Englishgrammar.org: BusyTeacher's Detailed Review

Englishgrammar.org: BusyTeacher's Detailed Review

Andrei Zakhareuski
Englishgrammar.org: BusyTeacher's Detailed Review

English Grammar is a site intended specifically for teaching and learning grammar.

The site is self-described as “a comprehensive English grammar resource”. Users are promised the opportunity to “learn all aspects of the English written language, enabling you to improve your writing skills in both personal and formal communications.” A more in-depth description can be found here .

The site has an extensive list of English grammar topics from beginning to advanced. The materials are intended to be used by students, but instructors can certainly access the site as well. In fact, teachers can download grammar lessons in PDF form on the site here.

One of the best features is the downloadable “Grammar Rules Review”, a quick, basic grammar review for nouns, verbs, and the sometimes confusing usage of lay versus lie, and rise versus raise.” English Grammar suggests using the guide for term papers, grammar class reviews, or simply for anyone confused or curious about the basics of English grammar. It can also be downloaded as a PDF for repeated access offline:

There are exercises on the site that students can use to practice. The best part is that answer keys are available, so students have the opportunity to check their work.

In addition to the online lessons that teachers and students can use, there are Video lessons available for download, as well.

The daily lessons that can be accessed on the site cover interesting grammar points. I think this is a great way for students to learn something new each day. Here’s an excerpt from a recent explanation posted, explaining the difference between “like and without”.

“These words are often confused. Like is either a verb or preposition. In either case, it is followed by a noun or noun equivalent which acts as its object. (e.g. I like my country.)

Note that like is not a conjunction and hence it cannot be followed a clause.

Without is also a preposition. It is followed by a noun or noun equivalent which acts as its object. (e.g. We cannot go without his permission.) Without is not a conjunction and hence it cannot be followed by a clause.”

PROS:

  1. 1

    Extensive coverage of grammar topics

    English Grammar does a great job of covering anything and everything grammar-related. I often have students approach me looking for opportunities to gain more practice with grammar points, and this is a site I could easily direct them to for any of their needs. Furthermore, it’s a site that once discovered students will hopefully return to as a useful study tool.

  2. 2

    Well-organized

    The numerous grammar topics are well-organized and the site is easy to navigate. This is great for any user visiting the site, whether instructor or student. The layout of the site is straightforward and visitors will find their way around easily. I also really like that many of the materials are available both online and in downloadable formats.

CONS:

  1. 1

    Grammar Self-Check tool

    English Grammar directs students to an online tool that allows them to check their writing for grammatical errors. Essentially, it does the proofreading for them. I don’t personally want my student to rely on this kind of resource, as it has the potential to diminish their learning of important grammatical forms in the context of writing. As with any technological language resource, there is also the potential that errors will either not be identified or misidentified (Think of Microsoft Work grammar and spell check features and the problems they can cause).

  2. 2

    Grammar is isolated

    Most teachers now prefer to teach grammar in a communicative, integrated context. This sight is very “pure” in terms of the grammar exercises and materials it offers. As a result, I would recommend that it be used mainly as a reference for students, especially those who are actively seeking out additional grammar practice. Students from certain cultures and of an advanced proficiency and maturity level will probably benefit most.

Overall, English Grammar is not one of my favorite websites.

However, it serves a purpose for students who are interested in extras grammar practice, but in terms of in-class use, there are better materials, lesson, and activities available elsewhere online. I do appreciate that it’s free, and I would direct students who are highly interested in grammar to use some of the practice materials, but it likely would not be my first choice. Perhaps I’ve missed some of the great resources, but I’m not planning to visit the site again anytime soon. I just didn’t see much that is exceptional. I’d be curious to know if anyone has used this website and found it helpful, either in terms of planning lessons or in terms of directing students to use the site for self- study.

This is a guest review by an independent author. This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of BusyTeacher.org as a publication.

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