About the Grammar Matters Program
The Grammar Matters is a formal, systematic program that has two levels--beginning and intermediate. In some circumstances I may also be able to offer an advanced level. Students may choose from a live class and an independent study. I use the classic textbook Warriner's English Grammar and Composition, but I also incorporate my own methodology to help students achieve mastery of the material. To be successful in this course, students should regard it as an essential component of their English curriculum, not a mere supplement or enrichment.
Course Progression and Class Structure
Each of the Grammar Matters courses progress in the following sequence. See a more detailed scope-and-sequence below.
* basic grammar -- the internal structure of English
* mechanics -- punctuation and capitalization
* usage -- the rules for constructing sentences correctly
* style -- conventions for smooth, natural sentences
Each class follows the same pattern:
* homework check/questions
* textbook lesson w/ in-class practice
* assignment (posted in Google Classroom)
* assignment submission before next class (via Classroom)
Why bother with systematic grammar ?
Before "progressive" education took hold in American public schools, grammar was typically taught as a formal, systematic subject within general English courses. It was logical and coherent--the "math" of language study. Over the past few decades, however, systematic grammar has been dismissed by most schools as a time-waster, useless for improving student writing. Grammar became integrated with the general English curriculum, often taught in bits and pieces in the context of writing projects. This, in fact, was how I was instructed to teach grammar in my methodology courses in college, for it was the popular teaching approach of the '90s.
Unfortunately, that trend has continued. Over the years, I've graded many student papers, and I have seen the fruit of this neglect. I can always tell when a student has received minimal instruction in grammar, mechanics, usage, and style, because it shows up in their final drafts. No one needs to master grammar for the development of ideas or for self-expression, but everyone does for completing clean, correct, stylish manuscripts. With Grammar Matters I hope to fill another gap in the academic community by joining the few schools who are still plodding through old-fashioned, systematic grammar studies. For most students, it is the only way to fully grasp the complexities and power of the English language--and to learn how to use it to best effect.