Teaching of Grammar Categories: An Approach According to Activity Theory

Acquisition  of  grammar  and  methods  for  teaching  of  grammar  is  a  topic  of  discussion  within educational system in many countries. Normally, pupils at primary and secondary school show strong difficulties  in independent  writing  production,  which  depends,  among  other  things,  on  general knowledge  of  basics  of  grammar.  No  original  strategies  or  innovation  methods  are  proposed  in traditional  education.  The  chapter  represents  an  effort  to  show  a  new  pedagogical  approach  to teaching initial grammar categories. The aim of the study was to obtain qualitative pedagogical data during the work with basic grammar categories through prior acquisition of certain skills of orientation and reflective comprehension of differences between essential characteristics of each type of word (basic  grammar  category).  Initial  categories  are  also  understood  as  basic  and  general  grammar categories. The study was carried out with Mexican regular pupils of second grade of primary school. Specific  symbolic  orientation  was  created  to  facilitate  identification  of  essential  features  of  basic grammar categories. According to the results of the study, all pupils have shown positive acquisition of  intellectual  actions  for  comparison  and  individual  production  of  basic  grammar  categories.  The authors  discuss  effectiveness  of  positive  results,  which  were  obtained  by  application  of  new pedagogical  experience.  Our  proposal  is  based  on  strategies  of  guided  orientation  according  to cultural  historical  psychology  and  activity  theory.  The  results  have  shown  positive  effects  of  the program for acquisition of initial grammar concepts by Mexican pupils. Orientation base of actions and usage  of  external  means  for  orientation  (special  cards)  were  main  instrument,  which  allowed  to achieve  effectiveness  in  reflective  knowledge  of  pupils  and  in  grammar  awareness.  The  main principles  of  guided  and  joint  activity  including  teacher  and  pupils  in  classroom  were  applied  with success  for  formation  of  general  grammar  concepts.  Formative  experiment  applied  to  introductive teaching of grammar categories proved to be useful method in educational psychology. Orientation used in teaching should take into account types, levels and essential contents feature of concepts of grammar: general grammar categories.

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