Grammar awareness amongst teachers in British schools is often lacking to a certain extent – this much has been shared with myself by many a teacher on my EAL training travels to northern, central and southern parts of the country. I myself have received very thorough education in grammar (well linked to the curriculum and well applied, I thought) in my own schooling days. But, in Britain, most currently practicing teachers have not received such formal introduction to grammar.
Over the last 3 months, I’ve been busy designing an online course, which will be set up on a subdomain of this blog’s website, called Grammar for Secondary School Teachers: What Every Teacher in England Actually Needs to Know. The word “actually” is in there because, obviously, it would be silly to ask teachers to suddenly learn all of the grammar – neither are they linguists nor they should be. Rather, I’ve taken what DfE prescribes for children in primary schools to learn/be taught by the end of year 6. If teachers in secondary schools are to carry on the grammar acquisition and application for the benefit of their learners, they need to be aware of the grammar itself and know some more than the bare minimum.
Its not my intention to suggest any particular strategies for the teaching of grammar as contexts are many and numbers of students even greater. But a good starting point is actually knowing and being aware of certain grammatical elements. This is what the course aims to do – to raise awareness of certain areas, and allow teachers to revisit the grammar itself in order be able to teach it by devising their own strategies. Clearly, some areas will be quite easy to teachers and some others might be quite challenging. But the hope is that it will enable teachers to be able to explain these concepts to learners: there is no point saying to a person that “what you wrote here is ungrammatical” if you don’t have the knowledge and grammatical terms needed to actually say why. Clearly, in case of EAL learners, this knowledge is essential as grammar needs to be made explicit for them; otherwise, grammar and language more broadly become the invisible curriculum in the school.
The course will launch by February 28, 2018, at 6:00am precisely. It will be hosted here: http://valuediversity-teacher.co.uk/courses/
As you can see, the cost is only £35. Small price to pay for 10 units, 33 video lessons (210 minutes altogether), 270 pages of video transcript, 10 quizzes, 3 assessments and the opportunity to discuss the issues with other learners through the dedicated online bulletin board. You will be able to download certificates for each individual unit and the main one at the conclusion of the course. Please remember it is a work of one person – and it’s being done by a teacher (me 🙂 ) for teachers.
Please watch the two preview / promo videos before – I seriously hope you do! – you take the course!
Once this course is up and rolling, I will be working on another course Introduction to EAL Pedagogy, to be offered by May 2018.