Education Journal


1990.第18卷第1期(Vol. 18 No. 1).pp. 69–77



A Discussion of a System of Teaching Grammar in Middle Schools

黃耀堃(Yiu-Kwan WONG)




In January 1984, the Secondary School Language Section of the People's Educational Press of Beijing published the trial edition of Zhongxue Jiaoxue Yufa Xitong Tiyao (referred to hereunder as Tiyao). This was to replace Zan Ni Hanya Jiaoxue Yufa Xitong, which had been in common use for almost thirty years. Since the illustrations as well as the structure of Tiyao are clearer and more easily comprehensible than those of Zan Ni Hanya Jiaoxue Yufa Xitong, many tertiary institutions overseas have also adopted the grammatical system of Tiyao for their Chinese language courses. However, the difference between the teaching of grammar inside China and that abroad is considerable. The grammer courses at tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, for example, are usually subordinate to Unversity Chinese language courses. Even specialized courses in practical grammar are often only one-year courses. Therefore, when local tertiary institutions apply the Tiyao system for teaching grammar, amendments and revisions are inevitable, so as to meet the needs of their reality. It is the intention of the present writer to discuss what amendments and revisions are necessary in order to adapt the Tiyao system of grammer teaching to the practical grammer courses at local tertiary institutions. It is pointed out in Tiyao that it "only illustrates syntactical structures and the main features of the terminology". But the illustrations are over-simplified and some of the definitions still lack clarity. Confusion is likely when these are actually applied to the teaching of grammer. Furthermore, there are often discrepancies in the Tiyao reference books printed in China when it comes to grammatical structure and nomenclature. The present paper will discuss problems in this connection when teaching practical grammar.