Workshop: Grammar across the curriculum

Event Date/Time: 
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 7:00pm
Event Details: 
  • Scott Schwenter, Ohio State University
  • Lauren Squires, Ohio State University

This workshop addresses challenges, opportunities, and strategies for grammar instruction. Primarily, we refer to grammar instruction occurring under the auspices of particular language instruction (e.g., English Grammar, Spanish Grammar, Chinese Grammar), and often with a more applied focus (e.g., teacher education). The workshop is organized around four themes: 1. Attitudes. What language attitudes/ideologies are found among students in our classrooms? How can we appropriately combat attitudes that may hinder scientific engagement with language, while harnessing the power of positive attitudes to bolster engagement? 2. Goals. In a course specifically designed to introduce the grammar of a language, what are our student learning outcome goals? How can we define our goals so that they are realistic in terms of what a course can accomplish; seen as useful from the perspective of students; and intellectually satisfying from our perspective as linguists? 3. Frameworks. Linguistics is highly theoretical, but many students in “grammar” courses have little or no linguistics background, and our experience suggests that much current theorizing in the field is not directly applicable. What are (or should be) the theoretical underpinnings of teaching grammar? How can we create an approach to teaching grammar that isn’t mired in the theoretical mud, but still accomplishes our goals of accurately representing the complexity of natural language? 4. Methods. What are successful and unsuccessful strategies for grammar instruction? For instance, what kinds of sentence diagramming options exist, and what are their benefits and limits? What kinds of texts and assignments have instructors found especially productive? We envision four sections throughout the day: for each theme, one speaker presentation followed by an interactive, hands-on discussion/practice session.