Teaching English Grammar to Beginners :
A Way to Speak Accurately
Some people say that learning foreign language should be an activity in which the learners try to use that language as often as possible, not only try to know about that language which means the learners only try to understand the grammar. They believe that the most important thing in learning foreign language is that the learners can speak , communicate or delivers their ideas to other people, without considering or minding whether in their communication they use grammatically- good utterences or not. This belief is based on the fact that other people can understand the idea we communicate or deliver although we use grammatically-incorrect utterances.The legendary Tarzan , who lived in the jungle and never encountered with any human beings, for instance, could also deliver his ideas through totally gramatically incorrect utterances because he only used his yells, shouts,gestures and body language. He did not care of any grammatical rules to express his idea. What we can say from this illustration is that we can still deliver our idea without minding the grammar rules of the language we use, even if we use very bad grammar.
This idea can be right in the case of encouraging the learners to speak and to use English, but in other cases it can be wrong. It is indeed important to make other people understand the ideas we deliver although we deliver it without using correct grammar. But it is much more important to make the people we communicate with grasp and understand our ideas clearly and well. In asking someone’s name for example, we can only say “ Name ? “ , and the one we are talking to can possibly understand the meaning of our question. The question can mean : What’s your name ? , May I know your name ? or Can you tell me your name,please ? . She or he can spontaneously replies by telling us her or his name. But it will be ambigious if there is other questions such as “ Apple ? “ . It is rather difficult to understand what the meaning of the question is, because this question can have various meanings, such as: Is it an apple?, Is it your apple ? , Do you like this apple ? and so on. This questions can make miscommunication, because the one we talk to can get confused in understanding our qusetion.In this case, it will be better if the beginners perceive the patterns and the regularities in English so that they can deliver not only understandable but also good or accurate ideas.
As an English teacher in an Elementary School, I often find students with good performance in speaking, but they have a lof of mistakes in grammar. It is very difficult to overcome if they do not try to improve it by themselves. If they have a partner to improve it, it is good, but if they do not, it will take time to be improved.
Every language has its own grammatical rules which is different from one another. Indonesian and English for instance, both of them are different to each other in using the time-pattern. People say that English is a time-based language, in which every changes in time signal changes the form of the tenses. While Indonesian does not pay much attention on the time changes. It is very important for the beginners to be aware of and to know a such kind of rule. As some experts say that actually language is a habit. , which means that if we use the language as often as possible, like our daily activities, we can make it our habit. It can happens in learning grammar. As early as possible the beginners must know and try to use some grammar patterns so that those patterns become parts of their habit in using the language.
Therefore, it is important to encourage the young learners to learn grammar. The sooner they understand grammar, the better utterances or sentences they can produce, and in turn, the easier they can communicate their ideas clearly and accurately. In this case, they can make the language...
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