Internalization of the Structural Properties of WH-Questions: A Remedial Programme through Curricular Intervention


  • Dr. P Bhaskaran Nair Former Professor of English, Hindustan (Deemed to be) University, Chennai


Instructed learning, Learner autonomy, Conversation skills, Learning outcome, Wh-questions, Auxiliary verbs


Teaching of a second or foreign language has always had grammar at its controversial
core and the numerable issues arising out of it usually dominate theory, research and practice. Still, teaching of second language grammar evades the triangular network of theory-researchpractice. This paper singles out one hard spot for beginners (may be of primary level, but found in advanced learners, as well), namely the presence/absence of the auxiliary verb do in its past and present tense forms in WH-questions. The paper identifies the source and nature of the hard spot, presents it in terms of metalinguistic (grammatical) competence for teachers and communicative competence for learners. The paper has its theoretical basis on the fusion of three pedagogic constructs namely, curricular intervention, instructed learning and learner autonomy. It has also tried to establish the author’s conviction, though indirectly, that instead of waiting for a new method to come or trying any single method of the past, a judicious selection and fusion of elements from the practised methods of the past may work better in terms of learning outcomes.