The Importance Of Grammar In English Instruction

3545 words - 14 pages

Grammar delineates the forms of language that are actually used by native speakers. In addition, grammar elucidates how the forms of language function in units we call sentences. Cognizance of grammar allows one to think about how language structures are used to get meaning across, leading to more effective communication in oral and written prose (Zellig).
Traditional grammar focuses on morphemes, words, phrases, clauses and sentences but leaves out phonemes, paragraphs and whole texts. Advanced grammar includes the latter and allows one to develop a better understanding of grammar because of those three additional items. To better understand grammar, a working knowledge of this vocabulary is necessary (Longacre).
A phoneme is the smallest unit of speech distinguishing one word from another. Phonemes find their root in spoken language represented by special symbols such as the International Phonetic Alphabet. Each symbol represents a specific sound that is common in all languages. Morphemes are the smallest grammatical unit of speech; it may be words like “cat” or “an” or an element of a word like re and ed as in appeared. Words are sounds or combinations of sounds that has a meaning and is spoken and written. A phrase is a group of two or more words that express a single idea, but do not usually form a complete sentence. A clause is a part of a sentence that has its own subject and verb. Sentences are a group of words that express a statement, question, command or wish. A paragraph is a subdivision of a written composition that consists of one or more sentences, deals with one subject, begins on a new line, and that is made up of one or more sentences. Lastly, Whole texts are a literary medium used by authors to share an account of incidents or events either real or fictional (Kumaravadivelu).
In this paper, the author will discuss the International Phonetic Alphabet, the notional structure of the plot, and the salience scheme for English narrative, as these are methods of deeply examining prose for comprehension of grammar. The Lady of Shalott, Tradition and The Velveteen Rabbit will be utilized to demonstrate the notional structure of plot as well as the salience scheme for English narrative. In addition, the importance of advanced grammar in the instruction of English grammar will be discussed.
The International Phonetic Alphabet has one hundred and seven letters of which twenty-nine are base vowel symbols, IPA provides a unique symbol to represent speech sounds, IPA allows us to describe sounds in any language, and IPA allows us to describe sounds the way people say them regardless of their native language (The International Phonetic Association).
To give the reader an idea of what the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols look like when text is transcribed, a sample of each will appear below:
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
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