Applied Grammar for Teachers: Why, What, How and When?

Course | June 19 – 23, 2017 every day | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | 179 Dwinelle Hall

 Bay Area Writing Project

This course takes a practical approach to grammar instruction, focusing on methods that work best to improve student writing. We will look at exciting ways to advance students’ “sentence power” but also to improve their sentence correctness. It assumes that the best approaches to grammar instruction tend to be ones that closely match what effective writers do when they compose and correct sentences. It also assumes that students learn best through constructivist classroom practices such as inquiry, collaboration, focused practice, and modeling, integrated within a purposeful curriculum.

We will inquire into the why, what, how, and when of grammar instruction, building a logical and adaptable framework for planning and sequencing, and developing principles that will help teachers make informed choices for their students and their curricular goals. We will examine a variety of activities, scaffolds (deductive and inductive), and tasks to best serve students, including English language learners. Sessions will focus on language variety, and code-switching; sentence rhetoric and style; issues of correctness (learning how to diagnose, prioritize and respond to error); and planning within and between lessons—with a particular eye to being both systematic and contextual in our designs.

Paul Morris is an assistant professor of English at San Francisco State University where he coordinates the English education program and teaches composition. Previously, he taught English at secondary school in the UK. He has presented at national conferences (NCTE, CEE) and published in peer-reviewed journals, on a range of topics: teacher education and learning transfer, reading strategies (annotation), and writing processes (prewriting; editing). He is particularly interested in the intersections of literacy, grammar, and rhetoric. He is currently writing articles on inquiry-approaches to composition and on planning principles for grammar instruction.

 bawp@berkeley.edu