Understanding and Using English Grammar
developmental skills text. In the experience of many classroom teachers, language learners like to
spend at least some time on grammar with a teacher to help them. The process of looking at and
practicing grammar becomes a springboard for expanding the learners’ abilities in speaking, writing,
listening, and reading.
Most students find it helpful to have special time set aside in their English curriculum to focus on
grammar. Students generally have many questions about English grammar and appreciate the
opportunity to work with a text and teacher to make sense out of the sometimes confusing array of
forms and usages in this strange language. These understandings provide the basis for advances in
usage ability as students experiment, both in speaking and writing, with ways to communicate their
ideas in a new language.
Teaching grammar does not mean lecturing on grammatical patterns and terminology. It does
not mean bestowing knowledge and being an arbiter of correctness. Teaching grammar is the art of
helping students make sense, little by little, of a huge, puzzling construct, and engaging them in
various activities that enhance usage abilities in all skill areas and promote easy, confident
The text depends upon a partnership with a teacher; it is the teacher who animates and directs
the students’ language learning experiences. In practical terms, the aim of the text is to support you,
the teacher, by providing a wealth and variety of material for you to adapt to your individual teaching
situation. Using grammar as a base to promote overall English usage ability, teacher and text can
engage students in interesting discourse, challenge their minds and skills, and intrigue them with the
power of language as well as the need for accuracy to create understanding among people.