Pedagogical grammar

Pedagogical grammar

With the pedagogical grammar expression the set of resources and procedures is designated with which in the teaching of second languages ​​a better development of the inter language of the learners is promoted .

This way the meaning of the term grammar is opposed to other frequent meanings in studies on learning and teaching second languages; These include the following:

  1. Theoretical grammar: it is the set of basic rules that govern natural languages; study the properties of language, above the particularities of a particular language.
  2. The universal grammar : knowledge is internalized have native speakers of the language rules; In other words, the innate capacity of the human being to learn language.
  3. Internalized or inter language grammar : it is the knowledge that a learner has of the theoretical grammar of a language at a certain stage of their learning.
  4. The normative grammar: this grammar constitutes the uses of a certain language that in each case prescribes as correct the corresponding institution (in the case of Spanish, the Royal Spanish Academy).
  5. Descriptive grammar: it consists in the detailed study and description of the set of rules and uses of a language, as they occur in a certain socio-historical reality and without judging about its correction or incorrectness.

The pedagogical grammar turns out to be a generic concept, which admits further qualifications:

  1. On the one hand, it refers to a grammar (of Spanish) for foreigners. It consists of a compendium of grammatical questions -generally of morphology and syntax-, which are given a descriptive-prescriptive treatment; the extent and depth of its content will depend on a set of variable factors, such as the educational level of the students to whom it is intended, their language of origin and the contrasts that it has with Spanish, etc.
  2. On the other hand, it also refers to the sections and activities of a language course or a teaching manual that devote special attention to morphology and syntax, that is, to the selection and presentation of the grammar content of the course.
  3. Finally, it refers to the techniques and procedures with which a certain approach addresses the teaching and learning of language grammar.

The term grammar has traditionally been applied restrictively to the morphological and syntactic component of the language, as opposed to vocabulary and pronunciation; in turn, the didactic treatment of all these levels of the language has been contrasted as a whole to that given to the effective use of the language , through conversation activities and activation of the different skills . Currently, both oppositions tend to be overcome and to integrate the phenomena of the different levels of the language (phonetic-phonological, morphosyntactic and lexical-semantic) in their description and in their didactic treatment, as well as to integrate in the same treatment the rules of the system .

The pedagogical grammar  is characterized by the following properties:

  1. Its purpose is to facilitate the understanding and mastery of the language – both of its system and its different uses – by non-native speakers.
  2. To do this, it makes a selection of contents that is guided by these criteria:
    • news: the current state of the language and its uses, compared to historical states overcome, although they are very recent
    • description: the way in which the native speakers actually use the language, as opposed to the way in which the regulations establish that they should use it
    • frequency: more frequent phenomena in linguistic uses, compared to an exhaustive selection, or of a selection that gave priority to particular isms and exceptions
    • communicative relevance: communicative values ​​more frequently associated with certain forms of expression, compared to an exhaustive description of the values ​​and uses of the different forms of expression
    • information for the addressee: other phenomena additional to those offered by the descriptive or normative grammars for native speakers, and that emerge from the needs (communicative or cognitive) of the learners
  3. It addresses the phenomena of linguistic variation, collecting both oral and written uses and informing about social records (context adaptation).
  4. It treats phenomena of the different levels of description of the language (phonetic-phonological, morphological, syntactic, pragmatic semantic), establishing the necessary relationships between them.
  5. Adopt and integrate the most useful contributions of the different theoretical models: structuralism, generativism, linguistic text , and so on.
  6. It uses a metalanguage and terminology appropriate to the possibilities of understanding of the recipient. The criteria of clarity and effectiveness prevail over that of scientific rigor.
  7. In some cases it is necessary to simplify some explanations for the sake of greater ease of understanding by their recipients.
  8. It takes into account the implicit knowledge of the grammar that the reader of his L1 has .

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