EN 325 Modern Grammar
SP 2007 HO
Emily Donnelli Sallee
Assistant Professor of English
12:30-1:30, MWF, other times by appointment
816-536-3884 (not after 10 p.m.)
1:50 - 3:05 PM
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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:
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).
Homework and Participation: 30%Mid-Term: 15%Term Project: 30%Final Examination: 25%
Late Submission of Course Materials:
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. Last, we will select a topic for our final research project.
Unit II (Weeks 4-5): 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. During this unit we will also begin an extended synthesis exercise. You will use that passage to apply the concepts we cover in the rest of the class.
Unit III (Weeks 6-8): 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).
Week 9: Spring Recess
Unit IV (Weeks 10-11): 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 (Weeks 12-13): 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. During this unit, your researched project will be due.
Unit VI (Weeks 14-15): Linking Clauses: Coordination
Having focused on subordination in our Unit V discussion, we will cover coordination of phrases and clause—that is, compounding.
Unit VII (Week 16):
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. During this final week, we will prepare for the final examination.
Week 17: Final Examination
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Last Updated:1/5/2007 3:12:50 PM