47th Northeast Modern Language Association Convention Hartford CT March 17-20, 2016
What kind of Grammar Should We Teach?
COMPOSITION & RHETORIC PROPOSAL
I propose a panel on grammar that will focus on two key questions. First, what is the role of grammar in teaching composition? Ideally, there will be a broad range of answers to this question. And, second, what kind of grammar should be employed in teaching composition? Each member of the panel will first describe the role that grammar plays in their teaching, and then present briefly the kind of grammar that they employ in their teaching. Consideration of the second question might be even more important than consideration of the first since the term 'grammar' denotes a complex variety of things, and yet we seldom get to discuss in a general but also specific way the grammar that we actually use. Anyone who believes that grammar plays no role, or no significant role, such that they have no grammar to present will also be welcome as a panelist. The focus will be on the developmental and introductory levels of instruction in English and, ideally, the members of the panel will have, collectively at least, experience in teaching students who are native speakers with the standard dialect, students who are native speakers with a non-standard dialect, and ESL students. Of course, there is literature in second language acquisition theory that addresses the issues here formally but the emphasis of the panel will be on practice.