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Celebrate National Grammar Day with Grammar Girl Podcasts!

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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.

Black and white photo of a dctionary page showing the word "grammar"

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 assignable, ad-free Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. If you’re teaching a lesson about prepositions or find your class needs some more help with the topic, 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 will find a "Quick Start Guide: Grammar Girl and Question Bank" in your Welcome Unit. You can also find information on assigning Grammar Girl in Achieve on the support page "Add Grammar Girl and shared English content to your course."

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

2 Comments
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How do you access the Grammar Girl podcast unit?  I would love to use the resources suggested but am really struggling.  I did read the reference page.  Do I have to pay for Launch Pad in order to assign podcasts to students?

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Thank you for your comment, Kate! LaunchPad products are available for purchase from Macmillan Learning. In most cases, students purchase access to a LaunchPad after their instructor assigns it as a course material. 

However, if you don't use LaunchPad, Grammar Girl podcasts are available on the Quick & Dirty Tips website (Grammar Girl :: Quick and Dirty Tips™). To find a podcast you want to use, search for the title (which you can find in these blog posts) via the search bar at the top of the Quick and Dirty Tips website. These versions are not assignable as they are in LaunchPad, but you can easily send students the links and use them with any assignment you'd like!

I hope this helps--let me know if you have any other questions! I've also updated the blog post to make the nature of LaunchPad more clear.

 

Best,

Julia