March 5, 2021
believe me? Show me a grammar text that enables students to apply it to
the analysis of anything that they read or write. Every text that I have
seen presents students with definitions of grammatical constructions, each
followed by one or two exercises. A construction is then dropped and instruction
goes to something different. The books never show students how these constructions
work together to form meaningful sentences. At a grammar conference in
the 1980s, a primary school teacher explained how she taught the parts
of speech. Then a middle school teacher did the same thing, then a high
school teacher, and then a college teacher.
Best Pedagogical Grammar in the World:
In 1982, I was asked to teach a grammar course for future teachers. I agreed
on the condition that I could teach what I believe is what students need.
In that course, students learned how to identify prepositional phrases
in a student's paper. The assignment for the next class was to identify
these phrases in another paper. Then we added constructions such
that most students could identify main and subordinate clauses in a paper,
and some students even mastered gerunds, gerundives, infinitives, and noun
absolutes. Click here for an example of the
This site includes free instructional materials, essays, and even statistical
studies that help design instructional sequences.