Difficulties in teaching grammar for Kazakh native speakers

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

Author: Kamzina Zhannur , Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan

Recently much has been done in Kazakhstan system of higher education in accordance with the time demand and the priorities of the country economic development. The credit technology of education has been introduced to ensure the international recognition of the national education program, to provide students and faculty with academic mobility opportunities, as well as to improve the quality of education.

The increased collaboration with other countries in all spheres of life established maximal requirements to the level of professional competences of future English teachers, as they are trained for future work in governmental schools and other educational institutions.

The requirements, mentioned in the State Overall Compulsory Educational Standard of 5B011900 “Foreign Language: Two Foreign Languages” 5.04.019-2011, suggest that the graduate of the given specialty is to be able to perform professional activity properly both psychologically and methodologically aimed at developing students’ ability to learn foreign language as means of intercultural communication; to be able to design methodological model of foreign language communication mastering closed to the conditions of real communication; to be able to define the category as an object of didactic learning, synthesizing into single unit “foreign language-foreign culture-identity”; to be able to be able to pick out lingvoculturally and socioculturally oriented authentic teaching materials; to use standard authentic vocabulary in the classroom; to be able to create and encourage interest for foreign language acquisition as means of intercultural communication; to be able to use technologies, methods and techniques ensuring the formation of the subject of cross-cultural communication; to be able to use pedagogical and information technologies efficiently in the sphere of educational activities[1].

As a result of studying subjects of core disciplines the graduate of the given specialty should acquire:

- knowledge and skills to implement all kinds of professional activities in the field of foreign language education (to know the main stages of development and current state of linguistic sciences);

- laws and regularities of linguistic science, its conceptual and categorical apparatus; modern scientific and theoretical views of linguistic theories;

- basic techniques of linguistic analysis and description; system of language and speech realization of linguistic categories;

- spelling, orthoepic, grammatical and stylistic rules of the studied languages [1].

Students of the given specialty should be able:

- to interpret critically and creatively various areas of linguistic theories;

- to analyze the specific language material; interpret independently linguistic phenomena; compare and identify similarities and differences corresponding to subsystems of comparing languages to predict possible interference or transfer; -to apply their knowledge in speech situations to solve problems of teaching;

- to carry out investigation linguistic phenomena of foreign and native languages independently;

- to use foreign language as means of intercultural foreign language communication; to use basic forms of speech utterances in the process of communication, to understand authentic audio texts;

- to use different reading strategies; to prepare and perform different forms of written expressions;

- to use research and reference libraries, different types of dictionaries;

- to know methodology of foreign language education; cross-cultural communicative competence [1].

All of these above-mentioned requirements for students cannot be achieved without grounded knowledge of the English grammar, because only grammar gives strictly rules of writing and speaking correctly.

According to the State Overall Compulsory Educational Standard of 5B011900 “Foreign Language: Two Foreign Languages” 5.04.019-2011, during the first year at the University students of the major take “Basic English language” (A1, A2, B1- levels) course, which forms an adequate social and educational level of proficiency in a foreign language [2].

This course “Basic English language” (A1, A2, B1- levels) requires functional literacy in a foreign language, communication skills formed in four basic skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

By the end of the course, in speaking students are to be able to do the following:

- to exchange information on daily or other topics of personal or of general interest;

- to explain the given problem, prove its correctness;

- to explain their own point of view on the themes of culture (films, books, music);

- to express own point of view on the topic of self-interests or events from everyday life; (family, hobby, job, travelling, current events).

In listening students are to be able to understand:

- simple informational events of daily and professional life;

- the main facts of short stories;

- the main idea and specific details of the messages with a clear pronunciation;

- lecture or talk on the studied topics;

- a short simple conversation on familiar topics with a clear normative pronunciation;

- a simple technical information (rules of operation of devices of daily use);

- detailed instructions;

- information on radio and TV programs recorded with a clear normative pronunciation;

- the main provisions of news on radio and elementary texts on familiar topics in the slow record;

- television programs on topics of interest (interview, reports) in slow record and clear sound,

- the development of the film’s plot, based on a number of visual and action, in a clear and simple sound.

In reading students should be able to:

- to look through large texts and find necessary information;

- to gather information from different parts of the text / from different texts;

- to find and understand relevant information in everyday material (letters, brochures and short official documents);

- to find the main conclusions / evidence in the text;

- to find the points of simple newspaper articles about a familiar topic;

- to read and understand simple texts with factual information on the topic of interest;

- to understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters in everyday speech with a friend;

- to understand the technical regulations in the presentation simple words (safety rules);

- to read and extract the necessary information from brochures, catalogs, brochures, menus, schedules.

In writing students should be able:

- to write simple texts on a wide range of issues, linking together the separate short elements;

- describe in details simply familiar objects / objects of interest or questions;

- to describe own experiences, express own feelings in the form of a simple connected texts;

- to describe real events (the trip);

- to write short contents of story;

- write short simple essays on topics you are interested in;

- to summarize and give own opinion on the factual information gathered on familiar matters of everyday life;

- to write short reports, simple in form and contents from real life [2].

Graduates coming from the Kazakh schools have no such knowledge, and have difficulties with acquisition of grammatical material of “Basic English language” (A1, A2, B1- levels) course, as English language learning is mainly based on textbooks of T. Ayapova (Ayapova T. English: a Textbook for General Educational Schools / Thanat Taniberdikyzy Ayapova, Danegali Berdibekuly Ukbaev. - 2nd ed., Ext. And rev. - Almaty: Atamura, 2005. - 208.) [3], which is designed according to the modular format, where theory and practice of English grammar is not almost studied. Thus, the teachers of Kazakh speaking groups face greater challenges than teachers of Russian-speaking audience and do not cope with the task of to increase knowledge in the grammatical structure of the English language.

The main literature of the “Basic English language” course (A1, A2, B1- levels) written by S. Cunningham, P. Moor (Sara Cunningham, Peter Moor. Cutting Edge. Intermediate Students’ book. Work Book / Longman, 2005 – 176 c.)

Sarah Cunningham, Peter Moor. Cutting Edge (Intermediate) Work Book. Pearson Education) is not also designed to provide student with sufficient knowledge of Grammar [3]. Therefore, as it is stated in the work program of the course additional resources are used for teaching English grammar of the following authors such as V.D. Arakin, T.U. Drozdova, V.L. Kaushanskaya and others.These books are developed by the Soviet and Russian linguists and such resources are aimed at Russian speakers. It means that these authors designed teaching materials which reduce only Russian speaking students’ interlanguage errors. Thereby, these books cannot be applied in teaching English for Kazakh speaking students in practicing some difficulties of English grammar, because students do not know Russian fluently and such books do not solve their problems which are based on the peculiarities of the Kazakh language.

The Kazakh language belongs to the Kypshak group of Turkic languages, which also includes Tatar, Karakalpak, Nogai, Baskir, Karaim,Kumyk, Karachai-Balkar and Kyrgyz [4]. Kazakh is described linguistically as an agglutinative language. Suffixes are added to a word root without changing the root itself. The suffixes carry either lexical meaning or grammatical function.

Grammatical categories of tense, mood, voice, number and person are expressed through different suffixes which are added to the root which are added to the root which is obtained through dropping the ending –u of the initial form. The root of the verb corresponds to the familiar form of imperative mood, all other forms require suffixes or endings [5].

The negative form of the verb in Kazakh is formed by adding suffixes –ma/-me, -ba/-be,-pa/-pe to the root of the verb according to the following rules: after vowels is added –ma/me; after voiced consonants is added –ba/be; after voiceless consonants is added –pa/pe [4].

The Kazakh verb has three tenses:

1. Osy shak (Present Tense)

2. Keler shak (Future Tense)

3. Otken shak (Past Tense) [5].

In Kazakh there are two types of the Present Tense: Nak osy shak (The Concrete Present Tense) and Auyspaly osy shak (the Transitive Present Tense).

Nak osy shak denotes an action taking place at the moment of speaking and it is close to Present Continuous in English. Auyspaly osy shak denotes the Present and the Future Tenses depending on the situation.

Keler shak in Kazakh has three forms: Auyspaly keler shak (the Transitive Present-Future Tense) which we have already mentioned as present tense, Bolzhaldy keler shak (the Suppositional Future Tense) and Maksatty keler shak (the Future Tense of Intention). Bolzhaldy keler shak expresses supposition with a slight degree of certainty. Maksatty keler shak expresses some intention to do action.

Otken shak has two forms:

1) Zhedel otken shak (The Evident Past Tense) and

2) Burungy otken shak (The Pluperfect Tense) [5].

Zhedel otken shak” denotes an action which took place in the past. It is formed with the help of suffixes dy/di, ty/ti (–ды\дi, –ты\ тi) and personal ending. For example: zhazdym (жаздым), “I wrote” жүрдiң “You went” It is close to the English Past Indefinite Tense in its meaning. “Burungy otken shak” denotes an action which was completed before specified time or before the beginning of another action in the past.

The most difficult theme is Past Tenses. In the formation of “Zhedel otken shak” in Kazakh language the choice of the suffixes depends on the law of synharmonism and progressive assimilation. Synharmonism or hamony of vowels comes from Greek words syn-“together” and harmonia – “connection, assonance”. According to the law of synharmonism the last syllable of the word becomes assimilated by the previous one. In the Kazakh language the words follow the law of progressive assimilation as well as the law of synharmonism. If the words end in the voiceless consonants (к, қ, п, с, т, ф, ц, ч, ш, щ) or the voiced consonants (б, в, г, д) the suffix of the ending being added to a word begins with the voiceless consonant. If the last sound of a word is a voiced consonant except (б, в, г, д), a sonorant (й, л, м, н, ң, р, у) or a vowel the suffix or ending begins with voiced consonant or sonorant [5].

Table 1. Personal endings of “Zhedel otken shak

Person

Singular

Plural

1

2

3

keldim, aittym, almadym

keldin, aittyn, almadyn

keldiniz, aittynyz, almadynyz

keldy, aitty, almady

keldik, aittyk, almadyk

keldinder, aittyndar, almadyndar

keldinizder, ayttynyzdar, almadynyzdar

keldy, aitty, almady

The negative form of Zhedel otken shak is expressed with the help of suffix -ma/-me, -ba/-be, -pa/-pe, after which the tense suffix and personal ending are added.

Buryngy otken shak” denotes an action which was completed before specified time or before the beginning of another action in the past. It is close to the English Past Perfect Tense in its meaning and is formed in two ways:

- By means of the suffixes –kan/-ken, - gan/-gen (-қан/-кен, -ған/-ген) and personal verbal endings. “I had gone”

- The suffixes –kan/-ken, - gan/-gen is added to the verbs ending in voiceless consonants: zhatkan, zhetken (жатқан, жеткен). In other cases the suffix is used: bargan, Bergen (барған, берген).

In the formation of “Buryngy otken shak” in Kazakh language the choice of the suffixes also depends on the law of synharmonism and progressive assimilation:

Table 2. Personal endings of “Buryngy otken shak

Person

Singular

Plural

1

2

3

aitkanmyn, kelgenmin

aitkansyn, kelgensin,

aitkansyz,kelgensiz

aitkan, kelgen

aitkanbyz, kelgenbiz

aitkansyndar, kelgensinder

aitkansyzdar, kelgensizder

aitkan, kelgen

The form “Burungy otken shak” may be negated in three ways:

- by using negative suffixes -ma/-me, -ba/-be, -pa/-pe;

- by using the negative verb “emes” with personal endings;

- by using the negative word “zhok” with personal endings.

The English Past Tenses system also presents a lot of trouble to theKazakh speaking students because of the difference which exists in these languages with regard to time and tense relations.

In English the Past Tense consists of the following tense forms:

- Past Indefinite Active Tense;

- Past Continuous Active Tense;

- Past Perfect Active Tense;

- Past Perfect Continuous Tense [6].

The grammatical content of the Past Indefinite may be briefly characterised as follows: the Past Indefinite represents an action or state as relatively static in the past. The duration of the process indicated by the Past Indefinite can vary according to the immediate lexical context or special situation with no time indicators at all. The Past Indefinite is a synthetic form (synthetic forms are built up by a change in the word itself: by means of suffixes or by means of vowel change). But the interoggative and negative forms are built up analytically (analytical forms consists of 2 components), by means of the auxiliary verb to do without the particle to [6].

The Past Indefinite is used to express the following cases:

- to express a single action which took place in the past;

- to express an action which occupied a whole period of time now over;

- in narration to express a succession of actions;

- to express recurrent actions;

- to express permanent actions which indicate continuous, uninterrupted processes in the past, giving a general characteristic of the person or thing denoted by the subject;

- to express an action going on at a given past moment;

- to express a future action viewed in the past;

- to express unreal actions [6].

The primary meaning of the Past Continuous is that of a past action shown in its progress at a given past moment. The Past Continuous is an analytical form which is built up by means of the auxiliary verb to be in the Past Indefinite and the –ing form of the notional verb.

The Past Continuous is used in the following cases:

- to express an action which was going on at a given moment;

- to express an action going on at a given period of time in the past;

- to express actions characterizing the person denoted by the subject, bringing out the person’s typical traits;

- to indicate a future action viewed from the past [6].

The Past Perfect is an analytical form which is built up by means of the auxiliary verb to have in the Past Indefinite and the participle of the notional verb. The same auxiliary is used to form the interrogative and the negative forms [6].

The Past Perfect is used in the following cases:

- to express an action accomplished before a given moment and viewed back from that past moment;

- to express an action which began before a given moment and continues into it up to it.

In adverbial clauses of time introduced by the conjunctions when, before, after, as soon as and till/until to express a future action viewed from the past [6].

The Past Perfect Continuous is an analytical form which is built up by means of the auxiliary verb to be in the Past Perfect and the ‘ing” - form of the notional verb. In the interrogative form the first auxiliary verb is placed before the subject. In the negative form the negative particle not is placed after the first auxiliary.The Past Perfect Continuous has two different uses which will be further referred to as Past Perfect Continuous I and Past Perfect Continuous II.

Past Perfect Continuous I serves to express an action which began before a given past moment and continued into it or up to it. In this meaning it is parallel to Past Perfect II. Past Perfect Continuous I may be used with the same indications of time. The Past Perfect Continuous can be used with dynamic verbs of both durative and terminative meaning (see the examples above). Stative verbs express this meaning with the help of Past Perfect II Past Perfect II is possible with dynamic verbs of durative meaning but it is not found at all with terminative verbs.

Past Perfect Continuous II serves to express an action which was in progress just before a given past moment and it affects the past situation in some way. The precise time limits of the action are not specified. In this meaning the Past Perfect Continuous is not parallel to Past Perfect II. Past Perfect Continuous II is, as a rule, not associated with any indications of time [6].

Analyzing the theoretical material of Past Tenses in English and Kazakh languages we found out the following differences:

- The English past tenses forms are built up with analytical forms, which consist of two components: an auxiliary verb and a notional verb. An auxiliary verb has no lexical meaning, it expresses only grammatical meaning. A notional verb is the bearer of lexical meaning. Only Past Simple in the affirmative form is built up synthetically by a change in the verb itself (by means of suffix – ed).

- The Kazakh past tenses have agglutinative forms, where the suffixes are added to the root of verbs depending on the law of synharmonism and progressive assimilation.

- Past Continuous and Past Perfect Continuous forms do not exist in the Kazakh, but Continuous tenses in the Kazakh are expressed by means of a notional verb in the form of Participle.

- Word order is different, in Kazakh the verb-predicate always stands at the end of the sentence. In negative and interrogative forms of Buryngy otken shak verb stands before the negative words: “emes” and “zhok”.

In English Past tenses in an affirmative form the predicate is placed after the subject. In questions the word order is characterized by the model: auxiliary verb + subject + main verb.

Also we define the following similarities:

- Zhedel otken shak in the Kazakh is close to the Past Indefinite in English;

- Buryngy otken shak in the Kazakh is close to the Past Perfect Tense in English.

As a general rule, the native language of every learner is a significant factor in the acquisition of a new language and exercising either an interfering or facilitating effect on the target language. All textbooks take into consideration this, because the majority of a learner’s errors in producing the second language stem from the learner’s assumption that the target language operates like the native language. Carefully analyzing verbs as the most complex part of speech, due to the central role it performs in the expression of predicative functions of the sentence, it is possible to make a conclusion that the difficulties experienced by Kazakh speaking students in learning English is connected with the following: English is an analytical language, where grammatical relations are more expressed by auxiliary verbs. As a result of this fact, Kazakh speaking students often forget to put in auxiliary verbs a sentence in practicing the English Past Tenses such as Past Perfect, Past Continuous, Past Perfect Continuous in all three forms (affirmative, negative, interrogative) and interrogative, negative forms of Past Simple; in negative forms of Past Perfect and Past Simple the students often put instead of auxiliary verbs: did/had the negative word “not”, because in Kazakh language negative form of Burungu otken shak which is close to Past Perfect is formed only with the help of notional verb and this negative word “zhok” which means not in English and personal ending . Another difference of the analytical language from the agglutinative language is that syntax and meaning are shaped by use of word order rather than by inflection. In English the predicate is placed after the subject, in Kazakh the predicate always stands at the end of the sentence. The first typical mistake of Kazakh speaking in the word order is that the students put the predicate at the end of a sentence. The second typical mistake is caused by the auxiliary verbs of interrogative sentences in English, which are (in our case - did, had) often placed at the beginning of a sentence, because co called interoggative particles (-ba/-be, -ma/-me,- pa/-pe) are placed at the end of a sentence. Due to the non existence of Past Continuous Tense and Past Perfect Continuous Kazakh speaking students mixed up the Past Simple and Past Continuous, Past Continuous Perfect and Past Perfect.

On the basis of the above mentioned grammatical difficulties Kazakh native speakers come across in the English grammar, we have come to the conclusion, that the use of the grammar textbooks aimed at Russian speaking students is not possible and it does not give expecting results, due to the fact that adequate grammar textbooks written by Russian linguists take into account only the specifics of the Russian language. Overcoming these difficulties, which are typical for the Kazakh-speaking students in learning the past tense in the English language, requires the specific methodological approaches, such as a good practice of the past tenses based on their learners’ native language, which cannot be achieved without creating the necessary group of exercises.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. GOSO RK 06.08.075 - 2010 po special'nosti 5B011900 - “Inostrannyj jazyk: dva inostrannyh jazyka”.

2. Tipovaja uchebnaja programma po special'nosti bakalavriata 050119-“Inostrannyj jazyk: dva inostrannyh jazyka”. – Almaty: MON RK, 2007.

3. Mamanov I.E. Kazahskij jazyk: ucheb. kaz jaz. v vuzah guman. tipa. - Alma-Ata, 1961.

4. Musaev K.M. Kazahskij jazyk: uchebnik – M., 2008. – 367 s.

5. Krylova I.P., Gordon E.M. Grammatika sovremennogo anglijskogo jazyka: Uchebnik dlja in-tov i fak. inostr. jaz. - M., 1999. – 448 s.

6. Bloh M.Ja. Teoreticheskaja grammatika anglijskogo jazyka. - M., 2006. - 423 s.



Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

  
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