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Thread: New English teachers

  1. #31
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    For me grammar is crucial in understanding the literal meaning of text, a fundamental skill, and particularly so for reading literature. Perhaps grammar should be taught with literature - with, say, Shakespeare or Henry James.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    For me grammar is crucial in understanding the literal meaning of text, a fundamental skill, and particularly so for reading literature. Perhaps grammar should be taught with literature - with, say, Shakespeare or Henry James.
    Don't you think that's a bit late? I don't know about most schools but if I hadn't taken Advanced Higher drama I wouldn't have studied Shakespeare until university. I read Shakespeare of my own accord but didn't ever have to study any of his plays or poetry for English at school. And I didn't touch Henry James until university either.

    I think grammar should be taught in an ongoing way throughout school.
    If you'd like to talk about Blake I promise I'll keep checking this thread. http://www.online-literature.com/for...ad.php?t=45098

  3. #33
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Lady View Post
    Don't you think that's a bit late?
    Even middle high school is late, but teaching grammar much earlier may lack relevance for most students. I suspect the best way to learn grammar is through a foreign language, taught late in primary school.

    Literature, at least, does provide a good reason to master grammar. I remember doing 'Julius Caesar' in Year 8.

  4. #34
    Seeker of Knowledge Shannanigan's Avatar
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    I definitely don't feel that grammar is a waste of time, or "dead," at all. I will say, though, as a newly minted English teacher of 12th grade literature:

    -I have very, very little formal training in grammar, mechanics, etc. and the terminology that goes with it (guess my teachers thought it was "dead")

    -I wish that I had more knowledge about these things so that when my 12th graders make mistakes in essays, I can write more than just "this sounds funny/awkward" in the margin.

    I'm working on it; reading grammar books isn't as fun as it sounded
    You learn more about a road by travelling it than by consulting all of the maps in the world.

  5. #35
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shannanigan View Post
    I definitely don't feel that grammar is a waste of time, or "dead," at all. I will say, though, as a newly minted English teacher of 12th grade literature:

    -I have very, very little formal training in grammar, mechanics, etc. and the terminology that goes with it (guess my teachers thought it was "dead")

    -I wish that I had more knowledge about these things so that when my 12th graders make mistakes in essays, I can write more than just "this sounds funny/awkward" in the margin.

    I'm working on it; reading grammar books isn't as fun as it sounded
    I know how you feel. I was in that situation when I began teaching. I had worked in schol as a Teaching Assistant. I had a degree already and went on to do a one year teaching certificate, which provided no formal grammar training at all.

    I actually learnt on the job, and was able to follow it up with the odd training session. Like yourself, I found grammar books and still do - oddly esoteric. It's a whole new lingo, which you need to know before you can begin to understand even the basics.

    Happily, I've found that simplicity is the key. Go for the simplest grammar book you can find. In fact if i were back in my old situation, I'd read a few children's exercises. There was an initiative in the UK - the literacy hour, which included basic grammar for up to 12 year olds. This was where I learnt a lot of my basic grammar. (I was a week ahead of the kids!)

    I've also found this site very useful for definitions, and good explanations of grammar.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

    Good luck

    Do what I did, learn what you need to as and when. You'll find that your knowledge will increase steadily without it being an extra burden upon your busy job.

  6. #36
    Seeker of Knowledge Shannanigan's Avatar
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    Thank you for the site!

    I try not to overwhelm myself; I'm glad every day that I teach literature and that I wasn't placed in a middle school where more of the lessons actually are focused on grammar and the terminology, because if I had been, I'd be learning stuff as I taught it.

    Come to think of it, that isn't much different than what they do when they drop us in classes we weren't trained to teach, anyway!
    You learn more about a road by travelling it than by consulting all of the maps in the world.

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