Is / was your native language grammar taught at school?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Nanon, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. ger4 Senior Member

    @ Finnish and Dutch speakers
    Are the shortened personal pronoun forms in Dutch and in Finnish considered "bad grammar", "colloquial, but acceptable" or just a very handy, practical feature to help distinguish between stressed forms and unstressed forms? Do you ever write the short forms? Are these short forms accepted when spoken, but not accepted when written? Have attitudes towards the usage of "short" forms changed over the time?
  2. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    I wouldn't really say Dutch has short personal pronouns, but unstressed one. With ie for hij and 'k for ik being the only exceptions. Except for these two, the others (i.e. je for jij, ze for zij, and we for wij) are quite common in written Dutch, even in formal texts, though the normal forms would be used a little bit more there. ie and 'k can occasionally be found in written texts as well. The unstressed forms are also common in spoken language.

    In West Frisian it's a bit different though as it has a complex system of clitic and enclitic forms which can even be reduced to stops or dropped entirely. Clitic and enclitic forms are standard even in formal texts. -st (you singular) even "conjugates" with particles and the use of full do/ is even grammatically incorrect. For the purpose of emphasis, -o/ can be added to -st.
  3. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    The Hungarian schools start to teach "Magyar" in the first class. It is "reading and writing".
    The "composition" starts in third class.
    Later the "grammar" and "literature" separate. The teacher is always the same person.
  4. Mishe Senior Member

    Of course we had to learn Slovenian grammar in school and it was very important. Slovenians are crazy about their grammar and about being able to speak and write "correctly", although nobody really uses the literary language in every day life. But yeah, definitely a "grammar-oriented" culture in language learning, more so than "communication oriented".
  5. M Mira Senior Member

    We don't teach Chinese grammar (e.g., parts of speech, word order) in schools, and figures of speech are taught instead.

    This becomes a problem when teaching Classical Chinese, as the non-vocabulary differences are basically considered "classical, obsolete figures of speech" instead of "grammatical differences".
  6. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    The shortened personal pronoun forms in Finnish – mä, mää or mie (depending on dialect) instead of minä for "I", and sä, sää or sie for "you" – are considered acceptable in colloquial spoken language but not in written language. On the other hand, in Finnish we very often speak and write without using personal pronouns at all because the person is clearly expressed by the verb form. This is even more common in written language. The attitudes towards the usage of short forms haven't changed considerably during my lifetime.
  7. ger4 Senior Member

    Kiitoksia paljon, thank you.
  8. irinet

    irinet Senior Member

    Much the same happens in Romania.
    Grammar is taught exhaustively until the age of 14. Very odd!
    Less communicative approach. Too much writing kills young, fresh brains.
  9. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    I have an old acquaintance from San Francisco Bay Area. His wife is a Canadian French lady. I asked him of Skype about the French verbs which have more written forms than spoken forms.
  10. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    My grandson in the first class has learned the whole alphabet.
    He is arrived to the single pair ly/j where the traditional spelling is stronger than the phonetic one.
    Hint: The l' sound has converted to j [English -y-, Russian й] in most of the Hungarian dialects except on the Slovakian borderline but the word retained the old spelling.
    In English: "goulash", written Hungarian "gulyás", spoken Hungarian "gujáš".
  11. AmaryllisBunny

    AmaryllisBunny Senior Member

    We were taught grammar in school: writing (essays), syntax (composition), reading, and spelling. This was done "extensively" until high school.

    There were a few songs, e.g., "am is are was were, be being been do, does did have has had shall will should would may might must can could...," but I remember particularly that nothing was ever explained in detail [or to be questioned]. I was never taught specific moods, or tenses, let alone how to conjugate verbs; it was just something we learned by living here, by reading and speaking with others. We were given rules (adv. modifies a verb) to go by, but it wasn't until I started learning French/Japanese that I began to question these rules of English usage [that we were not only allowed, but it was grammatically correct to use adjectives with copular verbs]...

    For the most part, we were taught what was idiomatic and "grammatical," avoiding anything that didn't sound quite right.
  12. Serveto

    Serveto Senior Member

    Pauls Valley, OK
    USA English
    Here in the United States, a silly notion took hold the education community. English teachers bought into the notion that learning grammar didn't help improve students' writing, and many of them stopped focusing on it. I find this line of thining unconvincing and, frankly, outlandish: 1) we now routinely graduate students...from HIGH SCHOOL...who do not know the structure of their own language; 2) even if it were true that learning grammar does not improve writing (and I'd like to see the proof behind that assertion), there are many other reasons for learning grammar besides whatever it is that they're considering "improved writing"; and 3) understanding grammatical concepts makes it far easier to grasp the grammar of other languages.

    I think I'd almost pass out if I ever encountered a class of Spanish students in which the majority knew what an indirect object was or could tell me the difference between a past tense verb and a past partciple. Most of them don't even know what a preposition or an infinitive is! They may have been exposed to these concepts, but they were not required to master them, and there's almost an invisible resistance to actually learning this material. I've even encountered Spanish Two students who didn't remember what a VERB was, which I find incredible.

    Above all, I REALLY have a problem with denying the importance of thoroughly understanding the logic and structure behind one's own language, and denying people the opportunity to acquire that understanding while in school. An individual's language is so much a part of himself, yet it is something he shares with his entire community. Thus to know the grammar of one's own language is to understand a vital aspect of oneself.

    While in high school, I had to teach myself how to diagram sentences (because it was no longer being taught in class). I didn't get a handle on a lot of grammatical concepts until I encountered them in Spanish--and I really didn't have a thorough grasp of the complete picture of English grammar until I learned it on my own as an adult. Something's seriously wrong with that.
  13. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    When I was in school ('60s-early '70s) English class - a combination of spelling, grammar, composition, and literature - was required through 11th grade. The proportions of composition and literature (especially the latter) increased as one went along; I think 8th grade was the last year spelling was emphasized, but grammar review was still included in 10th. However, I don't remember hearing the names of cases (nominative, genitive, &c) before I took first-year German in 10th grade, and my first introduction to the subjunctive was in second-year German.

    When my daughter was in high school (four or five years ago) she asked me to buy her some grammar books because it wasn't being taught at school.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015

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