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Grammar

Review ~ Oxford English Grammar Course
Reviewed Jan 2013 by Robert Lowe
Oxford English Grammar Course

Oxford English Grammar Course

Michael Swan’s name is well known among language teachers, particularly for his grammar guides such as Practical English Usage, which are liberated from bookshops en masse at the start of each new CELTA course. These books are very popular among teachers because they provide stripped down explanations of grammar points, presented in a comprehensible way, which can then by relayed to students. In the Oxford English Grammar Course series, Swan, along with Catherine Walter, have combined these kinds of short grammar explanations with the self-study elements of their earlier self-study books such as How English Works to produce a full three-level grammar course for self-study and for classroom use. The books are available at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels, and are designed to guide learners from the reasonably simple grammar of English to its more advanced elements.
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Review ~ Grammar Sense 3
Reviewed Jan 2013 by Stephen Case
Grammar Sense 3

Grammar Sense 3

Grammar Sense 3 is a massive, multi-pronged attack to the question “How should I teach grammar?” 18 chapters each focus on one grammar point. At over 411 pages the book has room to teach each point’s form, meaning, and use in great detail. Reading, listening, speaking and writing exercises mean there is a lot to get through; using all this material effectively, especially without overwhelming students, will require careful planning. The book may need the teacher to be selective, but, if used well, can provide the grammar students need as well as a springboard to more meaningful communicative activities.

Each chapter is broken down into two parts. The first introduces the form. It does this through authentically-sourced readings, grammar tables and sentence building/completion exercises. The second half of each chapter delves into subtler points of use. It asks students to compare and analyze each grammar point’s different meanings. This knowledge is reinforced through speaking and writing exercises, and tested with critical thinking questions.
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Review ~ Grammar
Reviewed Feb 2012 by John Grant
Grammar

Grammar One (part of the Oxford "Grammar" series for children)

The Grammar series of student books from Oxford neatly deals with the thorny issue of how to teach grammar to young learners in a communicative way. The series can be used as class books to prepare for the Cambridge ESOL Young Learners English Tests or as supplemental material to illustrate a specific grammar point. It all begins with Grammar Starter and Grammar One, which correspond with the Starter exam and then towards Movers. Grammar Two prepares young learners for the Movers tests and on towards Flyers. Finally the last of the series is Grammar Three, which works on the Flyers test and beyond. So you can use these as the main exam preparation book for your young learner classes for many different levels and grades.

Each book covers around twenty distinct grammar items that relate to the appropriate Cambridge exam. The item is presented in a short text or written dialogue to illustrate the meaning. The grammar explanation is on
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Review ~ My Grammar and I
Reviewed May 2011 by James Taylor
My Grammar and I

My Grammar and I

When it comes to grammar, as far as I can see, there are three types of English teachers. There are those who don’t speak English as first language. These people have battled their way through the language’s quirks, and rules that have so many exceptions that you wonder why they are rules in the first place, until they have reached a point where, while perhaps not being entirely fluent in the language, they have a level of competence whereby they can teach English. The chances are that having studied the language so much themselves, they are able to deal with most of the grammatical queries that come their way.

The second group are the native teachers of a certain age (I’m far too polite a person to suggest what that age could be…), who were educated at a time when grammar was seen as a cornerstone of L1 learning. Maybe they even attended a Grammar school, which suggests that the subject was so highly thought of they even named the whole school after it. This group has the best of both worlds when it comes to grammar teaching, native levels of proficiency matched with an in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of the language.
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Review ~ Teaching English Grammar
Reviewed Apr 2011 by Saul Pope
Teaching English Grammar

Teaching English Grammar

When offered the chance to review a book by Jim Scrivener, I jumped at it. When I first started in this industry Learning Teaching was my roadmap – he seemed to be able to explain fairly complex concepts very clearly, giving me the confidence to go out and teach and, perhaps most importantly, experiment. I can see Teaching English Grammar helping new teachers in exactly the same way with what is (for native speaker teachers at least) the hardest part of EFL teaching.

The book starts with a brief introduction in which the author sets out his aim to “save you time, energy and stress and help you to feel more confident, well-informed and one step ahead of your students”. There is then a brief section on key terminology, including useful potted guides on the use of timelines and finger contractions. This is a brief section mostly aimed at new teachers, but even an old-timer like myself found a useful tip – that teachers spend too long worrying about making lessons fun, when the real aim should be to make them engaging.
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Grammar Practice Activities with CD-ROM
Reviewed Oct 2009 by Alison Susans

This is the second edition of Penny Ur’s grammar practice activities, a reference book aimed at EFL teachers. The book moves away from the dull and conventional grammar exercises found in the majority of text books (gap fills, completion exercises, etc) and introduces innovative and communicative ways of making grammar more fun while getting students to
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Review ~ Grammar Practice (Third Edition)
Reviewed May 2008 by Carla Wilson

Grammar Practice (Third Edition) is a grammar practice book series of four levels for elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate students. Each book is divided into two main sections: grammar and vocabulary. The grammar section is further divided into sections covering tenses, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs and comparison, nouns, pronouns and determiners, sentence and text structure and so on. The vocabulary section is divided into sections on prepositions, word formation, phrasal verbs and so on. Individual units cover points such as singular and plural nouns, order of adjectives, possibility and prefixes.
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