Issues in Grammar Learning and Teaching
The concept of grammar is a wide-ranging notion and comprises a plethora of meanings and references lending itself to a multitude of interpretations. As stated by Swan (Grammar, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005, p. 3), the associations people have with reference to the word grammar are often negative: they either associate it with classroom analyses of different parts of speech, “large dusty books” full of expert vocabulary or a collection of prescriptions and proscriptions that make one apprehensive during language production. It seems justifiable to say that, for most people, grammar is a set of rules whose proper application ensures that the language they produce meets the requirements of the standard variety. The word grammar can be understood in numerous ways depending on the view of language one holds. For most linguists, grammar would stand for the subconscious internal system that competent language users possess and language learners develop. All languages share a number of important characteristics, the description of which is labeled as Universal Grammar. Apart from the detailed account of the common features of all languages, there are descriptions focusing on individual languages such as English or Polish. Finally, linguists trying to establish a general theory offering a comprehensive description of language have laid foundations for different types of grammar. Thus, the term grammar is also used to refer to a particular school of linguistics, such as e.g. Cognitive Grammar, formulated by Langacker (An overview of cognitive grammar. pp 3–48, 1988).