Today, teaching foreign languages at school begins with the first grade. Learning a foreign language at this age is useful for all children, regardless of their initial abilities, as it has an undeniable positive effect on the development of the child’s mental functions: his memory, attention, thinking, perception, imagination and stimulates the development of speech abilities.
In addition, early learning gives a great practical effect in terms of improving the quality of knowledge of a foreign language in primary school, and also opens up opportunities for teaching a second foreign language.
However, while teaching a foreign language in primary school, teachers often encounter difficulties due to the psychophysiological characteristics of primary school students. A serious problem is the contradiction between the visual-figurative thinking of children of a given age and the abstract nature of the English grammar. The theme of this work was one of the ways to solve this problem, namely obtaining a “grammar tale” when teaching elementary school students.
The relevance of the topic is determined by the high interest in the use of grammar tales in teaching foreign grammar with an almost complete absence of theoretical works on this technique, and insufficient attention to it in the practical teaching of the English language.
For the student to adequately realize a specific grammatical phenomenon, the teacher seeks to fully and accurately reveal the meaning of the new grammatical structure, pay attention to its features and forms, and demonstrate its use in speech. However, in primary school, this desire is not so simple to realize. The fact is that the grammatical minimum for elementary school inevitably includes general grammatical concepts, a complete understanding and understanding of which implies that children aged seven-eight have a fairly high level of formation and development of conceptual thinking, which, as experience shows, reaches a sufficient level only up to eleven-twelve years. Given this, when teaching English grammar, the teacher relies on the fact that primary school children are clearly expressed primarily by visual-figurative thinking, imagination, the ability to imitate, etc. One of the manifestations of creative imagination is personification, i.e. gifted animals, objects, abstract concepts (in our case, general grammatical concepts) with human qualities and properties that we often encounter in fairy tales. On the basis of personification, grammar tales were created, the essence of which is to convey the rule of grammar by telling a story in a fairy tale familiar to children, where the characters perform the functions of grammatical concepts and their actions reflect grammar.
The effectiveness of using grammar stories is explained by the correspondence of this methodology to the psychological characteristics of second-grade students. When teaching foreign grammar to students of this age, special attention should be paid to the principle of consciousness and the principle of visualization. In a grammatical fairy tale, both principles have been successfully implemented by clearly demonstrating grammatical material; it contributes to a deep understanding of the grammatical phenomenon. As a result, the grammar tale is one of the effective ways to use extra linguistic (non-linguistic, subject) verbal-shaped visualization.
In a word, this helps to create an imaginary scheme in the student’s mind, consisting not of faceless blocks, but of bright saturated images, which allows us to highlight the following advantages of this teaching methodology:
– a grammatical fairy tale as a kind of verbal scheme greatly facilitates the understanding of abstract grammatical concepts and contributes to their conscious assimilation
– a grammatical fairy tale develops the imagination of a child, which is directly related to the development of speech and the emotional sphere of a person, and is a means of creative modeling of communication situations 
– the verbal way of presenting new information contributes to the development of speech abilities of the child
– a grammatical fairy tale provokes an independent correlation of a fairy tale plot and a grammatical rule, that is, it stimulates the mental activity of students.
In addition, the students' interest in the fairy tale plot and the unusual form of the educational process significantly increase the motivation of children to learn English grammar, which means that they create a favorable atmosphere in the lesson and support the attention of students. The undoubted advantage of the grammar story is also the inclusion in its plot of new terminology for students, which contributes to its quick and effective assimilation.
The purpose of using the grammar legend is primarily a deep understanding of the grammatical phenomenon, therefore it is usually used at the first stage of the formation of the grammatical skill. Moreover, the representation of the phenomenon under study cannot be limited only to the use of the methodology in question and requires additional actions to formulate the final rule and control the understanding of the latter.
E. N. Shemeneva identified the main types of tasks that accompany the texts of grammar tales :
– reproductive and productive issues (name the main characters of the tale)
– compare the content of the grammar tale with the presentation of this material in textbooks, linguistic encyclopedic dictionaries (find in the textbook a different name for related words)
– tasks aimed at comprehending and processing the contents of the grammatical tale, with highlighting all the signs of a language phenomenon
– obtaining rules, definitions, grammatical characteristics
– derivation of an algorithm or pattern of reasoning
– creating tables and developing diagrams
– selection of examples illustrating theoretical information
– performance of traditional analytical, analytical-synthetic, synthetic exercises and tasks (using suffixes invited to the fairy tale, form new words).
Sometimes teachers also offer students to perform the following communicative-speech tasks:
– tasks requiring analysis of the text (determine the theme of the tale, name it)
– tasks requiring comparison of texts (which rules are described in the textbook, and which in the fairy tale)
– speech tasks of an analytical-textual nature according to the finished text (compose your tasks for a fairy tale)
– speech tasks for processing the finished text (find two factual errors in the tale)
– speech tasks that require the creation of a new text (based on the finished text or without it) (write your story about the ending of nouns).
In the present work, an attempt was made to consider a methodology for the formation of grammatical skills of a foreign language in second-grade students based on grammatical stories. We studied the technique of “grammar tales”, namely: its essence, structure, advantages of use and limitations on its application. The analysis allows us to conclude that the process of formation of foreign grammar skills will be more effective when introducing new grammatical material using grammar stories, since this technique corresponds to the psychological characteristics of second-grade students and the conditions of their learning.
- Ksenofontova T. S. The formation of foreign grammar skills in children 5–6 years of age on the basis of creative situations (based on English material): author. dis... cand. ped Science. — SPb., 2008.
- Shemeneva E. N. Teaching students philologists the genre of linguistic tales: dis. Cand. Ped. Science: 13.00.02. — M.: RSL, 2003.