Defining grammar : a critical primer
Wilcox, Karen Marie
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Many new or pre-service English teachers may not have learned much about grammar during their own school years or throughout their college preparation. This lack of preparedness may cause these instructors to remain apprehensive about teaching a subject they donαt understand very well. Also, the full-fledged grammar classes which a pre-service English teacher might be required to take in college may further intimidate through an immediate, in-depth explication of the subject with complex diagrams and theories before the teaching candidate is even fully aware of the definition(s) of the word grammar. This text functions as an introductory primer to the subject, giving the numerous surface-level definitions for the word grammar, as well as illustrating several of the important second-level connotations which attach to the word, preparing the English teaching candidate for a full-length exploration of the grammar of the English language and its accompanying theories in a college classroom. Critical theories are applied to the subject of grammar in order to shed light on the denotations and connotations of the word, as well as the reasons why this subject is so important. The resulting aim of this text is that new or pre-service English teachers will gain a full understanding of the multiple meanings of the word grammar, the unspoken connotations which follow this word and subject, the ways in which critical theories can bring a new perspective to an old subject, and the necessity of sharing with students these underlying issues in order to revitalize the study of the subject. The conclusion reveals that rather than closing off discussions and hemming in subjects, definitions may be used to open up a subject to endless possibilities.