Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Best grammar book or books for CELTA application tasks?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
BrentBlack



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 96
Location: Quan 3, Saigon

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Best grammar book or books for CELTA application tasks? Reply with quote

I am beginning to apply to CELTA programs all over the world, and each suggests using a basic grammar book to help with the tasks on the application. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
BB
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 762
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Grammar Books Reply with quote

Hello BrentBlack,

I'm a CELTA trainer and I usually put the following grammar books on the list for students to familiarise themselves with :

*Oxford Learner's Grammar by John Eastwood (Oxford Univ. Press)
*The Good Grammar Book by M.Swan and C. Walter (Oxford Univ. Press)
*How English works by M.Swan and C.Walter (Oxford Univ. Press)
*A Practical English Grammar by Thomson and Martinet (Oxford Univ.Press
*English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy (Oxford Univ. Press)
* Practical English Usage by ?? (which is more like a dictionary with explanations of over 600 problem points arranged alphabetically).

The last one on this list is often used by some centres to set the questions on the application form.

Most of the above can be easily/cheaply bought second-hand from Amazon.

Good luck on your course!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2737
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi BB. The "problem" (if I can be forgiven for saying so Smile ) with all the books that Dedicated has mentioned is that, with the exception of the Thomson & Martinet (which is probably a bit dry for most tastes) and (Swan's) Practical English Usage (which as Dedicated points out is more an A-Z dictionary of selected points rather than a read-throughable grammar proper) they are all mainly student exercise books rather than very comprehensive references.

Now there is nothing wrong with looking at what non-native students apparently like to study, and these sorts of exercise books can be a quick way to get an overview of a lot of essential points, but if this is as far as you go then your knowledge and thinking will probably remain quite patchy even after having completed the CELTA (which doesn't to be honest require a particularly good knowledge of grammar).

Swan himself in the Introduction to the Second edition of PEU states:
Quote:
Other reference books
This book gives explanations of individual points of usage, but does not show how the separate points 'fit together'. For a systematically organized account of the whole of English grammar, students should consult a book such as A Student's Grammar of the English Language, by Greenbaum and Quirk (Longman), ...or the Oxford Guide to English Grammar, by John Eastwood.

This "full-size" Eastwood would IMHO be a better investment than his Learner's Grammar, and nicely complement or indeed completely substitute for Swan; then, there is the excellent COBUILD English Grammar - very functional, and with a comparative wealth of 'lexicogrammatical' detail (I've actually mentioned quite a few grammar books on these forums over the years, and sometimes quoted from them - try searching?). But ultimately I don't think you can beat considering completing a thorough, 'formal' grammar course such as Leech et al's English Grammar for Today (that gets into "parsing" and straightforward diagramming of sentences, clauses etc), or Huddleston & Pullum's A Student's Grammar of English (slightly more formal, and slightly more theoretical-technical/less mainstream than the Leech et al), as the knowledge either would impart would enable you to use really any other grammar book with a lot more confidence, and prepare you not so much for the "demands" of the CELTA course but the job and career proper beyond (I mean, it's perhaps worth really thinking ahead when you've actually still got the extra time to do so!).


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 762
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Grammar books Reply with quote

Hi fluffyhamster,

Whilst I don't dispute what you have said about grammar books, the original request of BB was
Quote:
a basic grammar book to help with tasks on the application
.

To complete the application form, the books I mentioned are perfectly adequate (and the ones recommended - we don't want to scare folk off the course!). If the OP wishes to go beyond that, and do a DELTA/MA, then yes, the ones you mentioned would be an excellent investment.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
BrentBlack



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 96
Location: Quan 3, Saigon

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys,

I will look into both of your suggestions.

BB
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2737
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, you're welcome, BB.

Sure Dedicated, the books you suggested won't be inadequate for BB's initial/short-term purposes, and trainees do sometimes report on these forums that the likes of Murphy proved "more helpful" than even Swan's "accessible" A-Z say in "getting them through" CELTA tasks. Cool

I still think it is a shame however that developing a more thorough (explicit, formal) knowledge of grammar is felt to be something that isn't necessary for base (versus saying 'basic', 'initial' etc - as if the possibility of further training excuses the potential inadequacies of earlier) certificate purposes, but then, I suppose if there were never any "urgent requests" on these forums regarding what is quite often ultimately really rather basic grammar points, it would be a somewhat duller place! Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NYCESOL11211



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fundamentals of English Grammar by Betty Azar. Pearson Longman.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2737
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, Azar...a search for 'Azar AND corpus' will unearth two threads that discuss the quality of her examples (and by extension her approach - sure, you can learn a fair bit about 'grammar' from more or less invented sentences, but you won't then be learning as much about the real-world language in all its appreciably richer detail).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC