What is Grammar? & Language Awareness
My experience learning grammar at school is non-existent. I do not remember a single lesson. I can vaguely remember being corrected by my grumpy grandmother, now deceased, whose grammar was such that she spoke as if she had learned the language from an illiterate Spanish pirate.
One of the many motivators for learning grammar as an adult was when I found it odd that managers at work seemed to use personal pronouns the wrong way. They all referred to themselves as “myself”. One day, after a particularly nasty corporate restructure, a new manager walked in and grandly stated “You have been transferred to myself”. I looked at him in bewilderment. I had only been speaking English for forty odd years at the time and so I wondered if it was just me that had the grammar rules all wrong. Maybe there really was a rule that allowed authority figures to abuse personal pronouns in the same manner that the ...view middle of the document...
It has already been said by a greater man than I, “Be prepared”.
How could knowledge of the basic rules of grammar work to your advantage?
Some of the great advantages of knowing the grammar rules will be confidence and professionalism. Part of my career plan is to be a TEFL teacher in Chile – having a professional approach to the role must include a working knowledge of the rules. This approach may result in favourable references and lead to a lucrative contract.
A working knowledge of the grammar rules is the shifting-spanner in the tool box of a TEFL teacher. It should be a goal of the TEFL teacher to become a general authority on the English language at the workplace. Someone is paying a TEFL teacher to solve any and all English language problems at a school or an international business. It would be like hiring a repairman and have him scratch his head and walk away saying that he can’t fix it. I, for one, would not call that company again.
You saw many examples of ´metalanguage´, or, language about language, (noun, verb, clause, etc.) in the test. How important will this be to you as a teacher?
Metalanguage will be important to me as a teacher because it enables conversation among peers. It enables other professionals to discuss specific terms within their professions. It will be used in the classroom to describe the rules, phrases and conventions used in the English language that result in specific actions being carried out. A clear, unambiguous and concise description of the grammar rules can be conveyed to the students who in turn will be able to ask the right questions using the correct terms.
Were there any surprises that you encountered in this module? Describe them and what they will mean to your future as a teacher.
This module had a few surprises. It has taken me a day of constant pondering to accept that the statement “I have gone” is really present perfect tense.I was thinking “Surely it must be past tense?” How can being gone be present? Eventually it became apparent, the rules state clearly that the sentence is quite definitely a present condition of being gone. Being gone is also a condition that I nearly found myself in as I realised that riding a bicycle around Chile requires constant attention.