Challenges of teaching English Grammar
Grammar defines as the rules by which words change form and combines into sentences. It is the set of rules that tells the students the way of changing words into plurals, forming questions, and answering in the negatives. Grammar is partly the study of what forms or structures are likely in a language. Teachers also believe that grammar instruction helps students to produce more accurate languages. It is a way of ensuring that students are aware of the rules of the language. Teachers suggest that regular attention to grammar brings students closer and closer to attaining an ultimate level of competence that will allow students to produce error-free language.
The Importance of Grammar
While teachers claim that teaching grammar is essential for students to make sense of the language they are learning, it is also a vital skill for clarifying meaning and helping students to avoid ambiguities in communication. Thus, teaching grammar is essential at all stages of learning. It is necessary to make sure that students understand the language and articulate themselves clearly and coherently without ambiguity or uncertainty.
Teachers also believe that grammar instruction helps students to produce more accurate language. It is a way of ensuring that students are aware of the rules of the language. Teachers suggest that regular attention to grammar brings students closer and closer to attaining an ultimate level of competence that will allow students to produce error-free language. If teachers do not teach grammar, students will have a problem with differentiating what is right and what is wrong. Grammar teaching is necessary if we want students to write accurately and clearly. Grammar teaching will enable them to identify their errors as well. Some English teachers focus on grammar as a set of forms and rules. They teach grammar by explaining structures and regulations then training students on them. That results in bored, disgruntled students who can produce a correct form on exercises and tests but consistently make errors when they try to employ the language in context.
Grammar for any language is very important because it can not be transmitted correctly and accurately. Therefore, a language without grammar is, to some extent, meaningless and aimless. Grammar also helps learners convey their intended meaning appropriately. Grammar is to help students discover the nature of language that consists of predictable patterns that make us say, read, hear and write intelligibly. It gives learners a chance to express their thought correctly, either in speaking or in writing. Also, mastering grammar helps learners improving their style of writing.
Difficulties of teaching English grammar in general
Teaching grammar is serious and incorporates a lot of challenges that teachers face. This article will discuss several difficulties which English grammar teachers face inside their classes. One of these problems that most English teachers faced is the poor standard of the students. Students are also unaware of the essential rules and structural patterns they alleged to have learned at the lower level. If an instructor directly starts his teaching at the graduate level without trying to understand the extent of the students, his efforts won’t bear any fruits. That’s because he won’t be ready to raise a structure over a feeble foundation. An educator should begin with the simple grammatical items and proceed towards the complex ones. Each succeeding grammatical item must support the previous ones taught earlier within the class.
Thus, by carefully selecting the frequently recurring grammatical items in conjunction with grading them as per the needs of the learners, an instructor should provide students with constant practice in creating and using sentences. This training should support the grammatical forms and structures in various day-to-day situations of their lives. The most crucial problem is that students find the grammatical lesson difficult and bored. There is a suggestion to disband it, the “Communicative” way of teaching grammar in a traditional way. Grammar should present in context. Regardless of the technique employed in presenting grammar, it should follow the guided practice. This GP helps the learner process the language. Free practicing is widely advisable: interaction should be encouraged and doubled. In addition to that, English prepositions are another problem because different languages use different prepositions to express similar ideas. It’ll help your students if you do not teach too many prepositions at only once. Also, it’ll help if you’re decisive to put the prepositions in context (in a situation where the utilization is natural). In English, word order is more important than it’s in many other languages. Consistently, ESL students produce sentences that sound strange to the native’s ear because the order of the words within the sentences is wrong. Teachers should implement rearrange words to make meaningful sentences. So, teachers should encourage students to talk and write about their daily events freely. In a nutshell, I need to say we will be better teachers and impart better knowledge to our ESL learners if we can overcome all the mentioned problems. Finally, you should know that the more real communicative activities are, the better and more practical the classes will be. We’ve to contemplate how we will make formal instruction help students use the language correctly and appropriately.
What are the challenges facing English teachers in teaching grammar from the teacher’s insights?
The challenges of teaching grammar categorize into six different challenges;
Some English teachers pointed at some issues related to the students, for example :
- – Teachers did not know the needs of the students.
- – Some English teachers did not know their needs as they had never asked them. They measure the wishes of their students only by observing how students respond to the activities conducted in class. English teachers need to know the needs of their students and at the same time achieve the main objective in grammar lessons.
- – Correcting the mistakes is also a challenge. For example, their reluctant about the time they should correct their errors, especially in speaking class.
- – Having students with low proficiency or weak students is a challenge in teaching grammar.
- -Students had negative attitudes towards grammar. Generally, it is a norm to have weak students in class, but English teachers should not feel anxious or easily given up on this situation. There are a lot of activities which can be done to attract them or in other words to make the lessons more meaningful. Also, games are helpful when it comes to learning grammar. When the teacher implements English games, he can kill two birds with one stone. Games make the lesson fun and interesting, make the students learn the lessons meaningfully.
Several teachers claimed that they lack experience. They do not expose to teach English grammar by strategies, so it becomes difficult to teach grammar besides teaching grammar through trial and error processes. They did not coach on ways of teaching grammar. So their teaching process is based on observation and experiences that they had gained so far.
In review, English teachers must be applying the grammar rules and strategies first; next, they can teach them.
Not all schools provide their classes with sufficient equipment. Sometimes we just have had one room with a computer and an LCD projector. Most teachers stated that even though they have enough facilities, most of them are not working well. The perception of the English grammar teachers can also be a challenge in which the English lessons have to change their negative stigma on grammar. Suitable facilities are crucial to aid in making grammar lessons more meaningful. In addition to that, enough exposure to the target language helps learners learn a language better.
Expectations of the English teachers
Some English teachers had high expectations of their students in learning grammar as they believed the students had learned a lot when they were in school. Based on their perceptions, they had expectations on the condition of the classroom to be comfortable for cozy students to learn. In terms of the grammar lesson, Some teachers claimed that it was a challenge for them to create lessons that can cater to various kinds of needs of the students. We can not ignore their perception about grammar lessons; they believe that grammar lessons consume more time than other language skills.
Pointing to grammar instruction, it was more difficult than some people thought.
The lessons should balance between fulfilling the needs and achieving the objectives. The teaching of grammar is very challenging because teachers need to prepare grammar lessons that can interest the students and at the same time encourage them. To achieve that, teachers must emerge new approaches and new activities. These approaches and practices are depending on student’s level and their locality. Another point in the lesson is that teaching grammar consumes time as it is not easy to make students grasp the input in an hour or two.
Instructor perceptions play a significant role and can be a great challenge to English teachers. Based on interviews made with some teachers, it found the perceptions the English lessons are more to the grammar teaching itself and not so much on the students or the topics.
A negative perception of teachers about language teaching may demotivate the English teachers and the students accordingly the English teacher perceptions. According to the collected data, it founded that English teachers had negative perceptions of grammar. They claimed that teaching grammar is the hardest part of a position of the teacher. They also did not enjoy the teaching of grammar.
Grammar overall is a challenging language skill because it perceives as a component that could complement other language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Furthermore, grammar plays an essential part in grasping and producing spoken language. That was a return to that learning grammar is considered fundamental in acquiring the correct utterances of the language.