ERIC Number: ED210697
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Basic Grammar and Freshman Composition.
Kearns, Michael S.
If college freshmen know something about syntax, have practiced combining and breaking down sentences, and have learned to think in terms of deep structures and surface structures, they may be better able to understand and relieve the discomfort caused by a garbled key sentence structure. Grammar instruction in freshman composition provides a vocabulary and a method for sorting out the semantic elements of a confused thought. One approach to integrating grammar into a regular freshman composition course is to break instruction into four modules: syntax, free sentence combining, directed sentence revision, and theory. The purposes of the syntax module are to activate students' awareness that sentences do have formal properties, to give them a vocabulary for discussing the properties, and to get them to apply their awareness when they feel uncomfortable about specific sentences they have written. The general goal of the sentence-combining module is practice in combining sentence kernels in various ways. At the same time, students are directed to revise specific sentences in their own papers. Theory is presented in the final quarter of the term. At this time the concept of deep structure is introduced, not as a psychological fact, but as a metaphor for how sentences might take shape in students' minds. This approach allows for individualized grammar study and sentence work in the context of current writing assignments and for writing assignments to be ordered to lend themselves to such study. (A course outline and sample exercise are appended.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Conference on Freshman and Sophomore English (10th, Laramie, WY, July 6-10, 1981). Best copy available.