EN325 Modern Grammar

for FA 2007

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EN 325 Modern Grammar


FA 2007 HO


Emily Donnelli Sallee


Assistant Professor of English


ABD, English, University of Kansas
MA, English, University of Kansas
BA, English, William Jewell College

Office Location

Library 410

Office Hours

MW, 12-1; T, 9-11, Also by Appointment

Daytime Phone




Class Days


Class Time

4:40 - 5:55 PM

Credit Hours



Curzan, Anne and Michael Adams. How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. New

York: Pearson, 2006.

Glauner, Jeff. Essentials of Grammar: A Textbook for Teachers, Editors, Secretaries,

Writers, and Other Semiwilling Curmudgeons. Parkville, Missouri: Park University, 2002. Available free at:

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
This course concentrates on modern approaches to English grammar and its teachings after a brief historical perspective of transformational, structural, and traditional methodologies 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

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 and immediate context 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 persuade 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 regarding your approach to teaching Standard American English in the classroom. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with three movements in grammatical study: traditional, structural, and generative-transformational through daily exercises, individually and in peer groups, and through formal testing (MoSTEP 1.1.1; CA 7; G 1.9; NCTE 2.1.2; CR 2).
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of the language for contemporary grammatical study and in the recognition and manipulation of grammatical structures. Proficiency will be demonstrated through regular completion of assignments from the text, through class discussions, and through formal examinations (MoSTEP 1.1.1; CA 7; G 1.10; 4/2-4.3; NCTE 2.1.4-3.2.5; CR 2-4).
  3. Investigate an issue related to the study or teaching of grammar, demonstrating scholarly skills of research, synthesis and analysis (MoSTEP;;; CA 1; NCTE 2.4; CR 1).

Core Assessment:

The Core Assessment for EN/EDU 325, Modern Grammar, is the final examination. This examination requires students to 1) identify the grammatical form and function of given clauses, phrases, and words using the linguistic terminology covered by the course; 2) generate their own examples of various grammatical forms; and 3) compose short essays about contemporary issues in the study and teaching of grammar.

Link to Class Rubric

Class 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. 

Summative assessments consist of a mid-term examination; a cumulative research 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).


Short Papers, In-Class Writing                                     30%

Mid-Term                                                                 15%

Term Project                                                            30%

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. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Unit I (Weeks 1-3): 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. 

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). 


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 (TBA)

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

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 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
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, here are my specific attendance policies:
• Missing four class meetings will result in an automatic 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.  
• Except in cases of extended illness, death in the immediate family, school-sponsored activities, or religious holidays, I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences.
• Arrival to class more than 10 minutes late constitutes an absence.

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. 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 .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Responses demonstrate high level understanding of relationship between syntax and semantics. Responses demonstrate an accurate, basic understanding of the connection of linguistic form to semantic outcome. Responses discuss the semantic implications of linguistic choices in superficial or inaccurate ways. (e.g. no evidence of operationally defined competency) 
Student-generated examples illustrate grammatical forms and functions within cohesive, themed passages instead of isolated sentences. Student-generated examples accurately illustrate given grammatical forms and functions. Student-generated examples do not accurately illustrate given grammatical forms and functions, or the examples generated simply parrot ones found in the course texts.  
Student identifies the difference between grammatical form and function and also recognizes instances of ambiguity in interpretation of function. Student accurately identifies the difference between grammatical form and function. Student only partially or inaccurately recognizes the different categories of form and function.  
Student not only applies the linguistic terminology to sample passages but can also use more specific grammatical terms to identify word-level forms and functions. Student accurately applies the language of grammatical analysis to sample passages, utilizing the language of the seven basic sentence constituents and related patterns. Student does not accurately apply the language of grammatical analysis or does so only superficially.  
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Essay responses critically discuss the implications of the course's linguistic concepts on contemporary issues in the study and/or teaching of grammar, providing the student's own interpretation of the issues. Essay responses relate the linguistic content of the course to contemporary issues in the study and/or teaching of grammar. Essay responses do not relate the linguistic content of the course to contemporary issues in the study and/or teaching of grammar.  
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Content of essay questions displays consistent facility in the use of standard edited English, demonstrating variety in sentence structure and range of vocabulary. Content of essay questions conforms to standard edited English with a minimum of grammar or mechanical errors. Content of essay questions contains repeated/distracting errors in grammar and mechanics.  
Disciplinary Competency:  Scholarly research                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Essay responses demonstrate a depth of understanding only possible through extended reading and analysis of research. Essay responses draw upon students' research and demonstrate scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills. Essay responses reflect only a surface investigation and do not demonstrate scholarly research, synthesis and analysis skills.  
Disciplinary Competency:  Knowledge of field                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Writer contextualizes argument within the broader field of language study (linguistics, socio-linguistics, or education). 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).  


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Last Updated:8/21/2007 11:48:54 AM