Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Calderonello Chapter 1

I'm finding the Calderonello text much easier than Williams to read. I feel like he is really talking to me about how to be an effective teacher and I don't mind listening! One section of the chapter one reading assignment interests me- the part about the transformational approach to writing. The text describes this approach to teaching grammar as taking the ideas and descriptive nature of the structuralist approach several steps farther. It does this by stating that in every language user's mind there are innate understandings of grammar that are used in producing meaningful sentences. The text claims that we have this "natural grammar" before we even start going to grade school. I have always considers grammar more of a "black and white" subject area- there are strict rules that govern our writing and categorize it as being either "correct" or "incorrect." Needless to say, when I read this section of the text, I was a bit confused. I think that when we are children we do learn very simple sentences, maybe something like, "I go to the playground." This sentence appears to have a subject and a verb, but I'm not sure i'm comfortable as saying this sentence come from an innate grammar source. I think that it is more of a "learned process" that we acquire socially as children. If grammar was an internal natural ability, then why do we have grammar classes in the first place? Do you find yourself questioning the description on the transformational approach as I do?

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