Teaching Grammar in Context

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Overview

More than fifteen years ago, Constance Weaver's Grammar for Teachers (NCTE, 1979) broke new ground by responding to widespread concern about the place of grammar in the curriculum. Suggesting that teachers need to know key aspects of grammar in order to teach writing more effectively, Weaver also argued that students need to be guided in learning and applying grammatical concepts as they revise and edit their writing. Attention to sentence structure and mechanics during the ...

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Overview

More than fifteen years ago, Constance Weaver's Grammar for Teachers (NCTE, 1979) broke new ground by responding to widespread concern about the place of grammar in the curriculum. Suggesting that teachers need to know key aspects of grammar in order to teach writing more effectively, Weaver also argued that students need to be guided in learning and applying grammatical concepts as they revise and edit their writing. Attention to sentence structure and mechanics during the process of writing would result in better products.

With Teaching Grammar in Context, Weaver extends her philosophy by offering teachers a rationale and practical ideas for teaching grammar not in isolation but in the context of writing. She begins by introducing some common meanings of "grammar" and provides a historical overview of traditional reasons for teaching grammar as a school subject. After examining those reasons, she questions them, citing decades of research which suggests that grammar taught in isolation has little, if any, effect on most students' writing.

To lay the groundwork for a more effective approach, Weaver considers how preschoolers learn the basic structures of their native language and how second-language grammar is acquired. She goes on to suggest a research-based perspective on the concept of error and on the writing "errors" our students make, concluding with practical alternatives to what Lois Rosen has dubbed "the error hunt." Equally useful is Weaver's examination of the aspects of grammar on which we might focus as we guide our students in writing and revising sentences and in editing selected pieces. Her final chapter addresses the teaching of grammar from the perspective of learning theory.

The appendix includes numerous sample lessons from Weaver's own teaching, illustrating the five broad topics suggested in the text:

  • teaching concepts of subject, verb, clause, sentence, and related editing concepts
  • teaching style through sentence combining and generating
  • teaching sentence sense and style through manipulation of syntactic elements
  • teaching the power of dialects and dialects of power
  • teaching punctuation and mechanics for convention, clarity, and style.

Teaching Grammar in Context fills a long-standing gap in the literature on teaching writing. It will prove invaluable to all practicing and preservice teachers, especially those at the middle and high school levels, where grammar is taught most intensively.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Weaver shows her growth as a teacher and researcher by bringing new insight and applications to her beliefs. A good book for all teachers who have their students write.”–Writing Teacher
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867093759
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 2/26/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 745,930
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

For more than three decades, Constance Weaver has been one of the fields' leading voices on literacy topics ranging from the reading process to grammar instruction with writing. Reading Process & Practice first appeared in 1988 and became widely known as the most authoritative, comprehensive, and definitive book of its kind. Now available in a Brief Edition, it continues to help teaches define reading in ways that support high-quality instruction. Connie once again led the way with the 1996 publication of the bestselling Teaching Grammar in Context and its companion Lessons to Share on Teaching Grammar in Context. Since then she has expanded and deepened her insights and specific teaching ideas in The Grammar Plan Book and Grammar to Enrich and Enhance Writing. In 1996, the Michigan Council of Teachers of English honored Weaver with the Charles C. Fries award for outstanding leadership in the profession. Connie is the Heckert Professor of Reading and Writing at Miami University , Oxford, Ohio, and Professor Emerita of English at Western Michigan University .
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Table of Contents

Grammar and the Teaching of Grammar: An Introduction

Teaching Grammar: Reasons for, Evidence Against

Acquiring Grammatical Competence

Toward a Perspective on Error

Reconceptualizing the Teaching of Grammar

Learning Theory and the Teaching of Grammar Afterword: Conclusion and a New Beginning Appendix: Sample Lessons on Selected Aspects of Grammar Glossary of Grammatical Terms

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Well researched and professional

    Although I do not usually write reviews, I felt it necessary here since there is only one review listed on this site and it is quite insufficient. Quite simply, this is an excellent text. When considering topics in writing pedagogy, one of the most frequent questions concerns whether grammar should be a focus of the teacher's efforts. In this well-written and well-researched book by a leading voice in language arts, this question is effectively answered. Dr. Weaver provides a fine summary of the issues and clearly discusses the alternatives. She provides a clear response to the questions concerning grammar, a strong rationale for her response, and excellent demonstrations of how her recommendations may be effectively carried out in classrooms ranging from first grade writing instruction to college composition. The examples she provides from her own work and that of many others effectively illustrates her points and makes the book easy to comprehend. I have effectively used this book for nearly 10 years with excellent results in teaching preservice teachers, master's degree students in communication disorders, and doctoral students in applied linguistics. Dr. Weaver has written a number of fine books. This is one of the best in the field.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2005

    This book does not belong in this the 'for' children book search results.

    This book is intended for an adult, specifically a teacher, to read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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