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Professor Of English University of Montana Grammar is the sound, structure, and meaning system of language. All languages have grammar, and each language has its own grammar. People who speak the same language are able to communicate because they intuitively know the grammar system of that language—that is, the rules of making meaning.
Students who are native speakers of English already know English grammar. They recognize the sounds of English words, the meanings of those words, and national strategies improving writing and grammar different ways of putting words together to make meaningful sentences.
However, while students may be effective speakers of English, they need guidance to become effective writers.
They need to learn how to transfer their knowledge of grammatical concepts from oral language to written language. Effective grammar instruction begins with what students already know about grammar, and it helps them use this knowledge as they write.
By connecting their knowledge of oral language to written language, teachers can demystify abstract grammatical terminology so that students can write—and read—with greater competence and confidence.
Researchers agree that it is more effective to teach punctuation, sentence variety, and usage in the context of writing than to approach the topic by teaching isolated skills Calkins, ; DiStefano and Killion, ; Harris, As students revise and edit their writing, teachers can provide grammar instruction that guides students in their attempts to identify and correct problems in sentence structure and usage.
For example, a teacher who sees that many students are writing sentences containing misplaced modifiers can present a minilesson on this concept, using examples from student writing. Integrating grammar instruction into the revising and editing process helps students make immediate applications, thus allowing them to see the relevance of grammar to their own writing.
Because writing is a complex and challenging activity for many students, teachers should focus on the grammatical concepts that are essential for the clear communication of meaning. In addition, research indicates that the transfer of formal grammar instruction to writing is not applicable to larger elements of composition.
Shaughnessy advocates four important grammatical concepts: She recommends that teachers encourage students to examine grammatical errors in their own writing.
Weaver proposes a similar approach to teaching grammar in the context of writing. She writes, "What all students need is guidance in understanding and applying those aspects of grammar that are most relevant to writing. Teaching concepts on subject, verb, sentence, clause, phrase, and related concepts for editing 2.
Teaching style though sentence combining and sentence generating 3. Teaching sentence sense through the manipulation of syntactic elements 4. Teaching both the power of dialects and the dialects of power 5. Teaching punctuation and mechanics for convention, clarity, and style Reprinted by permission of Constance Weaver: Sentence combining is the strategy of joining short sentences into longer, more complex sentences.
As students engage in sentence-combining activities, they learn how to vary sentence structure in order to change meaning and style. The value of sentence combining is most evident as students recognize the effect of sentence variety beginnings, lengths, complexities in their own writing.
Hillocks states that "sentence combining practice provides writers with systematic knowledge of syntactic possibilities, the access to which allows them to sort through alternatives in their heads as well as on paper and to choose those which are most apt" Research also shows that sentence combining is more effective than freewriting in enhancing the quality of student writing Hillocks, Sentence-combining exercises can be either written or oral, structured or unstructured.
Structured sentence-combining exercises give students more guidance in ways to create the new sentences; unstructured sentence-combining exercises allow for more variation, but they still require students to create logical, meaningful sentences.
Students can explore sentence variety, length, parallelism, and other syntactic devices by comparing their sentences with sentences from other writers.
They also discover the decisions writers make in revising for style and effect. Teachers can design their own sentence-combining activities by using short sentences from student writing or other appropriate sources. Teachers can then ask different students to combine orally the short sentences in a variety of ways.
By participating in oral and written sentence-combining activities, students better understand the ways in which sentence structure, usage, and punctuation affect meaning.
When presented as a revising strategy, sentence-combining activities help students identify short, choppy sentences in their own writing, leading them to combine their ideas in more fluid and sophisticated ways. As students generate more complex sentences from shorter ones, they discover how the arrangement of phrases and clauses, for example, affects meaning and its impact on their readers.
Grammar instruction is most naturally integrated during the revising, editing, and proofreading phases of the writing process.
After students have written their first drafts and feel comfortable with the ideas and organization of their writing, teachers may wish to employ various strategies to help students see grammatical concepts as language choices that can enhance their writing purpose.
Students will soon grow more receptive to revising, editing, and proofreading their writing.Boosting Test Scores: "Principal" Strategies That Work Raising test scores is a goal at the top of all principals' lists.
It's a task that requires focus and a multi-pronged approach. The Role Of Grammar In Improving Student's Writing by Beverly Ann Chin Professor Of English University of Montana.
Grammar is the sound, structure, and . Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state.
Good writers know that opening sentences can make or break a story. Good beginning sentences reel readers in, while bad ones put readers off. Offering three strategies on how to write a good first sentence, as well as rewriting activities, this worksheet helps kids become stronger writers.
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