Larsen-Freeman claims grammaring is "the fifth skill" (alongside listening, speaking, reading, and writing), the ability to use grammar structures accurately, meaningfully, and appropriately. Grammar lessons are no longer about knowing language systems (declarative knowledge), but about knowing how to use language (procedural knowledge).
Because thinking is not independent of language. Apart from some very primitive or instinctive feelings like happiness, pain, sadness no thinking is possible without language. This is what Sappir-Whorf describes as linguistic determinism. However, these theories are not the end of evolution. Latest advances in science, technology, brain, psychology might deliver a differnt picture.
I find putting "grammaring" alongside other skills interesting but of course the four skills without inherent grammaring are not possible. We might as well create a new word in analogy to grammaring and call it "vocabularing". What about a fifth skill which has been around for some time now and heavily dependent on information technology:Visualising.
Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 20-Sep-2005 at 08:54.
I feel that putting grammaring as a fifth skill is redundant. As Jamshid mentioned, grammar is needed to master the other skills. How can you write properly if you can't use grammatical entities correctly? I guess you could, but then you wouldn't be considered a skilful writer. The same with vocabularing, which is essential to understand writen and spoken language as well as to be able to write.
In a way I gree with you Tdol when you say: the four-skills paradigm is flawed. and I think we need to rethink learning skills in general after all learning theories and methods of learning and teaching are being constantly revised.
This is indeed a very traditional four-skill paradigm. Two of them are primary: speaking and listening and the other two (writing and reading) being secondary. Seen from a different perspective speaking and writing are productive and listening and reading are receptive. They are based on the same IPO system in IT: Input - processing - output
This is the intro to Larsen-Freeman's description of "grammaring":
"As important as it is to develop our understanding of the grammatical facts of the language we are teaching, it is not these facts that we wish our students to learn" (p. 255).
A reviewer comments:
The idea of grammaring is that grammar teachers should divest themselves of the idea that grammar is a simply a set of rules for memorization. Rather, the goal of learners of ESL is closer to the development of a skill. Therefore grammar is conceived in its active and progressive sense.