WMU News

Symposium addresses controversy on teaching grammar

April 9, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Department of English and Third Coast Writing Project are sponsoring a symposium on teaching grammar and language Tuesday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. on the 10th Floor of Sprau Tower.

The place of grammar in classroom instruction is one of the more controversial aspects of the
English language arts teaching. Noted grammar teacher Harry Noden has described conversations
about grammar as being similar to "stepping between two opposing 350-pound NFL linemen just
after the ball is snapped."

The symposium, "Grammar: Concepts, Ideas, and Possibilities," will present the work of current and future teachers. Presenters will share their ideas on better ways to integrate grammar effectively into classroom instruction.

WMU Professor of English Constance S. Weaver will deliver opening remarks at 6:30 p.m. Weaver is an internationally recognized authority on teaching grammar and language. She has authored "Teaching Grammar in Context," "Lessons to Share on Teaching Grammar in Context" and "Grammar for Teachers."

Concurrent presentations will be made from 6:45 to 8 p.m., with posters and technology displays showing effective grammar instruction in elementary, middle, high school and college classrooms. Some displays examine programs, writing projects and ideas for integrating grammar effectively and efficiently in the writing process. Other projects focus on showing ways to teach students to analyze, appreciate and understand the language around them.

For more information, contact Jonathan Bush, assistant professor of English, at 269 387-2607 or <jbush@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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