Sat. Aug 15th, 2020

A Nation Involved in Grammar by Muslim Shafi

4 min read

A nation whose youth is indulged into learning those drilled and dry vocabulary of grammar loses its all strength handling regular and irregular verbs! The text is not meant to be considered a polarity against the grammar of any concerned Language. This is just to implicate that grammar has been thought to be a discourse or a narrative at around my people’s cognition.

One should learn grammar but not the way we are learning it. The claims of post-modernistic Linguistics are quite contrary as to that of prior traditions of the field.

It was later this century that it was believed that some Languages are sweet or some bitter. Noam Chomsky came into being and asked the question to the tradition, Is there any language sweet, or any language bitter? He with his Universal Grammar and Generative Grammar theories, he revolutionized not only the arena of linguistic theory but also the realm of Computer Science with theory Automata. Noam questions the biased belief of ours about linguistics and language by using common sense language parameters. If Languages are sweet and bitter then thinking and imagination are rough and sour. Oh! He has a sour imagination!? As Stephen Pinker, in his book: The Language Instinct, believes that language is a human instinct. If language is something abstract, then there is no something like ‘Cuban sheerin’.

Or the tradition of that Swiss Linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, who put a full stop or period to era Historical Linguistics where linguists would make families of Languages using phonological sounds. And he began the generation of Synchronic Linguistics: the study of a Language within its own descriptive rules. The movement of Synchronic Linguistics ended the contrast of comparing the history of the words of one language with the other. De Saussure was in favour that English or Balochi alone can be studied. Per sure, when humans began to speak; they must have had one language. How could they speak it without comparing with the other languages? If they could speak that language without knowing the other, then it is clear that a language can be studied without comparing it’s everything with the other languages.

They put a halt on the old concepts of both Linguistics and Language learning and teaching. So, what I mean is that every Language has its own descriptive conditions, not prescriptive rules. Which are drilled by the Language teachers in most of our Language Institute today, particularly our areas. For instance, this prescription: ‘don’t end a sentence with a preposition’. Don’t repeat a single word in a single paragraph. ‘Use synonyms’. The notion of this type of teaching is just another injustice to both the socialization and psychological conditions of the children because prescribing is forcing!

I have as a language teacher from different times deduced that our children are giving too much time to grammatical learning rather than descriptive learning of ideas, or to be straightforward, these students do not study their other subjects as they do read grammatical materials. What happens if a student from Physics focuses very much attention on grammatical terms, rather than understanding the material connection between things? The answer is quite obvious to all; it is not Greek!

It is the timing that is the issue for a student of biological and physical or chemical science that is the key to maintaining a healthy understanding of the scientific phenomena. Teachers have, what I believe, dragged the attention of students towards grammar and have convinced them as if without grammar they can’t think of being knowledgeable giants or they seem to have no future without knowing Nouns and types. Have you ever, the reader, listen to Dr A.J.P Kalam speaking English? If not, he spoke pure Indian English without worrying where he kept the verb and what words he mispronounced! But he had ideas, and what do we have? Grammar and Grammar!

If we want to learn a Language easily then we must pay attention to the comprehension part of the language. Trying listening through watching movies, and reading books: listen makes us speakers of native type and reading makes us worthy writers!

This drilling of grammatical concepts into the neurological process of children’s brain makes them believe that grammar is the only option left to be considered worthy. Grammar is important, there is no doubt, but not all of the grammatical terms, because we all have some those who did not go to any English language Institutes, but they read and write comprehensively well, than omes who went to throw some English to impress the neighbourhood.

One thing more, we as teachers believe that if a course content has been set by the syllabus board, how could we change it? We don’t need to change anything, what just is needed is that improve the concerned content.

The world is busy discussing the ideas of Schenphour, Richard Dokwin, Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky and Yuval Noah Harari, and our youth is once again, yet another time again, lo diverged into the abyss of rough reading of those prescriptive rules drilled by their teachers onto their creative craniums. It is lamenting!

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