This text is a basic introduction to grammar and its uses for pre- and in-service teachers, providing the information needed to teach grammar effectively. Readers learn about grammar and usage for the purposes of improving their students' language skills, and at the same time see how they can improve their own. The text makes a clear distinction between grammar and usage without artificially separating the two topics. It proceeds on the observation that grammar is more or less universal, whereas usage is quite particular, governed almost entirely by situation. Thus, the text de-emphasizes questions of correctness so as to examine questions of appropriateness. By relating usage to situation and appropriateness conditions, this text examines a spectrum of options for practicing and prospective teachers who are puzzled not only about standard English but also about nonstandard dialects they encounter in the classroom. The position taken is that "nonstandard" dialects are not "incorrect" in any sense, but that they may be inappropriate in certain circumstances. An entire chapter is devoted to examining the controversies and debates on dialects and teachers' roles in regard to nonstandard English. A goal of this chapter and the entire book is to encourage teachers to accept all dialects as valid in their own right, but another goal is to stress the fundamental value to students of being able to use standard English fluently when circumstances require it. With the preceding factors in mind, The Teacher's Grammar Book provides a conceptual framework for the three principal grammars used to talk about language: traditional grammar, phrase structure grammar, and transformational-generative grammar. It takes a significant step forward by including a chapter on cognitive grammar. The importance of cognitive grammar today motivates a refocusing of this text that is not found in any others of its type: Phrase-structure grammar rather than transformational-generative grammar is the recommended analytical tool. The text is designed around an approach to teaching aimed at immersing students in language and giving them the tools to analyze, evaluate, and explain what they encounter, and includes many helpful pedagogical features: * overviews that give students a historical and philosophical context for each grammar; * easy-to-understand explanations of terms and concepts; * numerous sentences for analysis into tree diagrams; example sentences and exercises create a humorous "soap opera" tale that holds students' attention and keeps them motivated; * analyses that build from the simple to the complex and deal with real-world sentences; * selected writing activities that ask students to apply what they've learned to their own writing; * exercises that ask students to analyze selections from texts, not only in terms of grammar but also in terms of meaning; and * activities that engage students in observing the spoken language they hear around them and to analyze it using what they've learned in the text about grammar and usage.
Reference, Words-Language-Grammar, Grammar,