Making the Teaching of Grammar Fun
Teaching of grammar in form has been a debatable issue for some time now. On one hand it is contended as being an important facet of language teaching, seen beyond the informality meted by the functional approach to teaching a language. On the other hand, grammar teaching and learning is considered to be a regressive approach to teaching the nuances of language which takes away the simplicity of acquiring a language through communication in use.
Whatever the stance, schools and teachers have to contend with the fact that teaching of grammar is an unavoidable part of the school curriculum. As with other regional languages, so with English as a subject, grammar teaching is important to teaching English at schools.
English grammar classes have oft been considered to be mundane, bordering on being considered pointless and boring. This can be avoided to a large extent through the introduction of games and puzzles in the teaching-learning process, while integrating short stories into the lessons. Animated videos are also known to add zest in the otherwise lack lustre atmosphere of a grammar class. These animated audio-visual lessons if knitted around relatable contexts, help the learners understand even complex concepts easily. Also, the use of short stories or anecdotes in teaching grammar removes the notion of ‘irrelevance’ of grammar teaching, making grammar session meaningful and useful to learning a language.
An additional benefit of using audio-visual sessions to teaching English grammar is the ‘audio’ element. The ‘audio’ element of an ‘audio-visual’ tool provides opportunity and access to correct English pronunciation- a much needed support for the language learner. This is especially helpful when the voice recording used is in neutral accent and is done by a local English language expert. The benefit so generated is much higher as against the benefit accrued off recordings in the voice of a native speaker. When the voices of local English language experts are used in the audio-visual tools, the challenges faced by the learners in ‘deciphering’ the language spoken by a British person are removed.
Grammar teaching when done by integrating the above mentioned aspects helps in letting students learn a language easily. The teaching of rules pertaining to a grammar concept should ideally be kept to the minimum and the focus be laid on the actual use. This method of covertly teaching them the rules and various aspects of language learning will not only allow the lessons to be engaging for them but will also present to them an understanding that is seeped in context. Such learning assists the enhancement of their critical thinking and polishes their comprehension skills- which in the true sense are the real objectives of any teaching and learning of grammar concepts.