EN/EDE 325 Modern Grammar
SP 2006 HO
Assistant Professor of English
Library Seminar Room A
Mondays and Fridays, 3:05-4:00, Also By Appointment
Mondays and Fridays
1:50 - 3:05 PM
Textbook: Glauner, Jeff. Essentials of Grammar: A Textbook for Teachers, Editors, Secretaries, Writers, and Other Semiwilling Curmudgeons. Parkville, Missouri: Park University, 2002. Available free at: http://captain.park.edu/jglauner/EN-ED325%20F2F/GramText.htm
Course Description: This course concentrates on modern approaches to English grammar and its teaching after a brief historical perspective of transformational, structural, and traditional methodologies. Teacher education candidates are required to develop teaching packages demonstrating appropriate pedagogical methods. Other students may substitute a research paper. 3:0:3
Educational Philosophy: Just as you are in-development as a writer/thinker, so am I. I will learn just as much about my own teaching and writing from interacting with you this semester as you will learn in our class. I believe that learning is a collaborative endeavor—it does not happen in isolation. We learn from each other and from the texts that we read (when we want to). Fundamentally, learning is a decision; just because we're in the academy doesn't mean we will learn. For my part, I will provide you with a structure to work within this semester as you develop your writing skills. I will be open to learning from you and to incorporating your feedback to make our course better. I will serve as a trusted reader and will make my evaluation of your work clear. I value students who take responsibility for their learning—who participate in class discussions, ask questions, and learn with others.
Specific to this course, my approach to the teaching of modern grammar emphasizes the interrelation of syntax (those systems and formulae used to categorize language) and semantics (meaning). Although we will apply, to an extent, linguistic concepts to analyze the forms and functions of words, phrases, and clauses, we will always do so with consideration of the meaning of the sentence under investigation. My desire is for you to leave this class with a greater understanding of the ways that sentence-level grammar is used to construct meaning and affect readers. To that end, we will augment our study of forms and functions with activities designed to help you see the rhetorical (persuasive) dimensions of language use so that it can have a direct effect on your writing skills. Additionally, for teacher education candidates, an important component of this class will be formulating a working philosophy on your approach to teaching Standard American English (the dialect that is seen by influential institutions—the media, the academy, the government—as most correct).
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
EN/ED 325: Modern GrammarTerm ProjectFormal Essay (min of 2000 words) and Oral Presentation (10 minutes)
Purpose and Content
The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to become more aware of and to contribute to the body of scholarly dialogue on the topic of grammar—its history, theory, and practice. The essay prompt is intentionally broad to allow both education and non-education majors flexibility in investigating an issue of most relevance to their current and future interests/pursuits. With that said, however, education majors will be asked to investigate as their issue a pedagogical approach (past or present) to the teaching of grammar. Each student must contextualize his/her topic within the appropriate history relating to language study/grammatical instruction.
The investigative essay will contain an analysis of the scholarly research (from professional, peer-reviewed journals) collected on the topic and will also include the writer's own response to the research. This response should move beyond simple agreement or disagreement with the ideas presented to provide the writer's extension, complication, or application of the ideas. For education majors, this response will take the form of a narrative description of an activity devised to teach a particular grammatical concept to a particular grade level—this narrative should be no longer than 1000 words.
In terms of the core learning outcomes for this class, the formal essay/presentation assignment responds to:
Outcome #2: Students will demonstrate proficiency in the use of the language for contemporary grammatical study and in the recognition and manipulation of grammatical structures (MoSTEP 1.1).Outcome #3: Students will investigate an issue related to the study of grammar, demonstrating scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills (MoSTEP 1.1, 1.2.7).Outcome #4: For students who plan to earn their English/Language Arts teacher certification, the following MoSTEP Standards guide this course: The preservice teacher will demonstrate a knowledge of and/or competency in the following areas (MoSTEP 1.1, 1.2.1, 1.2.7):
Your targeted audience should be individuals interested in teaching, in learning more about grammar (and/or socio/linguistics to a limited degree), its history, theory, practice—in other words, a college-level audience, professionals. You will need to organize your material clearly both in the written and oral versions (10 minutes) so classmates can take notes easily for discussion and examination purposes. Copies of your papers for classmates will be provided for download through our eCompanion shell.
In composing your draft, you will want to use the literary present tense and avoid the use of the first person pronouns (I, we). This assignment is intended to give you practice writing formal analysis of scholarly material, and it needs to be presented in a formal format and with a formal tone. Your project will adhere to either MLA or APA for overall format, in-text citations, and bibliography. Consult your Everyday Writer and ask questions if any of these items are not clear, or if you are unsure about other documentation requirements not specifically mentioned.
Term projects are assessed upon the following four factors:
1) Focus: The content must reflect a specific focus on a carefully narrowed topic and issue (determined in consultation with instructors).
2) Development/Analysis: The content must reflect a strong understanding of and response the issue under examination, including representation of multiple perspectives.
3) Coherence: The project must be ordered in such a way that the reader can follow the coherence of the project's intent from point to point and start to finish.
4) Mechanics: The project must reflect the writer's mastery of the conventions of standard written English and the conventions of scholarly research and writing, including careful documentation of ideas, paraphrases, and direct quotations from outside sources.
In general terms, significant weakness in any one of these areas reduces the value of a project by a letter grade. However, serious weakness in one area can lead to the loss of two or three letter grades or to a failing grade.
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment: Formative assessments will consist of homework assignments and group activities designed to assess students' mastery of grammatical concepts and analysis. Much of the time, students will use these homework activities to work together in peer groups to explore grammatical structures in written contexts. Students will also keep a “language journal” throughout the semester, which will allow them to record observations of and informally analyze connections between grammar and meaning.
Summative assessments consist of a mid-term examination; a cumulative research paper/project; and a final examination—all designed to provide students opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in grammatical analysis and the application of grammatical concepts and ideas to their research interests (for education majors or prospective majors, this will entail research over common pedagogical approaches to the teaching of grammar at various levels).
Grading: Homework and Participation: 35%
Research(ed) Paper: 25%
Final Examination: 25%
Late Submission of Course Materials: All assignments are due at the beginning of class. One letter grade will be deducted for each day an assignment is late. Check your schedule for potential conflicts well ahead of due dates, and speak with me ahead of time if you anticipate difficulty meeting a deadline.
Remember: Computers are not always reliable. Invariably, a program will crash or a printer will quit working. Note that computer failure is not a valid excuse for turning in late work. Please make sure you print your papers enough in advance to avoid any problems.
Course Topic/Dates/Assignments: Note: A detailed schedule for each unit will be provided in class.
Unit I: Foundations and Big-Picture Concepts
In this unit, we will take a litmus test of our own and others' understandings and definitions of “grammar”. We will cover a brief historical survey of approaches to grammar, the goal of which will be to identify key issues in the study and usage of language that we will discuss throughout the term. Through our textbook readings, homework, and in-class activities, we will identify and define sentences and non-sentences.
Unit II: Sentence Patterns, Part One
In this brief unit, we will use the concept of a sentence “pattern” to understand the common construction of a simple sentence (that is, a single independent clause): SVO. We will introduce seven basic sentence patterns, but focus only on three: intransitive verb, direct object, and indirect object. We will work closely in groups during this unit and this pattern of open sharing and discussion will continue throughout the course. I appreciate students who go out of their way to assist their peers. Last, in this unit, we will begin discussing the final paper/presentation assignment.
Unit III: Sentence Patterns, Part Two
Continuing our study, we will consider the other four basic sentence patterns: subject complement (adjectival); subject complement (nominal); object complement (adjectival); and object complement (nominal).
Unit IV: Phrases as Constituents
With the basic sentence patterns under our belt, we turn in this unit to the primary ways that those sentence patterns can be modified (nominally, adjectivally, or adverbially) using various types of phrases. In this unit, we will practice dissecting independent clauses (simple sentences) to identify their constituent phrases and the functions of those phrases in constructing the overall meaning(interpretation) of the sentence.
Unit V: Linking Clauses: Compound and Complex Sentences
Up until this point, we have dealt primarily with the independent clause and thus the simple sentence. In this unit, we will branch out to cover what happens when multiple clauses are linked, with a focus on subordination (and the subordinate or dependent clause) as a linking approach.
Unit VI: Linking Clauses: Coordination
Having focused on subordination in our Unit V discussion, we will cover coordination of phrases and clause—that is, compounding.
In this final week of the course, we will continue to drill down from sentence to constituent by ending at where most grammar courses begin, with a list of the traditional parts of speech. We will examine (and perhaps revise) this list in light of what we've learned over the course of the semester.
Academic Honesty:Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87
Plagiarism:Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89Special Note: This is an interactive, discussion-based class that depends on your participation. You'll notice that a significant percentage of your final grade is based on your activity in our class, and this is to reinforce the importance of taking an active role in your learning in this class and throughout college. With that said, missing four class meetings will result in an automatically drop of one letter grade. Five absences will result in your failure of the course. It is your responsibility to contact me or another student about what you missed in class if you are absent.
Disability Guidelines:Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Exceeds Expectation (3)
Meets Expectation (2)
Does Not Meet Expectation (1)
No Evidence (0)
SynthesisOutcomes3, 4a, 4b
Discussion of topic presents and expresses the relationship among viewpoints from multiple and diverse perspectives
Discussion of topic presents viewpoints from multiple and diverse perspectives
Discussion of the topic presents only one perspective (or only the binary—pro/con—perspectives) or presents viewpoints from non-scholarly resources
Discussion of the topic does not present any perspectives from scholarly research
The writer makes clear, sophisticated, and persuasive links between research presented and thesis
The writer clearly relates research presented to thesis
The relationship of the research to the thesis is unclear or inconsistent
The writer does not relate the research presented to the thesis
EvaluationOutcomes3, 4a, 4b
The paper presents a sophisticated and compelling thesis in response to the scholarly conversation taking place about the topic
The paper presents a clear and arguable thesis in response to the scholarly conversation taking place about the topic
The thesis presented simply restates a viewpoint expressed in the research
There is no thesis statement (overall argument about the topic) present
Paper demonstrates sophisticated use (understanding) of grammatical/linguistic terminology in presentation of thesis and support
Paper accurately appropriates grammatical/linguistic terminology in presentation of thesis and support
Paper does not accurately incorporate grammatical/linguistic terminology
Paper does not incorporate grammatical/linguistic terminology
Paper demonstrates a thorough and sophisticated investigation of an issue related to the study of grammar, demonstrating scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills
Paper investigates an issue related to the study of grammar, demonstrating scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills
Paper reflects only a surface investigation of an issue related to the study of grammar and/or does not demonstrate scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills
Paper does not investigate an issue related to the study of grammar and/or demonstrate scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills
Writer contextualizes argument within the broader field of language study (linguistics, socio-linguistics, or education)
Writer minimally or inaccurately contextualizes argument within the broader field of language study (linguistics, socio-linguistics, or education)
Writer does not contextualize argument within the broader field of language study (linguistics, socio-linguistics, or education)
Whole ArtifactOutcomes3, 4a
Content displays consistent facility in the use of standard edited English, demonstrating variety in sentence structure and range of vocabulary
Content conforms to standard edited English with a minimum of grammar or mechanical errors
Frequent/distracting errors in grammar and mechanics
Errors in grammar and mechanics are so severe as to obscure meaning
Paper format and documentation of sources reflect mastery of MLA or APA conventions
Writer accurately uses MLA or APA format to document ideas, paraphrases, and direct quotations from outside sources
Paper contains errors in in-text or end-text citations, including missing citations for ideas, paraphrases, and direct quotations from outside sources
Writer does not utilize MLA or APA to document sources