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ERIC Number: EJ787964
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 25
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
When Is a Verb? Using Functional Grammar to Teach Writing
Fearn, Leif; Farnan, Nancy
Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v26 n1 p63-87 Spr 2007
While evidence shows that grammar study focused on identification, description, and definition (IDD) fails to enhance writing performance, the grammar most students study remains focused on the IDD tradition. We taught a functional grammar that featured what words do in sentences, rather than what words are called and how they are defined, to two sections of tenth graders while another teacher taught grammar identification-definition-description. Students completed a grammar test and submitted writing samples prior to, and following, the five-week treatment. Functional grammar students scored essentially the same as IDD students on the grammar test and in mechanical accuracy. However, they scored significantly better than IDD students in a holistic rating of writing. There can be a positive interaction between grammar instruction and writing performance if the grammar is functional and used for writing purposes. (Contains 4 tables and 2 notes.)
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A