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  1. #1
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Communicative Grammar

    What is communicative grammar? How is it different from conventional grammar? Thank you.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Communicative Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    What is communicative grammar? How is it different from conventional grammar? Thank you.
    Judging from the number of views for this thread (one of which was me, wondering, yesterday), I don't think it's a phrase that's widely used. People in the field of Modern Foreign Languages talk about the Communicative teaching method based on the 3 Ps - presentation, practice, production. The emphasis is on effective communication, rather than prescriptive accuracy.

    I guess the phrase 'communicative grammar' might sometimes be used - rather loosely, and [I'd say] inaccurately - to refer to descriptive grammar (in which 'It's me' is right - it successfully communicates the idea of personal presence) as opposed to prescriptive grammar (which, in the face of what really happens, insists on 'It is I').

    b

  3. #3
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Communicative Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Judging from the number of views for this thread (one of which was me, wondering, yesterday), I don't think it's a phrase that's widely used. People in the field of Modern Foreign Languages talk about the Communicative teaching method based on the 3 Ps - presentation, practice, production. The emphasis is on effective communication, rather than prescriptive accuracy.

    I guess the phrase 'communicative grammar' might sometimes be used - rather loosely, and [I'd say] inaccurately - to refer to descriptive grammar (in which 'It's me' is right - it successfully communicates the idea of personal presence) as opposed to prescriptive grammar (which, in the face of what really happens, insists on 'It is I').

    b
    Yes, BobK, that's why I raise my question here. Nowadays, English grammarians prefer descriptive grammar, or communicative grammar in its loose sense, to prescriptive one. To native-speakers, the teaching of descriptive grammar may not pose a problem as they are brought up in local English environment. However, to non-natives outside the UK or USA, they will get confused and are unable to discern which is right or wrong if descriptive grammar is taught. Besides, without the rules, it is very hard for learners whose mother tongue is not English to master the language effectively. Ultimately, they will be losing their direction and going nowhere.
    Last edited by albertino; 23-Jul-2007 at 02:44.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Communicative Grammar

    Many native speaker teachers who work in Asia are less descriptive in their approach because they find that giving certainty works.

  5. #5
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Communicative Grammar

    .
    Leech & Svartvik's A Communicative Grammar of English is based on CGEL (Quirk, et al). In its preface and introduction, the authors link 'communicative grammar' to communicative competence as one of its component skills.

    They do not further define the term, but indicate that their approach to presenting grammar includes (to quote a few phrases they offer):

    - using real examples and giving increased emphasis to spoken English
    - the structural or formal aspect of grammar is less comprehensively treated
    - simplified terminology and classifications
    - grammatical structures are systematically related to meanings, uses and situations
    - grammar is presented in terms of notion rather than structure


    I personally grab this grammar book first-- it is user-friendly and the material is clearly and concisely presented. It does not represent a sea change in the nature of grammar texts (in fact, it first appeared in 1975, with a 2nd edition in 1994), but it is indeed more descriptive, as Tdol has opined.
    .

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