born," for example. Ask the students to identify the verb form used in each example and to explain the differences between the two usages orally. This activity will show students how grammar may change the meaning of words and potentially change the course of a tale.
Understanding the distinction between 'a' and 'an'
This is a fun exercise for kids of all ages. The teacher should snip out pictures or words of popular nouns that the students encounter frequently. Mix all of the sheets together, divide the students into groups, and hand them a batch of sheets to each of them. Make two piles on their sheets: one for words that begin with 'a' and another for terms that begin with 'an.' After the students have completed the assignment, have a discussion with them to see if they can figure out the rule on their own. A quality education necessitates the use of proper grammar. Students will struggle with reading, writing, and speaking if they do not understand grammar. Fortunately, this does not imply that students must spend hours diagramming sentences at their desk. Teachers can use the suggestions above to make their grammar lessons more engaging and memorable for their pupils.