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SUMMATIVE TASK Mario Espinosa July 21, 2019 Why learning grammar is important I believe a person who uses proper diction and concise sentences shows a higher level of education over another who has extensive vocabulary, talks a lot, uses parts of speech improperly, wrong tenses, dangling modifiers, run-on sentences, and comma splices. We see these all the time when reading an article on a newspaper, a magazine, or online. Grammar is ever present in our written or spoken communication with others; grammar is part of our lives at home, work, school, or at play. Learning grammar has never been easy, but teaching it is even more difficult, especially when we mention the word grammar in class. Students, I have noticed, have a natural aversion to that word. I remember a student recently commenting “Oh, we are doing grammar again?” I had just written on the board the objectives for the day: Watch for run-on and comma splice sentences; when to use since, for, and as; and how to use parallelism in writing. Although I disliked her simplistic observation, I remained calm and pointed out that when we speak or write complex or simple sentences, we always use “grammar” knowingly or not. I also added that they, as adult learners of a second language, have the luxury of knowing, for instance, what a present perfect sentence is, as opposed to an adult native English speaker who uses the same sentence, but does not know it as a “present perfect tense.” Of course, I was talking generalities as some people still remember their tense conjugations from high school. Teaching grammar is very rewarding to me, and the way you presented it in these units is exactly the way I teach it. I like to impress my students the very first week of class by telling them there are only twelve conjugations in the English language, and by writing on the board the first four conjugations in the present tense. Once we review the four tenses written with verbs related to them and their experiences, such as move from, live at, work for, my students are more inclined and motivated to practice constructing a sentence in the proper tense, and with the proper parts of speech to complement it. At this point, I promise to write the other four in past tense and four in future tense in the following two weeks. And then I declare: “Once you learn these twelve tenses, you will have learned the English language, for all you have to do is change the verb to express your idea, your thought.” Am I exaggerating? I am not! I always make sure I use most of the other parts of speech in these sentences; and I underline each by eliciting their input in identifying them. I have successfully incorporated in my classes the ESA method, especially the engage phase, for I have noticed my students become more relaxed, more attentive, and more motivated to learn. Lastly, I teach three levels of proficiency, and some of my classes are Discussions and Presentations, Reading, Writing, and Note-taking; and I always add a bit of grammar to all my classes. I constantly use the whiteboard, for I write on it any new word read or heard on a video, so that I elicit related parts of speech: adjectives, verbs, adverbs, nouns, and if appropriate to the context at hand, synonyms and even antonyms. To conclude, writing and speaking with proper tenses with the correct parts of speech while communicating with others is not only important, but it also gives us enough confidence to successfully go about our daily lives at work and elsewhere.