Review: Grammar for English Language TeachersExcellent tool for newly qualified and experienced teachers
Grammar for English Language Teachers is more than another reference grammar book for EFL teachers. It is a necessary tool for native and non-native, experienced or newly qualified teachers.
The book consists of four parts. Part A deals with the different parts of speech not as isolated grammatical items but as words that determine various aspects in the forming of sentences. In addition, the second edition includes an extra chapter on Combining Words. This chapter explores language from a ‘lexico-grammatical’ point of view, following the latest findings of research in Applied Linguistics. Part B includes chapters on verbs and related forms such as the tenses, modal verbs, infinitive and -ing forms of verbs, and many more. Part C analyses sentence constituents and word order. The first two chapters of this part analyze both the basic principles and major variants of sentence constituents. The other chapters deal with passive constructions, discourse markers and ellipsis and substitution. Part D analyses different aspects of more complex sentences.
The most helpful aspect of this book is that for every chapter the author outlines some of the most common difficulties that learners face in each area. Often students come up with questions that as teachers we had never thought of before. As a result we may give them the wrong answer, afraid that if we don’t answer at all we are going to lose face in front of our class. This part in every unit of the book helps us prepare for almost any question the students might have.
Another key aspect of the book is the consolidation exercises after each chapter, accompanied by the key at the end of the book. This, in combination with the extra on-line material (http://www.cambridge.org/elt/gelt/extension) makes this book a perfect self-access tool for every teacher.
Additionally, the book distinguishes between classroom/exam English and the language and expressions native speakers use. With a clear analysis of register for every structure, teachers can give clear guidelines to their students, who often feel bewildered not knowing when it is appropriate to use certain structures and expressions.
One of the points that teachers need to consider when using this book is the abundance of information. Every topic is analyzed to the maximum and the language used is rather technical. Therefore, teachers have to be particularly selective as to which of the details they are going to teach and the language they are going to use to teach them.
To summarize the impact of this book, it has replaced all other reference grammar books and notes on my shelf as I can easily find clear and comprehensible information about any topic or issue that I need.
August 2010 | Filed under Grammar
Nancy Karamihou, MA TEFL, University of Essex
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