Tuesday, May 02, 2017


Grammar is a child's game for adults

English Grammar, Dynamic and all



English is a living language and as such it has a living grammar. That’s this living grammar I tried to capture in this textbook or description. It is in French, except of course the quotations and examples. The ordering party at the time of research and writing wanted it in French. 

But a grammatical description of a language cannot help you with speaking the language, at times not even with reading it. Beyond the grammar you may learn and understand you have to develop a practice of the language. Nowadays I am only working with advanced students who are engaged in advanced careers in medicine or in hi-tech, for instance Artificial Intelligence. Up to last year I also worked in the very specialized field of payroll and pay slip management.

The best method for “self” learning and teaching is to look for means to be in contact with oral and written English on a very regular basis and to be able to practice written and oral expression in English. Today with modern communication, the Internet, email and the telephone, smart or not, one can have that constant contact with English, oral and written, reception and production.

That’s what I practice with the students I work with. I propose for example triads of activities based on documents available free in open source, both written (news articles and various reports) and oral (podcasts, news programs, films), and each stage of the triad (that has three stages) leads to a 1,000-1,200-word essay and a one-hour telephone conversation on tasks, topics set from the very start.

We can also add to this regular work two extra activities when possible.

One full five-day week of daily 30-minute telephone calls on a document chosen by the student (three times) or the teacher (twice) alternatively and provided to the student or to the teacher in the morning for the afternoon or the evening from Monday to Friday.

The last possibility if it is feasible is a three-or-four-hour one-on-one every six weeks on special documents or special topics on the documents of the current triad plus a podcast or a film.

The topics are chosen by the student and are OK’d by the instructor who is first of all an author (the triad itself) and then a facilitator for speaking and writing. All can be done at a distance. I insist on the telephone for direct oral communication and not skype because the telephone is a lot more difficult since communication and understanding have to take place without any visual contact, and the telephone is an essential means of communication in many professional fields.

I am available for any help or guidance for such a project to be discussed and set up if feasible. A proper contract is discussed and signed by the student on one hand and the Association la Dondaine which is the master mind of such an activity (dondaine@orange.fr) on the other hand.

Research Interests:
Languages and Linguistics, Distance Education, Self-regulated Learning, Teaching English As A Foreign Language, English Grammar, Face-to-Face Communication, Distance Learning, The Internet, Self Assessment in Language Teaching, and Telephone



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