Why do students need a grammar workshop?
Since the 1963 report Research in Written Comprehension, grammar instruction has slowly disappeared from the classroom. Adults who went to school in the ‘60s and ‘70s may remember diagramming sentences and being drilled on the parts of speech, but by 1985, very few teachers presented any type of formal grammar instruction. In today’s classroom, it is rare to find a teacher who teaches grammar, let alone has any formal training in grammar.
For a time, U.S. schools ran on the premise (“proven” in the above report) that “the teaching of formal grammar has a negligible or, because it usually displaces some instruction and practice in actual composition, even a harmful effect on the improvement of writing.” However, that premise is now being challenged.
Advocates of grammar instruction believe that U.S. schools are doing a disservice to students and have put them at an international disadvantage. Since the removal of grammar instruction, literacy in the U.S. has decreased: “Recent reports by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) both suggest that relative to other developed countries, the U.S. scores relatively low on reading tests.”
Nationally, grammar has a dominant role on high-stakes tests like the SAT and ACT, yet grammar is a low priority in U.S. classrooms. Reports verify that international students score higher on grammar questions because they learn English through grammar instruction. Furthermore, foreign language teachers are finding it increasingly difficult to teach their students a foreign language when those students do not have a foundation in English grammar.
Even if an English teacher has the knowledge and desire to bring grammar instruction into the classroom, the growing demands on a teacher’s time only allows for basic instruction, if any at all.
It is clear that students are not getting the grammar instruction they need to be successful global citizens.
What will this grammar workshop provide?
This workshop will give students the grammar foundation they will need to improve their test scores, their writing skills, their ability to discuss literature (i.e. AP Language and Literature, SAT/ACT writing prompts), their editing skills, and their performance in foreign language classes. Every grammar lesson will also include application in the above skills and fun activities (Believe it!).
I also teach note taking in the workshop. I will introduce different ways to take notes and allow students to choose what works best for them. Students leave the workshop with pride in their notebook, a grammar resource tool they created themselves, and a method for taking notes that they enjoy.
How long and how much?
The workshop is 15 hours, split up into 5, 3-hour classes. The sponsoring club will earn 25% of the tuition fee. Please contact me for pricing options.
Introduction to 4-level grammar analysis and note taking
Level One: The 8 parts of speech
The beauty of words
Level Two: Parts of a sentence
The essence of thought
Grammar is logical and mathematical.
Level Three: Phrases
Why use one word when you can use three?
The verbiness of verbals
Level Four: Clauses
Run-ons, comma splices, and fragments
Choose your clauses wisely!
Writing, Editing, and Literary Analysis
Showing off and your new best friends
Don’t be abusive with your knowledge!