Language Alive in the Classroom

Language Alive in the Classroom

Language Alive in the Classroom

Language Alive in the Classroom


When it comes to grammar, teachers often wonder how to reach their students. This volume offers a resounding response. Articles range from an exploration of cultural attitudes toward grammar to models of how students may become sleuths as they discover the often surprising patterns of our language. Teachers are shown how to bring language alive in the classroom.


This volume is directed to teachers -- teachers in preparation and teachers already in practice. It speaks to students in teacher education pursuing certification to teach English in primary or secondary schools as well as seasoned teachers who might appreciate a new, animated vantage on teaching grammar and language structure. The chapters offer material relevant to grades one through twelve and beyond into the college classroom. However, even the higher-gauged materials could be readily reworked for elementary and secondary schools.

This volume assumes that as an English or language arts teacher, you will need to deal with grammar and language in the classroom. It also assumes that you may well feel trepidation at the thought of teaching grammar. Even if you yourself do not view the subject as boring, it is certain that some or even many of your students will. Accordingly, you may be groping for how to engage with grammar so it feels like language structure belongs to you, like it's alive, like it has to do with the world you know. Language Alive in the Classroom speaks to these concerns.

With Part I, Beyond Grammar of the Traditional Kind, we begin at our common ground, acknowledging and exploring why we have hard feelings toward traditional grammar. The authors then pull back the curtain on the traditional grammar wizard, showing that the traditional approach doesn't even work as a description of our language.

David B. Umbach, in Grammar, Tradition, and the Living Language, argues that when we talk about language, what we say can easily be overshadowed by how we say it. He discusses the effects of traditional ways of talking about language on his students' ability and willingness to learn linguistics and finds that the problem is a bit more complicated than the . . .

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