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This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.
National Grammar Day is nearly here! Each year, this lesser known (but no less important!) holiday rolls around on March 4th. The day-long celebration of all things grammar was founded in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, who is an author and the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. What better way to acknowledge the holiday in your own classroom than by listening to some Grammar Girl podcasts?
Podcasts have been around for a while, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality.
LaunchPad and Achieve products include collections of assignable, ad-free Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. You can assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before class. Each podcast also comes with a complete transcript, which is perfect for students who aren’t audio learners or otherwise prefer to read the content. To learn more about digital products and purchasing options, please visit Macmillan's English catalog or speak with your sales representative.
If you are using LaunchPad, refer to the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information on the support page "Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts."
If you are using Achieve, you can find information on assigning Grammar Girl in Achieve on the support page "Add Grammar Girl and shared English content to your course." If your English Achieve product is copyright year 2021 or later, you are able to use a folder of suggested Grammar Girl podcasts in your course; please see “Using Suggested Grammar Girl Podcasts in Achieve for English Products” for more information.
Podcasts about Grammar & the English Language
- Top Ten Grammar Myths [5:31]
- Stop Calling Yourself a Grammar Nazi! [6:10]
- The Proto-Indo-European Language [15:44]
Students can do a lot more with podcasts than simply listen to them. Use one of the following assignments to encourage students to engage further with the Grammar Girl podcasts.
Assignment A: There are countless ways to look at and think about grammar—get your students in on the debate! Start by having students listen to the Grammar Girl podcast “Top Ten Grammar Myths,” either together in class or for homework. Have each student select one of the ten myths and research it more deeply. They might consider:
- What is the history of this grammar myth?
- What are the different points of the debate surrounding this myth?
- Which sources agree that this is a myth? Which sources disagree, and think this is not a myth?
After researching, ask students to write a brief report arguing that their selected myth is not a grammar myth, whether or not they agree. Each student should include their sources. Have students share their reports, either in small groups or as a class.
Assignment B: Each of the three selected podcasts touches upon a complex subject. Ask students to choose one of the listed podcasts and listen to it (or, alternately, choose one for the class to listen to together). Then, have each student choose a grammar or language topic they want to know more about—either from one of the podcasts or another source—and research its background. After researching, have each student present a brief report on their selected topic. Some ideas:
- What is the history of the comma?
- How does grammar develop within a language?
- What is the origin of their favorite English word?
- What is the history of the word “irregardless”?
Will you be discussing National Grammar Day in your classroom on March 4th? Let us know your plans in the comments! Read more articles about National Grammar Day by visiting the Quick and Dirty Tips website.
Credit: Pixabay Image 390029 by PDPics, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License
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