I attended this year's conference and enjoyed meeting the presenters and other attendees and getting new ideas for teaching grammar
- in the English composition courses that I teach,
- in the Modern Grammar course that I teach, and
- in the English language arts teaching methods course that I offer for future teachers of English.
Here were some particular highlights:
- Christian Aguiar (University of District of Columbia Community College) -- He offered a session on using mindfulness practices to help students put aside the distractions of technology and the concerns of their daily lives in order to focus on the study of challenging grammatical topics.
- April Burke (Central Michigan University) -- She presented interactive instruction activities appropriate for use with K-8 students learning grammar. We adults enjoyed doing the activities as much as elementary children likely would!
- Beth Rapp Young (University of Central Florida) -- Her presentation was on advanced dictionary skills. She sees dictionaries as an illustration of how rhetorical context affects language use--and she has found that her students enjoy delving into dictionaries, learning about what they offer, learning about what different dictionaries offer differently, and so on. A fascinating session!
- Sean Ruday (Longwood University) -- He is a proponent of studying grammatical concepts "in their natural habitats"--i.e., in published texts to see how authors use them in their own writing. Like April, Sean got us out of our seats to participate in some of the grammar activities that he advocates for use with students. Very engaging!
- The Common Core Grammar Toolkit: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Language Standards in Grades 3-5 (2013), in Grades 6-8 (2014), and in Grades 9-12 (2017) by Sean Ruday (here)
- Teaching Grammar: What Really Works (2010) by Amy Benjamin and Joan Berger (here)
- Understanding English Grammar (2016) by Martha Kolln, Loretty Gray, and Joseph Salvatore (here)
And now, a couple timely articles:
"A Grammatical Analysis of Donald Trump's Double Negatives" (2018) by R.L.G. -- After Donald Trump used the world stage to side with Vladimir Putin and against American intelligence agencies in their determination that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election, uproar across our country caused Mr. Trump to issue a pseudo-retraction by saying that he had meant to say the opposite of what he said. This author takes a deeper look at that claim.
"Behemoth, Bully, Thief: How the English Language Is Taking Over the Planet" (2018) by Jacob Mikanowski -- "English is everywhere; and everywhere, English dominates." How did that come to be so? And what does that mean for the world's other languages? Read on!