Teach English in Qingping Zhen - Enshi Tujiazu Miaozu Zizhizhou

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A language is used to communicate and the true purpose of using it, in the first place is served when the intention, is correctly conveyed. Communication, is at it's very core. Language is like a structure which when constructed with a strong foundation makes it beautiful, appealing, confident, scalable, captivating and meaningful. Grammar is that foundation. There are many who believe that investing in the building blocks right from scratch would be tedious and time consuming. Not everybody has the same time, energy, reason or interest to learn grammar. Likewise, the reasons for choosing to learn a new language may differ from person to person. Some may want to learn for just talking to friends. Others might want to learn because they would be travelling to a new place. Young learners may not want to learn it in the first place and may want to play instead. Also, a person may want to learn just a little in order to converse with their colleagues in office, or for just taking up a test that is mandatory for a promotion. While teaching a class it is worth considering what the students' needs are. If the need to use the language is minimal then developing and practicing conversational skills probably would be beneficial. Otherwise, it would steal the class of motivation and would squeeze the life out of their imagination and creativity. There are others who believe that grammar is essential for teaching any new language. Unless the basic constructs are introduced properly, students may develop incorrect understandings which may be even more difficult to get rid off, later. Even though they would start talking and writing but their composition and comprehension would be prone to errors. Further, pointing out and clarifying flaws and errors would be difficult as they wouldn't recognize a particular pattern without an underlying knowledge of basic grammatical structures. Thus, the learning curve would be very slow. There could also be a massive dip in confidence if they don't understand why something that they said or wrote was incorrect. The need of the students really is the key here. Just as not everybody has to learn to sing, dance, do gymnastics, mathematics, art or football to the same degree, a new language could also be learnt with or without the knowledge of grammar. Just as a child picks up new words, then sentences and context by listening to people around, a new language can be learnt without knowing grammar at all. However, if the student needs to learn to write, compose, paraphrase, comprehend a little more complicated passages, read newspapers, understand articles in journals, write emails or essays the knowledge of grammar would be instrumental. It would not only provide a seamless flow of expression, in addition it would make sentence construction clear, interesting and precise. As a result it would sound correct, amusing and engaging to the listener or reader. The students would be able to write paragraphs that would be meaningful. Grammar helps students to practice a lot of sentence constructs. They get familiarized with more vocabulary and understand the usage of words in different contexts. Learning the various parts of speech such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections with examples, study worksheets, gap-fill exercises and activities creates a basic ground for students to experiment, make mistakes and learn. Eventually topics such as tenses, comparatives, articles, active passive voices etc. add a lot of flavour in as well. A variety of activities is essential for practice and care must be taken that lessons should not be rushed or else the students would find it difficult and would lose interest. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Thus, time and again there should be evaluations done on progress of the students to make sure that lessons are understood by everyone. If there are certain students who are finding it difficult to understand then they could be paired up with other students and then role-play activities could be encouraged. This would boost the confidence of the students and would make the classes lively and entertaining. Fun and games are a very good way to evaluate progress in practical scenarios. "Grammar is ... the pole you grab to get your thoughts up on their feet and walking". - Stephen King For young learners in schools it is essential that they learn grammar and have a very good foundation in their early years so that when they reach higher classes they are better equipped to handle more complex speaking and writing activities confidently and effectively. A lot of these students would grow up to be writers, poets, journalists, teachers and in a lot of other careers as well where they would need to author books. Their opportunity to be successful would be greatly hindered if their knowledge of grammar is inadequate. Not just for writing, jobs that need reading, listening and speaking skills also need a very good understanding of grammar. It is needless to mention that the crown of quality of speech, context and communication will always be given to the person who has a foundation of grammar in his or her bucket. A confident hand is always the one that knows what it writes is correct, and that kind of knowledge, will be backed by the very building blocks of grammar. Hence, it is essential that learning and studying grammar is encouraged and supported.