English 563

ENGL 563
Grammar and Language for Teachers

Catalog Entry

ENGL 563. Grammar and Language for Teachers
Credit hours (3).

Primarily intended for graduate-level, pre-service teaching intern candidates, this course addresses the topics of English grammar and usage, language acquisition and language-related learning, all informed by contemporary research from the fields of anthropological linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics.


Detailed Description of Course

This course focuses on the study of English grammar with special attention given to the history of the language, the acquisition of literacy in literate societies, and classroom-based practices designed to enhance and encourage the literacy of all students at all levels while maintaining students' right to their own dialect. Some emphasis will be placed upon the study of audience expectations involving contemporary professional and mass media usage conventions. Students will read and respond to reference texts that provide introductions to English language history; contemporary descriptive, generative, and performative grammatical theories; dialect study; and best practices in language arts instruction. Additionally, students will investigate contemporary stereotypes and myths associated with the history of the English language and natural language variation, especially as those phenomena affect institutionalized educational environments.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

As a cross-listed course conducted simultaneous to ENGL 463, ENGL 563 offers a variety of learning opportunities through student involvement in whole-class and small-group discussion; presentations; independent and collaborative research; individual reading responses to selections taken from reference texts; individualized instructional planning activities (traditional and web-based); peer writing groups for essay and exam assignments; and individual or group conferences on ongoing course assignments. The intent is to encourage a thoughtful, reflective understanding of the dynamics of language learning, language behaviors, and universal language structures in human language communities along with a recognition of the pragmatic needs of less experienced language users in classrooms and society.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course, successful graduate students in “Grammar and Language for Teachers” will:

1. Better understand the history, development, and fundamental tenets of various English grammars;
2. Better understand grammars as linguistic tools capable of illuminating the dialectical and idiolectical diversity within English language populations;
3. Be able to distinguish clearly between language-based “competence” and “performance;”
4. Know the specific components of grammar and language instruction that have shown research-based results in enhancing students’ communicative competence;
5. Be aware of multiple, process-oriented activities useful to students of various ages and abilities as they negotiate contextually appropriate usage;
6. Be able to apply activities as in (5.) above in instructional planning;
7. Be able independently to research and evaluate research findings related to topics in language acquisition, diachronic and synchronic linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.


Assessment Measures

ENGL 463/563 uses a variety of assessment measures, which may include a number of the following:

  • informal writing activities such as readers’ logs, journals and discussion questions;
  • in-class student presentations with associated activities;
  • examinations on the assigned readings;
  • in-class or take-home essay examinations on the assigned readings;
  • researched or non-researched essays associated with course content;
  • research project and/or final exam-essay focused on an individualized topic associated with course content;
  • short instructional plans designed to address a specific topic in language arts;
  • longer instructional plans designed to address multiple topics in language arts with an identifiable, shared theme.

Students enrolled in ENGL 563 will be expected to perform at the graduate level and to complete a research-based unit plan.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

VPAA 3/16/05