Geography: grammar teaching in other countries

There’s also an international collection of information about ‘sentence diagramming’.


International comparisons

Individual countries

  • The Czech Republic

    • the Capek project
      • The link at ‘View sentences analyzed by teachers’ takes you to 31 Czech sentences, with English translations, analyzed using the standard analytical system taught in Czech schools. This system gives each sentence a structural diagram with a box of grammatical information for each word or word-group. Each sentence has a separate page which includes a convenient key to the notation.
      • (Information provided by Barbora Hladka.)
  • Denmark

    • Background information about Danish schools (in English)
    • Almen Sprogforståelse (literally ‘general understanding of language’; the normal Danish for general linguistics is almen sprogvidenskab).
      • This course was introduced in the Sixth Form [i.e. last years of secondary school] Reform of 2005 and is taught to all students in the part of sixth form called ‘stx’, in the first half year of the three years they spend in sixth form.
      • An English translation of the syllabus for this course.
      • The textbook.
      • Motivation:
        • Because a certain understanding of language is fundamental in the world we live in.
        • To help the students see the similarities among the different foreign languages they’re learning and to be able to apply a common terminology when talking about grammar of different languages.
    • In addition to this new course, government documents (in Danish) on the teaching of English at sixth-form college and technical college, require explicit knowledge of grammar (‘analyse and describe the grammar and stylistics of the English language using the proper terminology’, ‘apply basic knowledge of the structure and grammar of the English language for linguistic analysis, understanding of texts, and communication’). In both Danish and English students must now be able to perform a certain level of linguistic analysis of a given text.
    • The VISL project
    • (Information supplied by Anette Wulff, Merethe Sorensen and Nigel Vincent.)
  • France

  • Italy

    • ‘[In Italy,] you start by doing a little introduction (basically just the classification of words) at the elementary school (5-10), then you do a bit more (including some study of grammatical functions) at the intermediate school (10-13), and much more is normally done at the high school (13-18) … elementary and intermediate school have a common nationwide curriculum, …’ (Maria Filomena Capucho)
  • Portugal

    • ‘”formal learning” of Portuguese grammar starts at primary school (by the second year – average age 8) and goes on until the 9th year of scholarity (average age 14-15).’ (Kristine Jensen de Lopez)
  • Russia

    •  ‘… in Russia (and in former USSR) such classes were part of obligatory program. .. Word categories are introduced very early, in first or second grade. Later on, in 6-7th grade and later, the program deals with morphological structure of these categories in greatest detail. Declensional and conjugational morphology is studied even earlier. .. Basic grammatical functions (subject, object, predicate) used to be introduced in grade 3, it may be done earlier now. They gradually introduce all sort of modifiers, attributes, etc. so that by the time students reach 8th grade they get an enormous amount of information about all sorts of structures, describing relations between words and between clauses as well. … These programs were in force since when the USSR was established and were obligatory for everyone. Recently there has been more flexibility in curricula across schools, so in some schools they might be starting this instruction even earlier (with 5 year olds) but in others it may have remained as it used to be. … But this is a deep-rooted tradition and I expect it to last for some time at least.’ (Natalia Kondrashova)


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