Friday, January 20, 2006

Structures (Selection and Gradation of Structures)

Structures (Selection and Gradation of Structures)

Is there a minimum core of structures, (comparable to the minimum vocabulary) which we can prescribe for the learners to meet his communicational needs?
First, it should be clear that a structure of English is not a sentence of English. All the sentences of English can be presented through a limited number of types or patterns. Each pattern can yield an infinite number of sentences. The formula represents the types and the sentences the token. A structure is thus an abstract thing; a theoretical representation of real thing while the sentence is the actual thing.
A question now arrives: Does the learner learn the abstract structures or he learns the abstract sentences? Whether it involves imitation – memory - habit formation or interference – generalization – rule formation. In other words, is language learning of condition behavior or cognition? No one would maintain that we learn the language sentence by sentence. It must be presumed that we learn the patterns and subsequently we learn how to produce sentences on these patterns by substituting different items (words) in the elements combining together. But since the pattern is an abstraction it cannot be arrived at once. The pattern can be introduced only through sentences by illustrating it. Once a pattern was learnt, it could be used to produce an innumerate number of sentences. Therefore, sentence patterns have to be graded in order of difficulty or complexity in the teaching material that is to be produced for the learners of the language.
For one thing, certain items have idiosyncratic features. In English we can say:
- I feel that you should go.
But we cannot have a sentence like:
- I want that you should go.
(You should say: ‘I want you to go’)
The learner would have to learn separately the structures or patterns using the words ‘want’ and ‘feel’. Such difficulty supposes a problem in arriving at a list of graded structures. Nevertheless, attempts have been made to draw up a list of selected and graded structures. Schools in India have for a long time being making use of ‘structurally graded syllabuses’ as part of the structural approach to the teaching of English. The criteria of frequency range, productivity and teach-ability used for selecting and grading vocabulary are relevant in the selection and grading of structures as well.

As already mentioned, language learning cannot be divorced from situation. It is possible for the learner to learn words and structures correctly but used them in the wrong context. Appropriateness is as important as correctness. It is the teachers’ responsibility and duty of proprietors to indicate this situation and contexts in which they be used. The situations and contexts should be selected and graded as items in language. Of course, the situations that can be created in the classroom are limited. In comparison to real life situations they are artificial and unconvincing. Nevertheless, they do enable the learner to see the relationship between situations and language.


Post a Comment

<< Home




::A::     • A. Fatih Syuhud Blog   • Ahmad Qisai Blog   ::B::     ::C::     ::D::     ::E::     ::F::     • Ferry Zuljanna Blog   ::G::     ::H::     ::I::     • Irwansyah Yahaya Blog   ::J::     ::K::     • Khairurrazi Blog   ::L::     • Lukman Nul Hakim Blog   • LitComposer   ::M::     • Meytia Mutiara (Tia)   • Muchlis Zamzami Blog   • Music From The Heart   ::N::     ::O::     ::P::     • Purwarno Hadinata Blog (The World of Letters)   ::Q::     ::R::     • Rini Ekayati Blog   • Rizqon Khamami Blog   • Rini Aisyah Blog   ::S::     • Saifullah Hayati Nur Blog   • Saiful Matondang Blog   • Suara Hati Seorang Perempuan   ::T::     • Talksmart Blog   • The Composed Gentleman Blog   • Tylla Subijantoro Blog   • The Thoughts   ::U::     ::V::     ::W::     ::X::     ::Y::     • Yunita Ramadhana Blog   ::Z::     • Zamhasari Jamil Blog   • Zulfitri Blog  

  blog-indonesia   Subscribe with Bloglines    View My Public Stats on        
The World of Language   The World of Letters
Subscribe to Fak.Sastra UISU
Powered by: