Location : TESOL
Unit, Pusan University of Foreign Studies
March 23, 2004
Faculty : Thor
Course Description :
The English Grammar unit
is designed to enhance the classroom abilities of teachers of English
as a second language. It does this by blending practical classroom advice
about English grammar teaching with an in-depth survey of the more important
grammatical structures of the language, from morphemes, to word classes,
to phrases, to sentence structures and beyond. Attention is paid to
the way grammatical stucture encodes meaning, and the implications of
this for language learning. Course participants are guided to develop
their critical and analytic skills when faced with grammatical structures
which seem difficult to explain to their own students.
Various approaches to the
study of grammar are considered, from traditional pedagogical (prescriptive)
grammars, to descriptive grammars, to more ambitious model-based systematic
grammars. Skill in using these resources is emphasized, as opposed to
the futile task of trying to remember long and arbitrary lists of grammatical
terms (which are always incomplete in any case).
The top-down linguistic analysis
of texts and utterances, which may be useful for a teacher's background
management and understanding, is balanced with techniques, such as story-based
grammar teaching, which may better serve the learner's acquisition of
Patterns of L2 grammatical
errors and other deviations from standard English are also studied.
The course develops a notion of using errors as a learning tool rather
than a badge of shame.
A student who successfully
completes the English Grammar unit should have useful teaching skills
in these areas :
- The capacity to look at
any English sentence or text and be able to visualize its internal
- The ability to explain
in plain language the internal relationships between the constituents
of an English sentence. This includes the ability to communicate such
understanding to language learners in ways which they will find helpful.
- Skill in finding and interpreting
grammatical explanations from grammar books when the teacher herself
is unsure of standard English usage.
- A broad familiarity with
the main terminology used in various types of English grammar traditions.
The principle is that this knowledge is a tool for teacher research
and referencing purposes rather than direct classroom presentation.
- Some experience in adding
value to the content of English language materials such as stories,
dialogues etc. by also exploring language form (including grammar).
The principle is that L2 learners will be motivated to focus on form
after they have been motivated by inherently interesting content.
- Skill in making creative
and positive use of the inevitable L2 user errors which are a feature
of second language performance by both L2 students and L2 teachers.
The principle is that errors and non-standard deviations can be viewed
as a learning tool, as opposed to a constant source of embarrassment.
This skill in creatively using errors will include the ability of
the teacher to be candid (and perhaps humorous) about her own slips.
Weekly quiz 25% (five
short questions per week, usually based on the previous week's lecture
Essay assignment 25%
(the first draft, worth 10% of the essay total, is due in Week 6; the
final draft is due in Week 9).
Examination 50% (this
written examination will be held in the last week of the semester. It
will be designed to test the student's understanding of content delivered
during the course, and mastery of the skill objectives outlined in the
: The weekly quiz is a form of continuous assessment. Experience
has shown that such quizzes, although unloved at first, are a very
effective way to focus students' minds on the course content, and
to clear up any confused ideas which may have arisen during lectures.
The assignment essay is an opportunity for the student to
show initiative in developing her own learning by going beyond course
materials, and interpreting ideas from a variety of sources. The
examination is intended to help the student review and integrate
the course content as a whole in her own mind. It also provides
an objective instrument for external auditors (such as other universities)
to measure the kind of learning which has really taken place during
The PUFS TESOL Program is
cross-credited to Masters courses in America and elsewhere. This means
that international best practice must apply to course standards.
In written assignments, all
borrowed ideas must give a full reference for the source
. That is, the student must show the author, page number, article name,
journal or book name, publisher and date. Quotations should be in quotation
marks. Models for doing this correctly can be found in most academic
books and journals. Plagiarism (claiming other people's ideas &
writing as your own) will be penalized according to university policy.
This would normally include a 0% grade for the assignment, and further
measures for repeated offences.
The lecturer has a computer
program specially designed to check for plagiarism, as well as his own
professional knowledge and experience. He understands that course students
who speak English as a second language are likely to have certain kinds
of language errors in their writing.
Course Text Books
Berk, Lynn M. 1999 English
Syntax - From Word to Discourse NY: Oxford University
Hopper, Paul 1999 A
Short Course In Grammar , published NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Verspoor, Marjolin &
Kim Sauter, English Sentence Analysis , (with CD) published
Amsterdam: John Benjamins [this
book provides an especially clear description of English sentence
structures, with interactive exercises on the CD]
Fromkin V, Rodman R &
Hyams N 2003 An Introduction to Language, 7th Edition (selected
chapters), published Mass.: Thomson/ Heinle
J. Schrum & E. Glisan
2000 Teacherís Handbook, (selected chapters), published Heinle
Willis, Dave 1991
Cobild Students' Cobild published London: Collins
Burt M & Kiparsky
C 1972,1980 The Gooficon - A Repair Manual For English (if
available), published Mass.: Newbury House
Other materials as mentioned