Staff Reporter

Seminar planned from February 4 with UGC assistance

Neglect of grammar hampers the learners’ accuracy

Objective is teaching relevant grammar delightfully

TIRUCHI: Is grammar being given its due importance in the teaching of English? Can the teaching community escape blame for the sidelining of grammar?

The fact remains that learners could place themselves on a surer footing to express their thoughts flawlessly only with a sound grounding in grammar.

According to the organisers of the National Seminar on ‘The Why, What and How of Grammar Teaching’ at the Nehru Memorial College (NMC), Puthanampatti, during the first week of February, neglect of grammar hampers the learners’ accuracy not only at the level of production but also at the level of assimilation. It is in this backdrop that the three-day seminar from February 4 to 6 sponsored by the University Grants Commission has been designed to drive home the necessity for teaching relevant grammar delightfully, particularly for students of rural or semi-urban background.

The objectives include raising grammatical consciousness of teachers and through them the corresponding awareness of the learners; repositioning language teaching on foundations of learners’ cognitive activities (pattern-detection, insight-formation, hypothesis-formation, rule-generalisation, and eventual internalisation of grammatical rules and regulations); orienting attitude of teachers and students towards grammar; updating and augmenting grammar competence of teachers and students by re-acquainting them with the plurality of grammar theories and models; moderating and correcting the excessive and exclusive emphasis on ‘fluency’ and harmonising it with accuracy so as to achieve genuine fluency; and highlighting the relevance of structural method for ‘accuracy’ development and communicative language teaching for ‘fluency’ development so as to arrive at a right blend.

Thrust areas

According to K.T. Tamilmani, Seminar Convenor and Head, Department of English, NMC, the thrust areas encompass analysing the different meanings of the term ‘Grammar’, trans-historic ideas of grammar, synchronic view of grammar, diachronic view of grammar, types of grammar (Linguists’ grammar, Teachers’ grammar, and Students’ grammar), schools of grammar (British, American, Continental, Western, and Eastern), Case grammar, Post-Chomskian Schools of grammar, grammar and other disciplines (philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, semiotics, stylistics et al), and grammar centric cross-disciplines in the wake of structuralism and post-structuralism.