Understanding Grammar

This section is intended to help prospective EFL teachers to acquire the necessary terminology and knowledge of grammar in order to better succeed in the field of EFL. For any of you who consider this to be a waste of time for native speakers let me assure you that it is not. Without this knowledge you will never become a real EFL teacher. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is not easy. It requires a detailed knowledge not just of English but also about English. If it is not already, the difference will become clear to you as you progress through the grammar modules.

What exactly is grammar? Grammar is a description of the underlying structure of a language, and of the way in which words and phrases can be combined in order to produce acceptable sentences in that language. It also includes the sounds of that language.

If you have studied grammar elsewhere, you will notice some differences in the terminology used for EFL. Additionally, the definitions of some of the terms should be considered as 'working definitions' as they are not intended to be a basis for the study of linguistics, but for EFL and are 'simplified' to some extent. It should be understood that this section does not set out to cover all aspects of English grammar, but only the basics plus some points which are of particular concern to the EFL teacher. For those who might wish to look beyond what is contained herein a far more comprehensive treatment of English grammar can be found in Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan, published by Oxford University Press.

This section is divided into eleven sections. Each section is followed by a short test. You should not progress onto the next section until you have passed each test.

You may find some of the terminology difficult to remember and even a little confusing. Many people experience such difficulties at first so do not be put off.

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