STRATEGIC against the teaching of grammar might

CHAPTER I – Introduction
Grammar is commonly known as rules of language that guide the combinations of words and convert complex meanings according to the ordering of such words. (Odey,, 2014)”It is a system of meaningful structures and patterns that are governed by particular pragmatic constraints.” (Larsen-Freeman, 2001). In other definition “grammar is a description of the rules for forming sentences, including an account of the meanings that these forms convey” (Thornbury, 1999, p13)
Grammar has been regarded as crucial to the ability to use language. As quoted by Mart (2013) about grammar teaching, Krahnke (1985, p598) suggests that “much of the effort spent arguing against the teaching of grammar might be better spent on convincing true believers in grammar instruction that grammar has a newly defined but useful role to play in language teaching and in showing them what it is.” (Terrell, 1991, p54). Awoyemi (2013: 34) views it as a complex part of human psychology, a phenomenon which is orderly, meaningful and creative.
Furthermore, grammar is thought to furnish the basis for a set of language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. In listening and speaking, grammar plays a crucial part in grasping and expressing spoken language (e.g. expressions) since learning the grammar of a language is considered necessary to acquire the capability of producing grammatically acceptable utterances in the language (Corder, 1988; Widodo, 2004). In reading, grammar enables learners to comprehend sentence interrelationship in a paragraph, a passage and a text. In the context of writing, grammar allows the learners to put their ideas into intelligible sentences so that they can successfully communicate in a written form. Lastly, in the case of vocabulary, grammar provides a pathway to learners how some lexical items should be combined into a good sentence so that meaningful and communicative statements or expressions can be formed. In other words, Doff (2000) says that by learning grammar students can express meanings in the form of phrases, clauses and sentences. Long and Richards (1987) add that it cannot be ignored that grammar plays a central role in the four language skills and vocabulary to establish communicative tasks. Grammar will give learners the competence how to combine words to form sentences. Indeed, grammar knowledge is needed to create fully developed sentences because with little understanding of how language functions, learners cannot developed develop their language skills. As Mart (2013) quoted, “Just as there are careful and effective drivers who do not know what makes a car run, so there are those who, through practice and skillful observation, have become satisfactory, even effective, writers with very little understanding of the mechanics of the language. But it follows that the more you know about the form and function of the parts that make up the larger unit, the sentence, the better equipped you are to recognize and to construct well-formed sentences….(Emery, et al, 1978, p. 1)
The ultimate goal of the Language Arts and Multiliteracies Curriculum is to produce graduates who apply the language conventions, principles, strategies and skills in: interacting with others, understanding and learning other content areas, and fending for themselves in whatever field of endeavor they may engage in.(K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum, 2013) In K-12 program, the aim for English Language Communications is to demonstrate communicative competence of the macro –skills –listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The goal of the current program is to develop language communicative skills both in oral and written communications.
However, this goal seems to have been dropped and our call for functional literacy to encourage learners is at a crucial stage. The Philippine educational system is still facing various problems such as scarcity of teachers, poor classrooms and lack of instructional and learners materials, low student achievements and performances which hinders the students to be an active makers of meaningful life.
It has been generally well-known that most people faced some problems in learning English as a second language or foreign language in non-speaking countries. The Philippines is one of the examples which English is a second language but is being used as a medium of instruction in some subjects such as English, Math, Science and TLE. The levels of proficiency in English is low as seen in the National Assessment Tests. In the National Proficiency Test, administered by National Testing Research Center, revealed that even teachers got low scores because out of 51,000 teachers tested, only 10,000 passed. It is not surprising that this performance is passed on to their students.

Information could be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to use these numbers though it may not tell everything with high accuracy but test results allow for a useful perspective.
The National Achievement Test (NAT) revealed very poor results. The overall Mean Percentage Score (MPS) in 2012 is 48.90% which is an improved performance compared to 44.33% in 2006 and 46.80%. In English, The MPS in 2012 is 51.80% near to the result in 2005% which is 51.33% that lowered down to 47.73% in 2006. The goal of 75% seem elusive at this point.

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In the analysis made by National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC) in 2013, where they presented some factors that affects the MPS for elementary, revealed that schools that have adequate books and learning materials have a higher MPS than schools where teachers discuss the lesson the whole period (chalk-talk method). For high school, schools where teachers present first the concept/theory followed by a variety of examples and/or situational roles and then application concept got the highest MPS of 52.30% in Science, Math and English.

In the Division of Ifugao, Lumauig (2010) said that the results of the National Achievement Test particularly in English indicated low performance. The Mean Percentage Score from 2008-2010 were far below 75%.

In Tulaed National High School where the writer teaches, grammar is being ‘teach and reteach’ with various activities for the learners to have a full mastery of the lesson. However, the quizzes, summative test and examination results showed that almost 45% of the students’ population she’s teaching failed to get a passing rate. Aside from non-compliance and absenteeism as reason for the low achievement and performance, lack of learner’s material and no textbook is also be one reason.
Farell ( 1993) writes that school teaching and learning materials is any support material available for use by the teacher in the class and a reading material for children. Resources directly utilized in teaching and learning are clearly classrooms and curriculum support resources such as books, stationery materials, workbooks, wall pictures and the like. (Mintzberrg, 1979; Benjamin and Orodho, 2014)
With regards to the effects of of learners material on classroom management and content delivery, Eicher, et. al. (1982) stressed for teacher’s effective classroom management and content delivery. They say that like in motor-car industry, teachers use techniques and tools to achieve their goals. The lack of learning materials inevitably hampers the teaching, depress the spirit of learners and the enthusiasm of the teacher.

The aforementioned situation prompted the writer to develop Strategic Intervention Materials (SIM) as a tool in improving student’s performance especially the slow learners or students at-risk. This SIM in grammar is for English 8 in Mayoyao District, Mayoyao, Ifugao.

Strategic Intervention Material (SIM) is an instructional material meant to reteach the least mastered concepts and skills. (Bunagan, 2012) The SIM is focused on improving student’s skills in writing sentences. It contains series of drills/contextualized activities, pictures or comic strips which are presented in a way that ideas, instructions, procedures are clear and easy to understand. These activities are simplified with guide questions to help the students come up with independent learning.

The use of SIM as prescribed by the Department of Education (DepEd) is one of the treatments to improve student’s achievement and reduce least mastered skills in all subjects. Lumogdong (2015), Bruma (2016), Lagata (2008), Doctama ( 2012), and Gatdula (2015) were among the various researchers who proved that the SIM is effective in improving the performance of students in different subject areas.
This chapter contains the research method to be used, and the method in preparing strategic intervention material, the environment of the study and the data gathering procedure.

Research Method
This study will utilize the data results from the studies and the grammatical difficultied in English 8 students at Tulaed National High School, Tulaed, Mayoyao, Ifugao.

The study will propose strategic intervention materials to be used in addressing the grammar difficulties among Grade 8 students. Since the materials can be used outside the classroom hours, it is written in an interactive, attractive, conversational and localized manner.

The materials will be patterned from the K-12 learning modules of the Department of Education with the following parts: Guide Card, Activity Card, Assessment Card, Enrichment Card and Reference Card.

The Guide Card presents the big picture of the topic. It gives a preview of what students will learn. The following should be considered in making the guide card: stimulate interest in the topic and present the focus skills, mention the learning competency and build on prior learning/prerequisite skills. The concrete outcome or product students are expected to demonstrate or produce are mentioned in this card.

The Activity Card defines the tasks that the learner should undertake in order to develop a skill. It should translate the focus skills into at least three activities that are organized based on the sequence of the focus skills in the guide card and have clear directions. It should also provide examples to concretize the concepts, particularly those drawn from real life experiences, students can complete independently, in pairs or in small groups, allow students to make discoveries and formulate ideas on their own.
Assessment Card provides exercises, drills or activities that allow students to assess their understanding of what they have learned and correct errors when appropriate and monitor their learning and use feedback about their progress. It is formulated in standard test formats to give students practice in test-taking techniques. It should also give clear directions and provides an answer key in a separate card.

Enrichment Card provides activities that reinforce the content of the leson. It provides opportunities for students to apply what they have learned to other subject areas or in new contexts and to work independently to explore answers to their own.

Reference Card provides readings that relate content with students’ life experiences. It should also contains a carefully researched list of resources that: will reinforce concepts/skills learned, provide additional content not found in the textbook and students may refer to for further reading.

The proposed materials will be reviewed by some English Teachers of the Division of Ifugao. The writer’s adviser will also help in the revision of some parts and editing of the materials.

Data Gathering Procedure
The researcher will ask the permission of the school head for her to make strategic intervention materials for grammar in Grade 8.

She will refer to the English Curriculum guide and the learners material she is using in teaching grammar contents to identify the grammar competencies.

She will gather appropriate activities in making the strategic intervention material by utilizing varied references such as textbooks, workbooks and the internet.

The SIM will assuredly be validated and confirmed by the school head English teachers from other national high schools who have already finished their Master of Arts in Teaching- English and have been teaching English for many years.

Research Environment
The study will be conducted at Tulaed National High School S.Y. 2018-2019. It is located at Barangay Tulaed, Mayoyao Ifugao which is 4 kilometers away from central Mayoyao. Tulaed National High School belong to small school with a population of 272 students. It has two classes from grade 7 to grade 10 only.


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