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Prescriptive And Descriptive Grammar

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1748 words Published: 9th May 2017

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A pedagogical grammar refers to the modified approach that is now adopted in linguistics to facilitate the process of teaching an extra language. In broader spectrum it can be defines as the grammar that exists to help foreign language learners. Pedagogical grammar can be categorized into two distinct but interconnected theory areas. First of which is concerned with descriptive models can be integrated with pedagogical reference along with teaching materials that makes the process of learning easy and simple for the learner. Secondly premises about second-language achievement form the other category of pedagogical grammar. It provides the fundamentals about class attitudes and tactics.

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It in general guides students about grammatical concepts which appear to be insightful for a native speaker while extremely complicated for a non-native speaker. An indigenous English speaker needs less attention an instruction in correcting some obvious sentence structure mistakes. For instance he would be easily able to invert the words “You do know me” to form an appropriate sentence as “Do you know me?” However for somebody who is learning English as his second language would demand a detailed explanation about making this inversion. This fact becomes more lucid when the person’s native language formulates question following a different way. Guiding about this particular area of grammar might appear monotonous and pointless for first-language speakers but it is an essential aspect of pedagogical grammar. ( Ortega, 2008)

Pedagogical grammar introduces rules about correcting the language usage in communications. For instance it guides about the language that a doctor uses to check his patients and write his prescriptions. Similarly pedagogical grammar also deals with descriptive grammars teaching the speakers to have a strong grip over the language to make sure they use it frequently even without considering the proper rules before speaking. Summing up pedagogical grammar forms a border between the grounds of prescriptive and descriptive language.

Using both approaches is vital to serve the purpose of pedagogical grammar that is to help non-native speakers use the language fluently. In order to make a learner perfectly skilled in his desirable language, it is important to make obey the rules of prescriptive grammar to improve his utterances. On the contrary by means of descriptive language the foreign language learners comprehend the way native speakers make use of the language. However it is necessary the learners make complete sense in his communication when using slangs or some other non-standard learning ways.

Lexicogrammar is a term that is often considered unusual in the systemic functional linguistics. Basically it defines the level of linguistic structure wherein expressions or vocabulary, and grammar, or sentence structure come under the same heading. The words and grammatical structure are not considered independent variables at this level. In fact the modern concept is that both of them are mutually dependent that is one has a profound influence on the other. The similar relation between lexis and grammar has been discussed in many linguistic theories and approaches. This entry in particular will focus more on the systemic functional linguistics (SFL) as well as corpus linguistics (CL), because both these hypothetical-procedural frameworks have strong relation with applied linguistics. In both the cases lexicogrammar plays a vital role.

For Instance; the Lexicogrammatical learning techniques should be implemented in classrooms on daily basis. This would enable the second language learners achieve the optimum result similar to those individuals who are learning their first language. In case the students are not told about the phrases used commonly in native English, they will definitely get confused when have a conversation with somebody. It is a fact that second language learners would not be able to think of the routine conversational phrases that the native speakers frequently use. Therefore they should be taught about this to make sure they also attain a native like fluency in their language skills. It has also been deliberated that the prescriptive grammar emphasizes more about grammatical errors and cohesiveness. It guides student about the appropriate grammar rules, probable error areas in terms oral and written communication. It includes all the flexible and necessary guidelines about the language. This particular type of grammar describes how people converse using correct sentence structure without considering the strict rules now and then. ( Lins, 2007)

Provide your position toward the following statement by using theories and research results: “L1-L2 differences cause learning difficulties.” For example, is it true or do you agree or disagree and why?

Evaluating the relationship between mother tongue (L1) and second language (L2) has been one of the most important subjects under discussion in the arena of second language acquisition (SLA) research. I do not comply with the statement that L1-L2 differences results in learning complications because there are also many other factors that affect the learning process directly. A major part of the discussion emphasizes on the transfer phenomena which is typically referred to the incorporation characteristics of L1 into the informative systems of L2 that the learner is trying to construct. During the time frame 1950s-1960, transfer is seen to be one of the main causes of learning difficulties. Following in 1970s L2 acquisition process was denied in all the places. After all this crucial points of transfer debate has been determined which states in spite of the possession of irritating and elusive character, transfer is considered to be the major factor crafting the learner’s inter-language performance. Moreover it is also becoming evident that transfer phenomena are not just limited to learner’s integration of L1 elements into their L2 production. It is also believed that transfer is caused by similarities and differences between languages. It is not restricted to the impact of L1 and L2 but also encompasses the influence of L2 and L3. (Cook, Long & McDonough, 1979).

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In spite of extensive research done in this arena, there are still a lot of issues left unresolved such as nature of transfer, situations in which it occurs and related psychological processes. For instance effect of L1 on L2 performance is most prominent in the field of phonology wherein foreign accent is possibly the best demonstration of learner’s mother tongue in L2 speech. However the most research done on these phonological skills of L2 previously revolved around segmented issues. Therefore all the possible pro-sody was disregarded. The relation between the languages is known to very crucial as it determines the nature of second language acquisition. The acquisition of L1 and L2 did not differ then the research would only be about sub-field of language acquisition. It is actually a maxim that defines the features of L2 acquisition as the availability of another language with the presence of the first language in the same mind. Besides the characteristic of L2 community is defined as the supplementary usage of additional languages in association with the first language.

Explain the notions of attention and noticing and their roles in L2 learning.

Modern researchers state that noticing, which is defined as the level of attention and concentration, is a vital necessity for learning the grammatical forms of L2. This can be distinguished by its features such as a cognitive function called detection, consciousness and awareness. Both these elements are considered to be so essential that no innovative mental representation can be made in their absence. Moreover, according to many researchers and language instructors it is part of human skills and nature that he learns first languages more easily and effortlessly as in this case attention is not required along with awareness. On the contrary people learning second languages do not show such simplicity towards the learning process. They are not able to learn with the aid of detection only. Such difficulties and complications are more evident in learning grammar and cohesiveness of L2. The practical implementations seen in classrooms are generally noticeable. Here teachers and students endeavor to use obscure cognitive processes that supervise both the processes of learning, attention and grammar learning.( Schmitt, 2010)

Schmitt was the first person to conduct an effective research on the psychology associations with Second Language Acquisition (SLA). He claimed that the things that are noticeable are vital for L2 learning. He also hypothesized that noticing is an essential condition for this. Although many researchers considered noticing a vital component for L2 learning still the thoughts and opinions of other scholars differ in sense whether it is obligatory or not. Another factor considered to be important for L2 learning is attention, intentional or spontaneous. This human skill basically refers to his capability of concentrating on one task while paying no attention to the others. Subcategories of attention encompass alertness (eagerness to deal with a challenge), orientation (pathway of attention), detection (cognitive registration of a situation) and inhibition (negligence towards stimuli). The SLA theory states that one cannot learn anything from input unless it has formed the object of attention. It is true that it is necessary for L2 learning to focus on cognitive activities in regards with specific stimuli over time. The issue that is debatable in this arena is whether or not this discernment shall be conscious. Noticing refers to assigning importance to one aspect as compared to others. It is a form of awareness which determines private experience of learner linguistically. It has also been deliberated by many researchers that noticing is important for changing input to intake in case of learning L2. Schmitt (2010) also described the minimum prerequisite of noticing as the attention paid to deal with grammatical components in input. This is done with the accomplishment of reporting threshold level of subjective responsiveness and knowledge about the experience.


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