English Teacher Needs a Lesson on Grammar!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StudentTeach, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Oct 26, 2010

    That teacher is me! I recently graduated college (May) and am working in my first teaching position -- LTS high school English. The simple truth is that no one in high school or college explicitly taught grammar and I'm looking to self-teach but do not know where to start. When students ask me about commas I have a really hard time telling them the rules and exactly why something is wrong (even if I know for sure it is). Anyone have suggestions of where to begin?? I'm sure there are others out there in this position as well! :help:
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Get a grammar book that has all of the rules (e.g. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation). Use that in conjunction with supplements from the Internet. For example, a google search on 'comma rules' will give you all kinds of info. But, without a grammar book, you may not hit all of the areas you need.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Learn a foreign language. You'll learn everything you need to know about grammar!
     
  5. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    I thought I was the only one who is self-teaching grammar because no one taught it explicitly in high school or in college. Anyway, I bought myself a book called Grammar Smart which is from the Princeton Review. It gives examples, rules and quizzes (with answers in the back). So far I think it's a pretty good book; even though I haven't gone through a lot of it yet. I got it to study with for the English 6-12 FTCE.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    You are probably being asked about comma usage with independent and dependent clauses. I would start by learning the difference between the two types of clauses as well as prepositional phrases. If you have a thorough understanding of these three pieces of sentences, you will more accurately be able to explain to students when to use a comma.
     
  7. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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  8. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Oct 26, 2010

    I have the same problem. I bought the Prentice Hall grammar workbook and I am working my way through it. I found that searching for "clauses quiz" brings up lots of internet quizzes you can use to test your knowledge. I still make mistakes but I am getting better all the time.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    If you've never been to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab,) check it out. The answer to just about any question you might have regarding writing, grammar, research, etc., can be found there. Great resources available for secondary school teachers, too! http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
     
  10. Ms.Science

    Ms.Science Rookie

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  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I was an English major, and I learned nothing about grammar! The focus of English as a major is literature, not so much the mechanics of the language. Like Ms. Science, I find Owl to be a great website. When I briefly taught English in HS, I really struggled with the grammar as well. That just goes to show you, we weren't really taught in school as young children (not taught well, that is).
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's amazingly common that grammar gets taught badly. I'm afraid. I find that heartbreaking.

    For grammar as you've never quite seen it before, try Karen Elizabeth Gordon's The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A handbook of grammar for the innocent, the eager, and the doomed.

    For punctuation, try Gordon's The New Well-Tempered Sentence.

    Both books have been out for quite a while, so they may even be easy to find in the library.
     
  13. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Oct 27, 2010

    What is this "grammar" of which you speak?


    Does it have anything to do with proper expressions like Y = mX +b???
     
  14. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Diagramming sentences is a great way to continue your knowledge about grammar, especially after you have learned the basics. I'd look into books or websites on that subject too.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Wow, really?

    Both my school and my husband's place a HEAVY emphasis on teaching grammar.

    What's normally taught in its place in other high schools and colleges?
     
  16. GrayRoark

    GrayRoark Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Great tips, thanks!
     
  17. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Go to your local community college, its a long shot but we have them maybe you all do too. We have an ESL department and they have books that start from level one and teachs all the grammar rules...however for the commas if you PM me your email address I am pretty sure I have a powerpoint I created that I can share with you. I use it with my students. If not there are a ton of websites out there that can help you. :D
     
  18. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    I never "got" grammar until I took an intensive grammar course in college. Ironically, I was actually almost failed high school English because I had such a hard time with grammar and diagramming sentences. (I teach high school English now).
     
  19. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Yes. I remember once in 11th grade my English teacher was leaving for two weeks to go on her honeymoon and left us a packet of grammar about dangling modifiers; we had no direct instruction on it and I was confused beyond belief. That's about all the grammar I remember.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Wow!!!! It's the overwhelming majority of what our kids do freshman year, and the same is true in my husband's school.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Get yourself a 'style manual' and make it your mission to learn it. Sure there are times when every teacher has to say, "Let's look that one up"....but comma usage is one an English teacher should know. Inside, outside, upside down- you should know that one. Learn it.
     
  22. englishteach7

    englishteach7 Companion

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    Oct 30, 2010

    I was lucky that I was taught explicit grammar in high school during my senior year. My teacher made us do grammar exercises every night. I hated it at the time, but I am glad she did it because I later went on to become a news reporter and am currently an English teacher myself, so I'm definitely using everything that she taught me! In my master's program, our English Education professor spent about 6 classes on nothing but grammar! We even had to pass a 4-page grammar test covering all types of grammar with a 90 percent or we failed the class! Needless to stay, I feel thoroughly prepared because of my background, and I prepare my students each and everyday with about 15-20 minutes of grammar practice.

    Great resources I have found to be useful are definitely the OWL website and Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Grammar Tricks book. The latter really explains grammar in a fun and fast way. :)
     
  23. Chalk

    Chalk Companion

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    Oct 30, 2010

    Strunk....

    William Strunk and E.B. White "The elements of style"

    The best 90 pages I have ever seen in the world of grammar.

    In college I was once told by a sophomore humanities professor that I should go home and sue my High School. Ouch, I struggled and studied and still don't know what the heck a predicate adverb conjoined at birth to a noun in the pro-tense means BUT at least I can reference my Strunk to help me when I do need to worry about such......point.... never mind I don't want to offend any hard core Grammar teachers.:D
     
  24. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Oct 30, 2010

    I had to buy Scribner's Handbook for Writers for an English class, and I have used it often. I didn't really learn a whole lot in that class, but at least I have the book. :rolleyes: It's nice because it has grammer rules, writing lessons, and citation rules.

    I didn't have much in the way of grammer in college or in high school. Last year was my first year teaching language arts, and I was learning along with the kids! Yeah, I felt stupid a few times.

    I still struggle with subject verb agreement. :blush:

    Beth
     

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