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The importance of morphology and syntax in the formation as teachers


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The importance of morphology and syntax in the formation as teachers

  2. 2. THE GREAT IMPORTANCE OF MMORPHOLOGY AND SYNTAX IN THE FORMATION AS TEACHERS IN THEIR EVERYDAY PRACTICE IN THE CLASSROOM Nowadays, we live in a society which demands well prepared citizens in many aspects of life, and talking about knowledge is the same as talking about power. They have become little by little equivalent. In this context, English knowledge is considered a requirement in many fields, for this reason English is taught as one of the most important subjects, not only in schools but also in universities where the number of hours have increased significantly. That is why; most of the institutions want to have well prepared English teachers who are able to combine not only methodology but also knowledge. And all we have said is linked with the study of Morphology and Syntax also known as Morphosyntax. Definitely it is not possible to address Morphology without knowing Syntax too as part of it, because they complement each other and share a great link. Learning English means acquiring certain skills such as having good vocabulary awareness, being competent at reading, writing a variety of papers, listening and speaking. All of these abilities are connected, and as teachers what we want to achieve in class is to integrate these skills so that students can produce the language fluently and accurately. Certainly, most of our vocabulary knowledge has been made possible due to our awareness of Morphology; it is known that the more morphological rules and tips you know the better vocabulary you will acquire. Besides, the ability to read involves decoding material, constructing sentences and messages semantically and grammatically correct. Morphosyntax is attracting more and more the interest of teachers. A language cannot develop without a well established theory of word and sentence formation. We are as teachers very concerned of the acquisition of the rules that govern the language. It is not possible to look into the human brain so as to watch how it processes language. Word formation started to attract the attention of linguists as a consequence of Chomsky’s publication in 1970, “Remarks on Nominalization,” which cost one of the most important divisions in the linguistic field among the supporters of lexical principles. Linguists succeeded in the identification and analysis of the units of language from the
  3. 3. simplest, the phoneme, to the most complex, the sentence, including the intermediate ones such as the morpheme and the word. We want our students to develop a linguistic competence of the language, so that they can be able to produce an infinite number of sentences. Not only linguists and psychologists but also teachers are interested in morphology because they expect it to be a good means to find out more about the strategies the speakers use in order to increase their lexical capacity. In some circumstances in their daily life speakers have to coin new words which they use to express their thoughts. Having known this, we try to capture the underlying knowledge which allows native speakers to form new lexical units to aid to produce new alternatives to learn languages which are more saving time and effort than those we are using now and it will permit its application to artificial intelligence. It is said that the grammar of the language is the formal representation of the knowledge students of a foreign language have. It accounts for the capacity of the production of a vast number of utterances, many of them new, and to interpret all those which reach their ears or eyes even if it is the first time they come across them. While it is important that as teachers we have a good knowledge of the syntax and morphology of English grammar, these are not terms that are used in the classroom. It does not mean that grammar is not of great importance in any language, it clearly is, rather that we need a more learner-friendly way to approach the teaching of grammar in the classroom. As a general rule teachers need to contextualize any new language items they introduce, this is particularly important for verb tenses, which form a large part of any grammatical syllabus. The contextualization helps the learners to understand the meaning of the grammatical item and to explore its use. Having established this, teachers can focus on form, the way the particular structure being studied is made up. It is true that the role of grammar in communicative language teaching suggests an uneasy relationship between two elements: called, grammar on the one hand, and communication on the other. But we must be aware of the fact that because all languages are characterized by certain components such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, by definition,
  4. 4. language does not exist without grammar. Considering grammar with all its components helps us as English teachers have a better idea of the complexity of what it means to know the grammar of a language. Clearly, the aim of language learning in the communicative classroom is to get the learners acquire the grammar of the second language in its broadest sense, to enable them to understand and make meaning; which is the same as to say to become proficient users of the second language. Additionally, to help students achieve that competence we must encourage them to solve problems together as best as they could, using the teacher as a resource. However, according to linguists, teaching grammar is often seen as establishing the 'correct' way of speaking and writing. It has become clear in language teaching that grammar is viewed as a tool or resource to be used in conveying meaning and comprehending other people's messages. At present, more and more teachers have begun to pay attention to the spoken language and discourse structure. They are also aware of the significance of teaching grammar within context, using meaningful and purposeful communicative approaches. Many linguists and researchers have given support to grammar instruction in ESL and EFL language teaching and learning. For instance, according to Hannan, without grammar, learners can communicate effectively only in a limited number of situations and grammar is highly valuable as an important part of the study of language, of ideas, and of writing. Besides, he points out that grammar reflects the power and order of the human mind and it also helps us to understand the diversity of human culture. Another representative figure is Garner who believes that grammar gives us a means to analyze and describe our language. Furthermore, many EFL learners in Thailand who want to further their studies abroad still have to take an intensive course in grammar in order to pass such exams as the Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System(IELTS). Research in second language acquisition, as noted by Celce- Murcia(1991), indicates that post pubescent adolescent adults need to pay attention to the form of the target language. If they do not, they ultimately develop an incomplete and imperfect interlanguage that reflects learning problems.
  5. 5. To sum up, firstly the knowledge of morphology can be applied among the teachers to increase their vocabulary, detect the changes of word classes, know the word origins and enhances the teachers’ mind to think creatively. Morphology brings a lot of benefits to the learners as well, because it helps to understand English vocabulary and grammar better. Secondly, syntax helps teachers understand the way in which words are put together in sentences and paragraphs so that we can instruct our students properly about the way messages are made just when they are becoming ready to talk and write in English. Finally, when presenting grammar teachers should be aware that they teach grammar but not teach about grammar or as Lewis(1986) states "language learning is more important than language teaching". Besides, the main goal in grammar teaching is to enable learners to achieve linguistic competence and to be able to use grammar as a tool or resource in the comprehension and creation of oral and written discourse efficiently, effectively, and appropriately according to the situation. We as teachers have to take into account that the discovery will be easier and more appealing if students are provided with context and both the teacher and learners are involved in the language acquisition.
  6. 6. REFERENCE ER_LAW.pdf Grammar.htm