Resources

English grammar and usage issues

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oneota
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Joined: 30 Nov 2020, 14:04
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Resources

Unread post by oneota »

There are myriad resources for grammar. Some are good, and some are not so good. Here are some I have found useful.

English for Everyone. is a grammar book that is also available online as a free download. It is arranged by tenses, followed by other, specific topics. This means that the units have chapters that go from the basic to the advanced. It has a glossary as well. The book does not have exercises, but the explanations and examples are very clear. For worksheets, go to englishforeveryone.org, where there are printable worksheets arranged by topics that only partially align with the book. This is not for young learners.

Grammar books by Betty Azar. These are text-books for ESL/EFL learners. The material is laid out in black and white an attractive way that is easy on the eye and the brain. Azar's books are arranged by level. Each text has a matching workbook. The exercises are bit of drill-and-kill, but the humor of some of the material makes this more than palatable. Because the text-
books are not cheap, I use the workbooks as stand-alone texts. While they don't go into the depth of a text-book, the material is nevertheless pretty comprehensive. Thus, a good teacher can simply add explanations and depth and come up with good learning material. These books can be used with young learners as well as with adults, but not with very young learners.

Online Writing Lab from Purdue University. Originally designed for college students, this site has recognized that ESL students have been coming to it for guidance. The easiest way to use it is through its search function. It includes exercises. It is not intended to be used as a course; rather, it is best used as a reference to specific topics and problems. https://owl.purdue.edu .

Walden University also has a very helpful grammar guide. Especially interesting are its self-paced modules to help develop grammar skills. There is also a diagnostic quiz, which you can use to discover your students' grammar weaknesses. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writ ... er/grammar

BBC has a pretty nice series of "courses" with sessions that start off with a grammar point. These courses are arranged by level. The one I am currently using, upper intermediate, has thirty units. Each unit has five sessions. The grammar session is only 90 seconds long, and is coupled with a quick quiz. bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/upper-intermediate

linguahouse.com offers free and premium (i.e., ones you pay for) comprehensive lesson plans. Their site can be searched by topic and level, so finding an appropriate grammar lesson, with work-sheets, reading text, activities, etc. is easy. The site is "clean" and easy to use, including fast downloading.

Then there is grammarly. Maybe you have advised your students to use or not to use this free app that comes with ads for the premium (i.e., yo pay) version. But what I discovered is that grammarly has advice pages where they discuss grammar issues in a chatty way. Unfortunately, I don't know how to access this without either stumbling across it when doing a grammar search or signing up for the (free) app, which I don't want to do. Whenever I have run across it, the advice has been sound (though not necessarily sophisticated) and told in a loquacious, informal way that appeals to some learners.

There are a lot of sites with worksheets, and there are a lot of good videos (and a lot of not-so-good ones). I'll leave those resources for another time or another person.
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axellia
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Joined: 07 Jun 2021, 20:12
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Re: Resources

Unread post by axellia »

The main problem with grammar teaching is that many teachers either know too little about grammar, or else know too much. Knowing too little makes it hard for a teacher to explain or teach even the easier points; knowing too much puts the teacher at risk of confusing students with over complex explanations and linguistic terminology.
Knowing too much is often the consequence of EFL teachers (and sometimes students too) looking for help from one of the great Reference Grammars of English, by the likes of Quirk or Huddleston; but these academic grammars are really written for students of linguistics, not for teachers and students of English.
A recent book which can help teachers find the right balance is Rossiter's Descriptive Grammar of English , a concise reference grammar that matches simply explained rules with hundreds of well chosen and explanatory examples. It covers all the essential English grammar that an EFL teacher or student needs to know, and does so in a well organised and coherent way. It's available as an ebook or a paperback from Amazon.
Remembering by example is one of the natural ways in which we acquire grammar in our native language(s); this book takes that principle and successfully applies it to TEFL.
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