Monday, July 18, 2011

Teaching Grammar Noun Phrase through Magazine

Teaching Grammar Noun Phrase through Magazine


A. Background of Study
For most writing purposes noun phrases can be treated as single grammatical units performing the work of a noun in the sentence. Noun phrases may serve as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, complements or objects of prepositions.
A noun phrase is a phrase whose head is a noun or a pronoun accompanied by modifiers. Noun headword pre-modifiers include determiners, articles, demonstratives, numerals, possessives and quantifiers. The noun headword post-modifiers can be complements, other phrases or relative clauses.
Noun Phrases Examples: The hockey coach is happy. The process of writing an English sentence is much easier when the writer starts with a basic thought and systematically experiments with all of the sentence types and English parts of speech, phrases, clauses and verb tenses to see how to accurately express the complete thought.
B. Identification of the Problem
Based on the problem background and limitation above, the writer states the problem as follow. How is the process of teaching grammar of noun phrase for special-needed students?

A. Definition of Teaching Grammar
Grammar is central to the teaching and learning of languages. It is also one of the more difficult aspects of language to teach well.
Many people, including language teachers, hear the word "grammar" and think of a fixed set of word forms and rules of usage. They associate "good" grammar with the prestige forms of the language, such as those used in writing and in formal oral presentations, and "bad" or "no" grammar with the language used in everyday conversation or used by speakers of nonprestige forms.
Language teachers who adopt this definition focus on grammar as a set of forms and rules. They teach grammar by explaining the forms and rules and then drilling students on them. This results in bored, disaffected students who can produce correct forms on exercises and tests, but consistently make errors when they try to use the language in context.
Other language teachers, influenced by recent theoretical work on the difference between language learning and language acquisition, tend not to teach grammar at all. Believing that children acquire their first language without overt grammar instruction, they expect students to learn their second language the same way. They assume that students will absorb grammar rules as they hear, read, and use the language in communication activities. This approach does not allow students to use one of the major tools they have as learners: their active understanding of what grammar is and how it works in the language they already know.
The communicative competence model balances these extremes. The model recognizes that overt grammar instruction helps students acquire the language more efficiently, but it incorporates grammar teaching and learning into the larger context of teaching students to use the language. Instructors using this model teach students the grammar they need to know to accomplish defined communication tasks.
B. Definition of Noun Phrase
In this study, I opt for a functional and structuralise perspective. First of all, I describe the grammatical and morphological properties of elements of the noun phrase then classify them according to their functional roles. I then analyse the relations between noun phrase components and the way in which expansions. Determiners and modifiers are organised around the noun and its substitutes. Of the syntagme: l’ensemble d’unités significatives plus étroitement reliées entre elles qu’avec le reste de l’énoncé, plus, éventuellement, l’élément qui le relie à cet énoncé. To this, assumption that the noun phrase (NP) is so called because the word which is HEAD, (its main part) is typically a noun. The noun can act as subject, object, or complement of a clause or as prepositional complement. This study also takes into consideration the role played by pronominal components which are referred to here as noun substitutes since they act like nouns in hard and fast theoretical framework would no doubt have provided a rigid analysis. From the moment a theoretical framework in which one sets out to make a grammatical different syntactic positions. Concern related to the theoretical framework adopted for this study. Attempting at all costs to mould the grammar of Vince into a description is adopted, one runs the risk of confining oneself within the limits of the framework. In addition to using the functionalist and structuralise models as a starting point for the grammatical and morphological descriptions of the components of the NP, this study also takes advantage of the generative approach to language analysis. For instance, in an attempt to provide an in-depth study of NPs modified by relative clauses, terms such as movement, syntactic gap and extra position were applied insofar as they provided a coherent description.

A. Types of noun phrase
As well as the fundamental distinction between countable and uncountable nouns in English, there also exist some other types of nouns which have specific grammatical properties, as described below:
Countable / uncountable nouns
Some concrete nouns are countable when they refer to a separate, individual item, and uncountable when they refer to a substance related to that item, e.g.:
The little boy was throwing stones. (countable)
The fire place is made of stone. (uncountable)
There was a pile of newspapers on her desk. (countable)
I like eating fish and chips out of newspaper. (uncountable)
I’d like a glass of water. (countable)
The explosion had cracked the glass in the window. (uncountable)
Nouns denoting food and drink often behave in this way, e.g.:
Two coffees please. (countable)
I’ve never liked the taste of coffee. (uncountable)
Could you peel some potatoes? (countable)
Serve this dish with mashed potato. (uncountable)
There are some nouns which have a countable sense describing a specific example of something, and an uncountable sense which refers to a related action or idea in general, e.g.:
Sam did a lovely drawing at school today. (countable)
Sam has always been good at drawing. (uncountable)
I could hear a noise coming from the kitchen. (countable)
A disadvantage of the house is the constant noise from the road. (uncountable)
This news confirmed one of my worst fears. (countable)
Authority ought not to be based on fear. (uncountable)
That was a very interesting experience. (countable)
I knew from experience that there was no point in arguing. (uncountable)
This dictionary is one of their best publications. (countable)
The publication of the dictionary has been delayed. (uncountable)
Singular nouns
There are some nouns which describe concepts which are either unique or only ever talked about as a single idea.. These nouns only occur in the singular form, and are referred to as singular nouns. Singular nouns behave like the singular form of countable nouns. They can be used with the definite article the, the indefinite article a / an, and sometimes occur with possessive or demonstrative pronouns, e.g.:
The sun was beginning to set.
There was a very relaxed atmosphere.
The project was his brainchild.
Nouns formed from verbs relating to activities which you do not usually do more than once at a time are often singular nouns:
Suddenly he broke free from her grasp.
I had a browse through the magazines on the table.
Have a listen to this CD I bought!
Plural nouns
There are some nouns in English which are considered to be inherently plural. These nouns are referred to as plural nouns. They can be used with the definite article the, possessive or demonstrative pronouns, and words like some and any. Often they refer to things which we think of as consisting of two parts, e.g.:
You’ve broken my binoculars.
Can you pass me the scissors?
Those trousers are too big.
I’ve bought some new jeans.
Many other plural nouns also end in –s, and always refer to concepts which are thought of as consisting of more than just one thing, e.g.:
All the hotel rooms have private facilities.
We were sitting in very pleasant surroundings.
He was found in possession of stolen goods.
Plural nouns are sometimes formed from adjectives when describing a group of people which share a particular characteristic, e.g.:
The rich are the only ones who will benefit.
This hospital is designed to meet the needs of the aged.
Collective nouns
Nouns which refer to groups of things or people (e.g: government, team, staff) are often referred to as collective nouns. They differ from plural nouns in that they have the special property of being able to occur with either a singular or plural verb, depending on whether we think of them as a single, collective concept, or a collection of individual things or people, e.g.:
My favorite team is losing.
His team is all wearing red.
The committee hasn’t made a final decision.
The committee has all agreed.
Note that in American English, collective nouns usually occur with a singular verb, e.g.:
Which team is winning/wearing red?
This thesis recommends an analysis in terms of familiarity and the ability of interlocutors to identify NP reference in order to fully grasp the concepts of definiteness and specificity, grammatical and semantic terms which become inoperative in the analysis of determiner less NPs. It is thus posited that determiner less NPs be characterised as previously thought of, known, foreseeable or easily localisable entities. Their use emphasises the consciousness of the speaker with respect to the listener’s degree of familiarity vis-à-vis the referent, which allows the latter to successfully identify it. The null determiner +N combination refer to a wide range of entities:
1. A NP that is previously thought of by the interlocutor and which appears as a second mention or anaphoric cross reference;
2. A NP that is not yet thought of by the interlocutor but about which the speaker will be careful to provide sufficient information in first mentions with anaphoric force;
3. A unique NP which is easily identifiable since it is the only representative existing in the cultural or geographic space of the listener.
4. A generic NP which has several representatives. The listener will make the necessary selection in order to reconstruct the meaning of the utterance if need be. This phase of meaning reconstruction is necessary as it is omitted by the speaker who prefers to rely on the intrinsic capacity of the linguistic sign to refer;
5. A NP which the speaker hopes the listener will eclipse in order to focus his/her attention on the clause as a whole and not on the predicate which is geographically anchored in situ and which forms one with the verb or the preposition collocated with the noun.
B. Noun phrase detection is traditionally done in two steps.
1. Parts of speech of each word in the document are assigned;
2. A fixed pattern of part of speech tags are searched for, and word/tag pairs matching the pattern, are pulled out from the text as noun phrases.
Note that this approach certainly works for more than just noun phrases, however, this is traditionally the focus of phrase detection: namely, the detection and tagging of noun phrases. For noun phrases, this pattern or regular expression is the following:
(Adjective | Noun)* (Noun Preposition)? (Adjective | Noun)* Noun
This regular expression is read in the following manner: Zero or more adjectives or nouns, followed by an option group of a noun and a preposition, followed again by zero or more adjectives or nouns, followed by a single noun. A sequence of tags matching this pattern ensures that the corresponding words make up a noun phrase.

This thesis presents some obvious limitations since it focuses almost exclusively on the description of the NP. Consequently, many aspects remain unaccounted for, namely, the ways in which the VP may influence the semantics or the syntax of the NP. This aspect will be examined in subsequent studies. Likewise, this study does not claim to offer a comparative approach to creolistics. However, interesting parallels are drawn between VinC and other English-lexicon creoles of the Caribbean, albeit in simple terms. Since those creoles are well documented, the reader can make appropriate comparisons, and consequently, draw conclusions about the similarities or divergences between VinC and these creoles. In the immediate future, my intention is to make a translated copy of this grammatical description available to the partners in education and culture in SVG so that those who wish to formalise their knowledge of VinC will find, in this thesis, the tools to do so. More formally, a contrastive approach vis-à-vis standard English will enable us, as educators, to make the population of SVG cognizant of the differences between VinC and standard English. Such an approach could better prepare teachers of English to deal with problems hindering bilingualism in their learners. This study of NPs is meant to offer a wealth of didactic prospects.

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EDWARDS, Esther. 1997. Caribbean Cultural Poems and Parlance in Vincentian
Dialect. Vol. 1 : Vincentian Life, New York: Esther’s Cultural Productions. 81p.
NAM SPEAKS. New Artist Movement (various dates) - Literary Magazine. Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines: NAM.
BICKERTON, Derek. 1981. Roots of Language. Ann Arbor, MICH: Karoma.
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