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Traditional Grammar Method Essay

1512 words - 7 pages

In the nineteenth century, the golden age of biology, the open evolving system of living organism carries a lot of weight. Hence, the traditional linguists took biology as a model of language as well. Language was considered as a living creature which can be grown and changed - live and dead. The changing lead to the degenerate of language in the present day - the spoken language, so the traditional linguists cling to the purest form’s principle in order to seize the accuracy of the language. The purest form is the written language which founded on the study of Latin and Greek. On the belief that Latin and Greek are root of all languages, arise the principle of universal grammar – the idea ...view middle of the document...

The normative attitude toward teaching is to expect the learners to make practical use of the rules without any digression. The heart of learning is the students’ capability to talk about the language rather than to use it. Then, this method also aims at intellectual discipline as well, from there, the learners have to understand the complicated rules given by the teacher in order to exactly analyze language. Therefore the learners always consider of what is prohibited rather than what is permitted.

It is not the complex way of teaching for teacher who believes in traditional grammar. With the deductive way of teaching, he inculcates the rules followed exactly from the text book and then let the students practice through the exercises which, of course, followed from the text book too. And the teacher can judge the students from his own belief. This subjective approach is well known as teacher-centeredness. Moreover, there is no need of using L2 in teaching. L1 is used as a medium of translating since the teacher believes that all languages have the same structure, on the track of universal grammar. The teacher translates L2 grammar through L1 and the students ask the questions about the lesson they do not understand with L1 as well. The method that takes L1 as an essential is called grammar translation which is the major teaching method for traditional grammar.

Later, by the end of nineteenth century, here comes the golden age of physical sciences. At that time, linguists took physic as a model by comparing language with the physical objects. They care for the system so they believe that language is systematic, each element of language has to perform under the rules. They concern about the structure of language, not isolated words, so they have ability to analyze structural language. There are two famous ways of analyzing based on syntagmatic and paradigmatic. The first way is immediate constituent (IC), which is cutting units of sentence until reducible. And the second one called slot and filler that fill the same word type into the simplest form of slot. Yet the structural linguists support using language as the way of communication because of the World War II. The use of language comes to be very considerable. During the great war, communication skills, e.g., speech, pronunciation, fluency, phonetics, are required rather than writing skills in order to associate with alliances or even the spies from the enemy country. Linguists are considered as the important person who played key roles of the brand new attitude this time.

By-product of physics, leads some ideas of thinking to the structural linguists. They try to describe and explain the information of language, which founded on the system of language, without the prescriptive attitudes of traditional grammar. With this descriptive way, the structural linguists have no need to look back at the historical antecedents. They only concern with contemporary using of language, the...

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