Формирование грамматических навыков на начальном этапе обучения иностранному языку


Introducing new language: examples.

(a) Physical surroundings: prepositions.

The teacher starts by producing some objects. They can be very ordinary, for example a stapler, a pen, a bag, a pencil, a pencil case, etc. The teacher elicits the words for these objects from the students and if they do not know them models the words and leads choral and/or individual repetition.

The teacher gives one of the objects (a book. for example) to one of the better students and then says something like “Put the book on the table.” If the student docs not understand the teacher helps by pointing and by gesture. When the student has put the book on the table the teacher says “Well done” and then chooses another student who is told to “Put the ruler in the box”, etc. As the students gradually do what they are asked they are getting wonderful listening practice.

The teacher now asks the students if they can give instructions thus eliciting the new language. When the students give their instructions the teacher will decide whether it is necessary to interrupt and model some or all of the new language or whether to move straight on to the immediate creativity stage where students are giving whatever instructions they want (within reason!).

As a written stage the teacher can write up some instructions on the board as models. Students can now be asked to write their own instructions which they give to their classmateswho then have to do what is written there.

(b) Likes and dislikes

This presentation will consist of two stages. In the first students will learn to

say “Do you like ______?” and in the second they will be presented with “He/she likes/doesn't like ____”.

The teacher starts the sequence by asking students “Do you like coffee?”. With mime and expression he or she will soon convey the meaning of the question and a student will answer “Yes” or “No”. The teacher then gets

choral and individual repetition of the answers (“Yes I do/No, I don't”) if this is necessary. For a very brief period the teacher asks students questions and they give their answers. Then the teacher elicits the question (which the students have heard the teacher using). If necessary the question is explained and the teacher goes through the accurate reproduction stage, cueing students to ask and answer different questions. The students then work in pairs doing the same thing. This is a form of immediate creativity.

While the students are working in pairs the teacher puts the following on the blackboard:







The teacher selects a student, for example, Carlos, and puts his name in the name column. The other students now ask him whether he likes the items on the chart and the teacher puts a tick (V) if he does and a cross (X) if he doesn't. The procedure is now repeated with other students until the chart looks like this:































The teacher then asks the students what they can say about Carlos and fish, hoping to elicit 'Carlos likes fish'. This new presentation (of the third person singular of the present simple with 'likes') now proceeds in the normal way using Carlos' likes and dislikes for the accurate reproduction stage and the other preferences for immediate creativity.

The teacher can later introduce the question 'Does Carlos like fish?', etc.

For the introduction of writing the teacher can use the fill-in idea (see (a) above) or the students can see the following model:

Carlos likes fish, caviar and liver, but he doesn't like spaghetti or bananas.

They can then be asked to write similar sentences about one of the other names on the list. This is a simple form of parallel writing.

(c) Using hands and gestures

Teachers can use their hands and various gestures to make grammatical form clearer.

One of the things we often need to do is to show how a full grammatical form is contracted in speech.

One way of explaining this to beginning students is to use the fingers of one hand to represent the different parts of the sentence, e.g.







As we say the words we point to the fingers of the hand which represent those words.

Nowwe can show how “I do not like pears” becomes “ I don’t like pears”






The use of the fingers has given a graphic description to the class.

We can pretend to hold the word ‘do’ in one hand and ‘not’ in the other. By bringing the hands together we show how ‘don't’ is formed.

(d) Explaining statements

In this case the teacher wishes to explain such model as:

She goes to school.

Here is a procedure we can follow:

Stage I The teacher says the sentence in a normal way with a clear voice using correct stress and intonation. This may he done two or three times.

Stage 2 The teacher isolates a particular feature of the model.

Stage 3 The teacher distorts this feature showing how it is constructed.

Stage 4 The teacher returns to the isolated element.

Stage 5 The teacher gives the normal model again.


T normal


e can represent this procedure in Figure :



T returns to

isolated element

T normal model


Sometimes, however, the teacher may not have to distort the isolated feature (where it is only a one syllable word).

Where there is more than one item that needs isolating the teacher goes through the procedure in Figure. with the first item to be isolated and then repeats the sequence with the second item.

The following example clearly shows the procedure in action. The teacher wishes to isolate both the verb form and the pronunciation

T: Listen … she goes to school … she goes to school … listen …goes … goes … go … /z/ …go … /z/ … goes … she goes to school … listen … she goes to school.

The teacher may back up this oral explanation by writing the following on the blackboard:

She goes to school.

The use of a box to highlight the main grammar points helps to focus the students' attention on that point.

(e) Explaining question forms

When we have to do the same kind of explanation for a question form we may follow the same procedure as for (a) above. However, particularly where a question form is taught after the affirmative version of the same grammar point has already been the subject of practice, some extra techniques may help the students to understand the form of the question.

Unlike many languages English uses inversion to signal a question. Thus if we take an affirmative sentence such as "He is running" we find that the equivalent question form has the subject and the auxiliary in a different order, e.g. 'Is he running?'. Even where we put a question word (such as ‘which’, ’what’, ‘how’, ‘when’, etc.) at the beginning of the question this inversion is still used. Students of English frequently find this confusing.

When introducing a question teachers will follow the same procedure as for (a) above. They will, however, isolate and distort in a slightly different way, and it will be advisable to use the blackboard and/or gesture to make the inversion clear.

Suppose we wished to 'explain' the question model 'Is he running?' We might do it in the following way:

T: Listen ... Is he running? Is he running? ... listen ... he is running? ... no (teacher shakes head and crosses arms in un 'inversion' gesture} ... Is he running? ... Is he running?

We can write the following on the blackboard at the same time:

He is running

Is he running

The receptive grammar skills

The reproductive grammar skills

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

Task 5































Misha Ag






















































Misha Ab






“1” - more than 3 grammar mistakes

“2” - 1-2 grammar mistakes

“3” - 0 grammar mistakes

The results can be commented in levels.

80% - those children who have the receptive grammar skill

20% - those children who have a part of the receptive grammar skill

71% - those children who have the reproductive grammar skill

20% - those children who have a part of the reproductive grammar skill

9% - those children who have no reproductive skill


In order to understand a language and express oneself correctly one must assimilate the grammar mechanism of a language. Indeed, one may know all the words in a sentence and yet fail to understand it, if one does not see the relationship between the words in the given sentence. And vice versa, a sentence may contain one, two, and more unknown words but if one has a good knowledge of the structure of the language one can easily guess the meanings of these words or at least find them in a dictionary, No speaking is possible without the knowledge of grammar, without the forming of a grammar mechanism. Children need grammar to be able to speak, and write in the target language.

Our aim is to form grammar skills and prevent children from making grammar mistakes in their speech. The aim of foreign languages in primary schools is to develop pupils’ skills in order to understand speech and participate in conversation.

The method and techniques the teacher should use in teaching children of primary school is the direct method and various techniques which can develop pupils’ listening comprehension and speaking.

We have examined two kinds of grammar skills: the reproductive and receptive grammar skills. The reproductive grammar skills give pupils an opportunity to make up their own sentences in oral and written forms in other words to communicate and the receptive grammar skills give them an opportunity to read texts or aud and understand it.

To master the reproductive grammar skills one should study the basic sentences or models (grammar is presented as itself in the basic sentences), to master the receptive grammar skills one should identify and analyze the grammar item. We teach children to read by means of grammar. It reveals the relationship between the words in the given sentence.

We have such a conclusion that the forming of grammar skills depends on training. Training is of great importance to realize the grammar item. We must use a lot of training exercises for the assimilation of grammar. We should provide the motivation of learn English, encourage children to communicate and remember that the correction of errors in the early stages of a language course may foster the following negative aspects:

 children lose confidence when they have fear of making grammar mistakes.

 Children become reluctant to take risks: they only the say the information they know they can say.

School practice helped me to realize the importance of training exercises and the role of the individual approach to teaching the children of the primary school, Besides, the teacher must have a clear idea of the grammar of the language, its structure and usage; everything he teaches must be based on it; he should always be conscious of introducing or practicing some point of grammar.


  1. Introduction

  2. Theoretical part

  3. Practical part

  4. Conclusion

  5. Appendix 1

  6. Appendix 2

  7. Bibliography


Language is the chief means by which the human personality expresses itself and fulfills its basic need for social interaction with other persons.

The aim of the foreign language is primary schools is to develop pupils` skills and understanding English speech and participating in conversation based on the topics covered.

Robert Lado wrote that language functions owing to the language skills. A person who knows a language perfectly uses a thousand and one grammar lexical, phonetic rules when he is speaking. Language skills help us to choose different words and models in our speech.

In my diploma paper I examine the forming of grammar skills. Grammar is known to be an important component of the language as a system. Communicative skills without regular using grammar are limited.

It is clear that the term “grammar” has meant various things at various times and sometimes several things at one time. This plurality of meaning is characteristic of the present time and is the source of confusions in the discussion of grammar as part of the education of children. There have been taking place violent disputes on the subject of teaching grammar at school.

The ability to talk about the grammar of a language, to recite its rules, is also very different from ability to speak and understand a language or to read and write it. Those who can use a language are often unable to recite its rules, and those who can recite its rules can be unable to use it. Nowadays we can hear the following opinions among teachers of foreign language: One teacher says, “ I do not favor teaching any grammar before the fifth grade, and not much then,” another is likely to reply, “But if you do not, how will your students learn to capitalize correctly, to punctuate sentences, or to spell accurately?” Another teacher remarks,

“If you teach no grammar, how can you expect to have correct usage in speech and writing?”

In the elementary grades the major emphasis will be upon the actual use, rather than upon knowledge of the language itself and attention to restrictive rules. Grammar of the analytical and structural sort will have little place or no place in the elementary grades, but the oral and written conventions of English, those which function in actual speaking and writing, will be of chief concern.

Grammar organizes the vocabulary and as a result we have sense units. There is a system of stereotypes, which organizes words into sentences. But what skill does grammar develop?

First of all it gives the ability to make up sentences correctly, to reproduce the text adequately. (the development of practical skills and habits)

  • The knowledge of the specific grammar structure helps pupils point out the differences between the mother tongue and the target language.

  • The knowledge of grammar develops abilities to abstract systematize plural facts.

Examining the problem of grammar skills we must acquire how they are defined in literature. We must differentiate their kinds, features, and the conditions under which they are formed, the steps of forming grammar skills, and the grammar minimum for the primary school.

Learning grammar and forming grammar skills are important tasks of the subject “Foreign language” at the primary school. It is necessary for children not to make grammar mistakes. Roberto Lado wrote that a mistake is the wrong skill the aim of my diploma paper is to prevent children from making grammar mistakes, i.e. to form grammar skills. I think that the best way to form grammar skills is to use a lot of training exercises and individual approach in teaching grammar.


Theoretical part

he Importance of Grammar in Learning a Foreign


To judge by the way some people speak, there is no place for grammar in the language course nowadays; yet it is, in reality, as important as it ever was exercise of correct grammar, if he is to attain any skill of effective use of the language, but he need not know consciously formulated rules to account to him for that he does unconsciously correctly.

In order to understand a language and to express oneself correctly one must assimilate the grammar mechanism of the language studied. Indeed, one may know all the words in a sentence and yet fail to understand it, if one does not see the relation between the words in the given sentence. And vice versa, a sentence may contain one, two, and more in known words but if one has a good knowledge of the structure of the language one can easily guess the meaning of these words or at least find them in a dictionary.

No speaking is possible without the knowledge of grammar, without the forming of a grammar mechanism.

If learner has acquired such a mechanism, he can produce correct sentences in a foreign language. Paul Roberts writes: “ Grammar is something that produces the sentences of a language. By something we mean a speaker of English. If you speak English natively, you have built into you rules of English grammar. In a sense, you are an English grammar. You possess, as an essential part of your being, a very complicated apparatus which enables you to produce infinitely many sentences, all English ones, including many that you have never specifically learned. Furthermore by applying you rule you can easily tell whether a sentence that you hear a grammatical English sentence or not.” *1

A command of English as is envisaged by the school syllabus cannot be ensured without the study of grammar . Pupils need grammar to be able to aud, speak, read, and write in the target language.

*1 Roberts P. English Sentences. New York, 1962, p.1

A Brief Review Of The Major Methods

Of Foreign Language Teaching.

The grammatical systems of Russian and English are fundamentally different. English is an analytical language, in which grammatical meaning in largely expressed through the use of additional words and by changes in word order. Russian is a synthetic language, in which the majority of grammatical forms are created through changes in the structure of words, by means of a developed system of prefixes, suffixes and ending. ( p. 121,

Brown C. and Jule “Teaching the spoken language”, Cambridge, 1983)

No one knows exactly how people learn languages although a great deal of research has been done into the subject.

Many methods have been proposed for the teaching of foreign language. And they have met with varying degrees of success and failure.

We should know that the method by which children are taught must have some effect on their motivation. If they find it deadly boring they will probably become de-motivated, whereas if they have confidence in the method they will find it motivating. Child learners differ from adult learners in many ways. Children are curious, their attention is of a shorter duration, they are quite differently motivated in, their interests are less specialized. They need frequent of activity; they need activities which are exciting and stimulating their curiosity; they need to be involved in something active.

We shall examine such methods as “The Grammar – Translation Method”, ”The Direct Method”, “The Audio-lingual Method”. And we pay attention to the teaching grammar of the foreign language. We shall comment those methods, which have had a long history.

The Grammar Translation method will be discussed.

This method was widely used in teaching the classics, namely Latin, and it was transferred to the teaching of modern languages when they were introduced into schools

In the grammar-translation mode, the books begin with definitions of the parts of speech, declensions, conjugations, rules to be memorized, examples illustrating the rules, and exceptions. Often each unit has a paragraph to be translated into the target language and one to be translated into native one. These paragraphs illustrate the grammar rules studied in the unit. The student is expected to apply the rules on his own. This involves a complicated mental manipulation of the conjugations and declensions in the order memorized, down to the form that might fit the translation. As a result, students are unable to use the language, and they sometimes develop an inferiority complex about languages in general. Exceptionally bright and diligent students do learn languages by this method, or in spite of it, but they would learn with any method.



  1. Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language.

  2. Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.

  3. Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given.

  4. Grammar provides the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of word.

  5. Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.

  6. Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis.

  7. Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue.

  8. Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.

Brown H., Douglas ‘Principles of language teaching’, N.Y., 1987

e list the major characteristics of Grammar Translation.

The grammar-translation method is largely discredited today. With greater interest in modern languages for communication the inadequacy of grammar-translation methods became evident.

The Direct Method.

The Direct Method appeared as a reaction against the grammar-translation method.

There was a movement in Europe that emphasized language learning by direct contact with the foreign language in meaningful situations. This movement resulted in various individual methods with various names, such as new method, natural method, and even oral method, but they can all be referred to as direct methods or the direct method. In addition to emphasizing direct contact with the foreign language, the direct method usually deemphasized or eliminated translation and the memorization of conjugations, declensions, and rules, and in some cases it introduced phonetics and phonetic transcription.

The direct method assumed that learning a foreign language is the same as learning the mother tongue, that is, that exposing the student directly to the foreign language impresses it perfectly upon his mind. This is true only up to a point, since the psychology of learning a second language differs from that of learning the first. The child is forced to learn the first language because he has no other effective way to express his wants. In learning a second language this compulsion is largely missing, since the student knows that he can communicate through his native language when necessary.

  1. Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language.

  2. Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught.

  3. Oral communication skills were built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and student in small, intensive classes.

  4. Grammar was taught inductively, i.e. the learner may discover the rules of grammar for himself after he has become acquainted with many examples.

  5. New teaching points were introduced orally.

  6. Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.

  7. Both speech and listening comprehension were taught.

  8. Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized.

The basic premise of Direct Method was that second language learning should be more like first language learning: lots of active oral interaction, spontaneous use of the language, no translation between first and second languages, and little or no analysis of grammatical rules. We can summarize the principles of the Direct


The Direct Method enjoyed considerable popularity through the end of nineteenth century and well into this one.

Now we shall discuss “The Audiolingual Method”.

The Audiolingual Method (It is also called Mimicry-memorization method) was the method developed in the Intensive Language Program. It was successful because of high motivation, intensive practice, small classes, and good models, in addition to linguistically sophisticated descriptions of the foreign language and its grammar.

  1. New material is presented in dialog form.

  2. There is dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and overlearning.

  3. Structures are sequenced by means of contrastive analysis and taught one at a time.

  4. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills.

  5. There is a little or no grammatical explanation: grammar is taught by inductive analogy rather than deductive explanation.

  6. Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context.

  7. There is much use of tapes, language labs, and visual aids.

  8. Great importance is attached to pronunciation.

  9. very little use of the mother tongue by teachers is permitted.

  10. Successful responses are immediately reinforced.

  11. There is a great effort to get students to produce error-free utterances.

  12. There is a tendency to manipulate language and disregard content.

Grammar is taught essentially as follows: Some basic sentences are memorized by imitation. Their meaning is given in normal expressions in the native language, and the students are not expected to translate word for word. When the basic sentences have been overlearned (completely memorized so that the student can rattle them off without effort), the student reads fairly extensive descriptive grammar statements in his native language, with examples in the target language and native language equivalents. He then listens to further conversational sentences for practice in listening . Finally, practices the dialogues using the basic sentences and combinations of their parts. When he can, he varies the dialogues within the material hr has already learned. The characteristics of ALM may be summed up in the following list:

Grammar explanations as used in the major methods.

We shall briefly review the treatment of grammatical explanations by some of the major methods. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study of all available methods; rather it is an attempt to show the variety of ways in which different methods deal with grammar explanations and may help teachers in evaluating available materials.

  1. Grammar translation is associated with formal rule statement. Learning proceeds, deductively, and the rule is generally stated by the teacher, in a textbook, or both. Traditional abstract grammatical terminology is used. Drills include translation into native language.

  2. The direct method is characterized by meaningful practice and exclusion of the mother tongue. This method has had many interpretations, some of which include an analysis of structure, but generally without the use of abstract grammatical terminology.

  3. T


    he audio-lingual method stresses an inductive presentation with extensive pattern practice. Writing is discouraged in the early stages of learning a structure. Here again, there has bee considerable variation in the realization of this approach. In some cases, no grammatical explanation of any kind is offered. In other, the teacher might focus on a particular structure by isolating an example on the board, or through contrast. When grammatical explanation is offered it is usually done at the end of the lesson as a summary of behavior (Politzer, 1965), or in later versions of this method the rule might be stated in the middle of the lesson and followed by additional drills.

Conscious grammar explanation



(rule of structure)

Deductive or Inductive presentation

The “explainer”

Language type used for explanation

Oral or written explanation

Grammar-translationYesYesDeductiveBook and/or teacherAbstractWritten
Direct methodYes or noYesInductive (if at all)Teacher (when done)Non-abstractOral-written
Audio-lingualYes or noYesInductiveTeacherExample or non-abstractOral-written

Each method is realized in techniques. By a technique we mean an individual way in doing something, in gaining a certain goal in teaching learning process. The method and techniques the teacher should use in teaching children of the primary school is the direct method, and various techniques which can develop pupils` listening comprehension and speaking. Pupils are given various exercises, connected with the situational use of words and sentence patterns.

Teaching grammar patterns.

We’ll examine "Teaching Grammatical Patterns" by Robert Lado (Chapter 10 "From Sentences to Patterns")

Robert Lado thinks that even children who have never studied the rules grammar make use of the grammar of the language. This is seen in the mistakes they make. When a child says, He goed, he is forming a "regular" preterite on the pattern: showed, weighed, served: "goed." His error reveals the fact that he has been applying the pattern even though he is not able to describe it.

Patterns and Sentences

A grammatical pattern is an arrangement of parts having linguistic significance beyond the sum of its parts. The parts of a pattern are expressed by words or classes of words so that different sentences often express the same pattern. All the sentences of a language arc cast in its patterns.

John telephoned, The boy studied.

We understood are different sentences expressing the same statement pattern in English.

A pattern is not a sentence, however. Sentences express patterns. Each sentence illustrates a pattern. To memorize a sentence does not imply that a pattern has been memorized. There can be countless sentences, each unique, yet all constructed on the same pattern.

Patterns and Grammar

Children learn the grammatical patterns of their language before they study grammar in school. When a child says goed instead of went or knowed instead of knew, he is applying the regular preterite pattern on the analogy,

open: opened = go: goed

Patterns arc learned in childhood. Adults no longer have to learn new patterns; they learn new words that are used in old patterns. That the old patterns are alive is shown by putting unknown words and phrases into them.

And what is the role of the native language in learning the patterns of a foreign language?

Native Language Factor

The most important factor determining ease and difficulty in learning the patterns of a foreign language is their similarity to or difference from the patterns of the native language. When the pattern in the target language is parallel to one in the native language, the student merely learns new words which he puts into what amounts to an extended use of his native pattern. Since his word learning capacity is not lost, he makes rapid progress. When, however, the native language pattern does not parallel that of the target language, the student tends to revert to his native language patterns through habit.

Grading the Patterns

There is no single grading scale for teaching the patterns of a foreign language. Any systematic cumulative progression, taking into account the structures that are difficult, would be satisfactory from a linguistic point of view.


Approach The mimicry-memorization exercise tends to give the same amounts of practice to easy as well as difficult problems. It also concentrates unduly on the memorization of specific sentences, and not enough on the manipulation of the patterns of sentences in a variety of content situations. For those patterns that arc functionally parallel to the native language, very little work needs to be done, and very little or no explanation is necessary. On the other hand, for those patterns that are not parallel in the two languages, more specific understanding of the grammatical structure points at issue is needed while the sentences are learned and not before or after. And more practice with the pattern is necessary before it is learned, that is, used without

attention to its structure.

Basic sentences

The memorization of sample sentences that con­tain the grammatical problems to he mastered is common to both pattern practice and mimicry-memorization. For this practice there is ample justification in linguistics and in psychology. The utterances have to become readily available if the student is to use them in the rapid sequence of conversation.

Teaching the patterns

A sentence can be learned as a single unstructured unit like a word, but this is only the beginning. The stu­dent must acquire the habit of constructing sentences in the patterns of the target language. For this he must be able to put words almost automatically into a pattern without changing it, or to change it by making the necessary adjustments.

Teaching a. problem pattern begins with teaching the specific struc­ture points where a formal change in the pattern is crucial and where the student is not able to manipulate the required changes. The steps in teaching problem patterns are (1) attention pointer, usually a single sentence calling the students' attention to the point at issue; (2) ex­amples, usually minimally contrastive examples showing a pair of sen­tences that differ only on the point or points being made; (3) repetition by the class and presentation of additional examples of the same contrast;

(4) comments or generalization elicited inductively from the students and confirmed by the teacher; (5) practice, with attention on the problem being taught.

These steps an intended to clarify the crucial point of contrast at the time when sentences are being learned. They should take only a small portion of the class time—no more than 15 per cent.

Robert Lado accents that many teachers make the mistake of trying to explain everything at length while the class listens passively. Long explanations without active practice arc a waste of time, and even with practice they are inefficient. Most of the class should be devoted to practice. The following are brief descriptions of some of the more effective types of exercises.

The more effective types of exercises according to R.Lado:

  • Listening

It is understood that the student does not invent the target language. He must listen to good models. Random listening helps, but selective listening following instructions is more effective. Listening is assumed to he most effective when it is in preparation for speaking.

Listening can be combined with other activities.

  • Oral repetition In this practice the student repeats the pattern sentences provided orally by the model. This is the most basic and important of all exercises. It begins with the presentation of the very first sentence of the pattern, the basic sentence, and continues through all other examples of the pattern taught for speaking.

  • Oral substitution Once the student can speak the basic sentence by repetition, oral substitution becomes the most useful and powerful drill available to practice the pattern. It is fast, flexible, and versatile, and it approximates conversational use of the language. Several variations are described for the reader: simple substitution, substitution in variable position, substitution that forces a change, substitution requiring a change, and multiple substitution.

  • Transformation

  • Speech practice and etc.


1. Lado R. and Fries C.C. “English pattern practice. Establishing the patterns as habits.”, 1970. pXV

he idea of learning the pattern rather than just sentences is clearly stated by C.C.Fries. Carles Fries and Robert Lado wrote what “We offer them (patterns) with confidence in their extraordinary effectiveness. They represent a new theory of language learning,the idea that to learn a new language one must established orally the patterns of the language as subconscious habits.”*1 C.C.Fries thinks that one must practice the patterns of the language until he can use them little or no effort.

The Psychological characteristics of grammar skills.

To develop one’s speech means to acquire essential patterns of speech, and grammar patterns in particular. Children must use these items automatically during speech-practice. The automatic use of grammar items in our speech (oral and written) supposes mastering some particular skills – the skills of using grammar items to express one’s own thoughts,in other words to make up your sentences.

We must get so-called reproductive or active grammar skills.

A skill is treated as an automatic part of awareness. Automatization of the action is the main feature of a skill.

The nature of automatization is characterized by that psychological structure of the action which adopts to the conditions of performing the action owing frequent experience. The action becomes more frequent, correct and accurate and the number of the operations is shortened while forming the skill the character of awareness of the action is changing, i.e. fullness of understanding is paid to the conditions and quality of performing to the control over it and regulation.

To form some skills is necessary to know that the process of the forming skills has some steps:

  1. Only some definite elements of the action are automatic.

  2. The automatization occurs under more difficult conditions, when the child can’t concentrate his attention on one element of the action.

  3. The whole structure of the action is improved and the automatization of its separate components is completed.

What features do the productive grammar skills have?

During our speech the reproductive grammar skills are formed together with lexics and intonation, they must express the speakers intentions.

The actions in the structural setting of the lexics must be learnt.

The characteristic feature of the reproductive grammar skills is their flexibility. It doesn`t depend on the level of automatization, i.e. on perfection of skill here mean the original action: both the structure of sentence, and forms of the words are reproduced by the speaker using different lexical material. If the child reproduces sentences and different words, which have been learnt by him as “a ready-made thing” he can say that there is no grammar skill. Learning the ready-made forms, word combinations and sentences occurs in the same way as learning lexics.

The grammar skill is based on the general conclusion. The grammar action can and must occur only in the definite lexical limits, on the definite lexical material. If the pupil can make up his sentence frequently, accurately and correctly from the grammatical point of view, he has got the grammar skill.

Teaching grammar at school using the theoretical knowledge brought some critical and led to confusion. All the grammatical rules were considered to be evil and there were some steps to avoid using them at school.

But when we learn grammatical items in models we use substitution and such a type of training gets rid of grammar or “neutralize” it. By he way, teaching the skills to make up sentences by analogy is a step on the way of forming grammar skills. It isn’t the lexical approach to grammar and it isn’t neutralization of grammar, but using basic sentences in order to use exercises by analogy and to reduce number of grammar rules when forming the reproductive grammar skills.

To form the reproductive grammar skills we must follow such steps:

  1. Selection the model of sentence.

  2. Selection the form of the word and образование словоформ.

  3. Selection the auxiliary words-preposition, articles, and etc. and their combination with principle words.

The main difficulty of the reproductive (active) grammar skills is to correspond the purposes of the statement, communicative approach (a questionan answer and so on), words, meanings, expressed by the grammatical patterns. In that case we use basic sentences, in order to answer the definite situation.

The main factor of the forming of the reproductive grammar skill is that pupils need to learn the lexic of the language. They need to learn the meanings of the words and how they are used. We must be sure that our pupils are aware of the vocabulary they need at their level and they can use the words in order to form their own sentence. Each sentence contains a grammar structure. The mastering the grammar skill lets pupils save time and strength, energy, which can give opportunity to create. Learning a number of sentences containing the same grammatical structure and a lot of words containing the same grammatical form isn’t rational.

But the generalization of the grammar item can relieve the work of the mental activity and let the teacher speed up the work and the children realize creative activities.

The process of creation is connected with the mastering of some speech stereotypes the grammatical substrat is hidden in basic sentences. Grammar is presented as itself. Such a presentation of grammar has its advantage: the grammar patterns of the basic sentences are connected with each other. But this approach gives pupils the opportunity to realize the grammar item better. The teaching must be based on grammar explanations and grammar rules. Grammar rules are to be understood as a special way of expressing communicative activity. The reproductive grammar skills suppose to master the grammar actions which are necessary for expressing thoughts in oral and written forms.

The automatic perception of the text supposes the reader to identify the grammar form according to the formal features 9 words, word combinations, sentences) which must be combined with the definite meaning. One must learn the rules in order to identify different grammatical forms. Pupils should get to know their features, the ways of expressing them in the language. We teach children to read and aud by means of grammar. It reveals the relation between words in the sentence. Grammar is of great important when one teaches reading and auding.

The forming of the perceptive grammar and reproductive skills is quite different. The steps of the work is mastering the reproductive skills differ from the steps in mastering the perceptive skills. To master the reproductive grammar skills one should study the basic sentences or models. To master the perceptive grammar skills one should identify and analyze the grammar item.

Though training is of great importance to realize the grammar item.

Introducing new language structure.

We will consider ways in which children can be introduced to new language structure.

The importance of language awareness

When we present grammar through structural patterns we tend to give students tidy pieces of language to work with We introduce grammar, which can easily be explained and presented. There are many different ways of doing this, which do not (only) involve the transmission of grammar rules.

It is certainly possible to teach aspects of grammar - indeed that is what language teachers have been doing for centuries - but language is a difficult business and it is often used very inventively by its speakers, In other words real language use is often very untidy and cannot be automatically reduced to simple grammar patterns. Students need to be aware of this, just as they need to be aware of all language possibilities. Such awareness does not mean that they have to be taught each variation and linguistic twist, however. It just means that they have to be aware of language and how it is used. That is why reading and listening are so important, and that is why discovery activities are so valuable since by asking students to discover ways in which language is used we help to raise their awareness about the creative use of grammar - amongst other things.

As teachers we should be prepared to use a variety of techniques to help our students learn and acquire grammar. Sometimes this involves teaching grammar rules; sometimes it means allowing students to discover the rules for themselves.

What do we introduce?

Our job at this stage of the lesson is to present the pupils with clear information about the language they are learning. We must also show them what the language means and how it is used; we must also show them what the grammatical form of the new language is, and how it is said and/or written.

What we are suggesting here is that students need to get an idea of how he new language is used by native speakers and the best way of doing this s to present language in context.

The context for introducing new language should have a number of characteristics It should show what the new language means and how it is used, for example. That is why many useful contexts have the new language being used in a written text or dialogue.

A good context should be interesting for the children. This doesn't mean that all the subject matter we use for presentation should be wildly funny or inventive all of the time. But the pupils should at least want to see or hear the information.

Lastly, a good context will provide the background for a lot of language use so that students can use the information not only for the repetition of model sentences but also for making their own sentences.

Often the textbook will have all the characteristics mentioned here and the teacher can confidently rely on the material for the presentation. But the textbook is not always so appropriate: for a number of reasons the information in the book may not be right for our students in such cases we will want to create our own contexts for language use.

Types of context

Context means the situation or body of information, which causes language to be used. There are a number of different context types, but for our purposes we will concentrate on three, the students' world, the outside world and formulated information.

The students' world can be a major source of contexts for language presentation. There are two kinds of students' world. Clearly we can use the physical surroundings that the students are in - the classroom, school or institution. But classrooms and their physical properties (tables, chairs, windows, etc.) are limited. The students' lives are not constrained in the same way, however, and we can use facts about them, their families, friends and experiences.

The outside world provides us with rich contexts for presentation For example, there is an almost infinite number of stories we can use to present different lenses. We can also create situations where people speak because they are in those situations, or where the writer describes some special information. This is especially useful for the practice of functional language, for example.

We can ask students to look at examples of language which show the new language in operation, though this last category can sometimes have no context. These three sub-categories, story, situation or language, can be simulated or real. Most teachers are familiar with 'made-up' stones which arc often useful for classwork: real stories work well too, of course. In the same way we can create the simulation of an invitation dialogue, for example. But here again we could also show students a real invitation dialogue. In general we can say that real contexts are better simply because they are real, but they may have complexities of language and comprehensibility which can be avoided by simulated contexts - life-like but clearly mode-up to some extent.

Formulated information refers to all that information which is presented in the form of timetables, notes, charts etc. Once again we can use real charts and timetables, growth statistics, etc. or we can design our own which will be just right for our students.

There are variations on these different kinds of context, of course, but we can broadly summarize what we have said so far in the following way:


The outside world

The student’s world

Formulated information

Physical surroundings

Student’s lives



Language examples









Figure 1

Contexts for introducing new language

The presentation of structural form.

One of the teacher's jobs is to show how the new language is formed - how the grammar works and how it is put together.One way of doing this is to explain the grammar in detail, using grammatical terminology and giving a mini-lecture on the subject. This seems problematical, though, for two reasons; firstly many pupils may find grammatical concepts difficult, secondly- such explanations for beginners will be almost impossible.

A more effective - and less frightening - way of presenting form is to let the students see and/or hear the new language, drawing their attention in a number of different ways to the grammatical elements of which it is made. For whilst advanced students may profit from grammatical explanations to a certain extent, at lower levels we must usually find simpler and more transparent ways of giving students grammatical information.

A general model for introducing new language.

The model has five components: lead-in, elicitation, explanation,accurate reproduction, and immediate creativity.

During the lead-in the context is introduced and the meaning or use of the new language is demonstrated. This is the stage at which students may hear or see some language (including the new language) and during which students may become aware of certain key concepts. The key concepts are those pieces of information about the context that are vital if students are to understand the context and thus the meaning and use of the new language.

During the lead-in stage, then, we introduce our context (making sure that key concepts are understood) and show the new language in use.

During the elicitation stage the teacher tries to see if the students can produce the new language. If they can it would clearly be wasteful and de-motivating for them if a lot of time was spent practising the language that they already know. At the elicitation stage - depending on how well (and if) the students can produce the new language - the teacher can decide which of the stages to go to next. If the students can't produce the new language at all, for example, we will move to the explanation stage. If they can, hut with minor mistakes, we may move to the accurate reproduction stage to clear up those problems. If they know the new language but need a bit more controlled practice in producing it we may move directly to the immediate creativity stage Elicitation is vitally important for it gives the teacher information upon which to act: it is also motivating for the students and actively involves their learning abilities.

During the explanation stage the teacher shows how the new language is formed. It is here that we may give a listening drill or explain something in the students' own language; we may demonstrate grammatical form on the blackboard. In other words, this is where the students learn how the new language is constructed.

During the accurate reproduction stage students are asked to repeat and practise a certain number of models. The emphasis here will be on the accuracy of what the students say rather than meaning or use. Here the teacher makes sure that the students can form the new language correctly, getting the grammar right and perfecting their pronunciation as far as is necessary.


During the accurate reproduction phase there are two basic correction stages: showing incorrectness (indicating to the student that something is wrong) and using correction techniques.

(a) Showing incorrectness

This means that we will indicate to the student that a mistake has been made. If the student understands this feedback he or she will be able to correct the mistake and this self-correction will be helpful to him or her as part of the learning process.

There are a number of techniques for showing incorrectness:

1 Repeating: Here we simply ask the student to repeat what he or she has just said by using the word 'again'. This, said with a questioning intonation, will usually indicate that the response was unsatisfactory (although it could be misunderstood as only indicating that the teacher has not heard the student's response).

2 Echoing: We will be even clearer if we repeat what the student has just said, using a questioning intonation since this will clearly indicate that we are doubting the accuracy or content of what is being said.

Sometimes we can echo the complete student response, probably stressing the pan of the utterance that was incorrect, for example:

She go to school?

Another possibility is to echo the student's response, but only up to the point where the mistake was made,ftor example:

She go …?

Echoing, in its various forms, is probably the most efficient way of showing incorrectness.

3 Denial: We can simply tell the student that the response was unsatisfactory and ask for it to be repeated. This seems somewhat drier than the techniques so far discussed; it may be a bit more discouraging.

4 Questioning: We can say 'Is that correct?' asking any student in the class to answer our question. This has the advantage of focusing everybody's mind on the problem, though it may make the student who made the mistake seem somewhat exposed.

5 Expression: Many teachers indicate that a response was incorrect by their expression or by some gesture. This is very economical (and can be quite funny) but can be dangerous if the student thinks that the expression or gesture is a form of mockery.

In general, showing incorrectness should be handled with tact and consideration. The process of student self-correction, which it provokes, is an important and useful part of the learning process. Showing incorrectness should be seen as a positive act, in other words, not as a reprimand.

Frequently, however, we find that showing incorrectness is not enough for the correction of a mistake or an error and the teacher may therefore have to use some correction techniques.

(b) Using correct