Academic journal article The Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education

Modern Communicative Methods of Teaching English Grammar to Intermediate Level Students

Academic journal article The Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education

Modern Communicative Methods of Teaching English Grammar to Intermediate Level Students

Article excerpt

1 Introduction

Learning the grammar of a foreign language is important if you want to speak the language correctly. Nevertheless, the grammar of a foreign language can be tricky and not at all resembling the one of your mother tongue. That is why you need to be very well acquainted with your own grammar structures and only then try to learn another grammar.

English grammar is not very difficult, although at first it appears to cause confusion. Grammar knowledge can be achieved through a lot of work and exercises, or even games. Of course it is a lot better if the student starts to learn it when he is very young - at a young age information is stored a lot faster - so that in high school, and later at university, new and difficult information can be placed on a solid base, thus reinforcing the student's ability to communicate more easily in the foreign language.

Knowing only the theory of the English grammar is not enough, as a set of rules cannot help you communicate unless you have practice using them. Most teachers make the mistake of teaching a lot of rules and forget the essential part: exercises, games, assignments - in other words, their focus is mainly on the theory of the language rather than on its practice. In order to attract a student towards a foreign language you must also make grammar seem more accessible by using all the practice methods you can get. Teachers must always remember that only practice makes you better.

What also helps is talking to foreigners (Americans, British, whatever they might be) as you get the chance to see English grammar in action this way. They use grammar constructions, sometimes sophisticated ones, without even thinking about the way they were formed, they use a tense without thinking what it might express, the same way Romanian students use Romanian without being able to explain some of its grammar rules.

Over the past years emphasis has been laid on traditional methods, teachers trying to attempt only recently new modern methods, all these attempts being considered to make the student become more interested in the English language. But the question that comes up is the following: are we sure that these methods actually work? We all know that the traditional way of teaching is very relaxing for a student - he is not forced to think too much, he just writes the information and then uses it in exercises. The modern methods make students put their brain to use, communicate better, engage in conversation, thus acquiring the new knowledge during the English classes, at school.

Starting from the hypothesis that traditional methods do not exactly help the student learn English more easily and that they definitely do not make the English class very enjoyable, I am going to prove in the following pages that modern methods help a student understand and improve grammar more easily and in a more entertaining way than the traditional ones. All these modern activities are meant to widen the students' horizon and make them realize that grammar is not only theory, but also practice and fun.

2 Literature Review

2.1 Oral communicative activities

Oral communication is a process that takes place between the speaker and the listener(s) and it involves the productive skill and the receptive skill of understanding (Byrne 1996:8).

Teachers have to devote a large part of their class time to developing oral productive skills. It is very important for the students to develop the oral skills in the classroom so they can use them outside it, where they are supposed to have control over what is said to them and what they have to say. Poor understanding often results in nervousness, inhibiting the students' ability to speak.

The texts the students have in their textbooks are not enough for them; they need a listening comprehension programme which will expose them to various models of natural speech. The learners have to be taught to listen as well as to speak. …

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