Grammar sucks. It can be really difficult, even for native speakers. We speak so ungrammatically in our daily lives and, if you’re like me, you might never even have been taught much grammar as a child. So how do we know it?
If you’re like me, you probably picked up grammar by speaking and reading. I read a lot as a kid, so by the time I was an adult I had a good grasp on grammar. I knew instinctively what was right and what was wrong… but I couldn’t articulate it. I couldn’t explain why something was wrong, although I could certainly change it and make it right.
I think this is increasingly common. In English-speaking countries, we no longer teach kids about prepositions and clauses. We just expect them to pick it up. The first time they learn about these concepts is usually when learning another language, and English-speakers are notoriously bad for that.
A few years ago, I began taking it really seriously. I’d been working as an English teacher and an editor for years, and it was high time I learn the lingo. What the hell did “dangling participle” mean? What’s the deal with splitting infinitives? I spent a long time learning the rules, and I wrote a book about it:
I have taught my essential guide to English grammar as a university course for several years, and now I have made it into a completely free video course that I am giving away online.
The course is comprised of 10 lessons (which I realized over 10 days in April, 2019) and covers the basics of English grammar in a logical order. It starts from the most basic stuff (parts of speech), works through the building blocks of a sentence, deals with clauses, punctuation, and finally how to piece together a coherent paragraph.
Here is the first video. You can find all 10 on my other website:
The videos are on YouTube, so it’s easy to watch them whenever you like. I have added a series of homework exercises, which can be found on my website. If you want to use them in your classes, that’s fine with me. Just download them and print them off as you see fit.
I imagine that this course may not just be of use to your IELTS students, but also might even help a few teachers who need to brush up on their grammar. In any case, take a look and let me know if you find it useful.