Initiating Efl Learners Into Discourse Grammar: How Far Should We Go

07/19/2005 00:00:00
Penulis/Peneliti : Setiono Sugiharto, M.Hum


Bidang Penelitian :


Jurnal : Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching


Volume : Volume 1/Number 1 • May 2005


Tahun : May 2005


Setiono SugihartoEnglish Department Faculty of EducationAtma Jaya Catholic University JakartaABSTRACT With the advent of the interest in discourse analysis, the teaching of grammar has shifted from sentence level analysis to contextual analysis, which strongly emphasizes the importance of context in the form of discourse, through which certain grammatical features of the target language are inculcated. So popular is this new trend that it gives birth to the term ‘discourse grammar’. The use of context in teaching grammar is motivated by the assumption that naturalistic language learning takes place at the level of discourse rather than the abstract sentence level, and that certain grammatical features (such as tense-aspect-modality choice, use of active versus passive voice, indirect object alteration, adverbial position, and use versus non-use of it clefts and wh- clefts) are context-sensitive, and thus must be taught in context. Moreover, it has been assumed that since language serves as a medium of communication, it should enable the speakers and writers to accomplish specific pragmatic functions. This apparently implies that grammar is no longer seen as an autonomous system to be learned but rather as a system that closely interacts with meaning, social function, and contexts in which it is used. This paper will begin by presenting diachronic to synchronic perspectives of the development of linguistics theories in order to provide a comprehensive account of the methodological trend in grammar teaching. It specifically discusses how the trends in linguistics affect the underlying philosophy of grammar pedagogy. It will then present perspectives in analyzing grammatical features through both spoken and written discourse. The paper will conclude with some caveats for teaching grammar at discourse level in light of the learner, teacher and teaching material variables. As for these three variables, this paper argues that (1) learners’ learning style and proficiency level should be taken into account, (2) grammar teachers must possess a full command of linguistics, and (3) teaching materials should not pose learnability problems to learners.      Presen paper pada Linguistik Nasional MLI 2005, 18 - 21 Juli, Padang - Sumatra Barat