Guest Contributors: Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition
No matter how well written a grammar textbook, no matter how well explained or illustrated a grammatical concept, some students will still need further explanation and practice to fully grasp the material.
Grammar websites can supplement a text and lecture by providing additional model sentences and exercises as well as provide a different way of perceiving the grammatical concept.
Below we review six sites, evaluating their relevance and helpfulness to the grammar classroom.
This site is for ESL students and anyone who needs to refresh English grammar skills. The Archive lays out all 440 lessons and 88 quizzes in two forms: by sequential lesson number and by subject. In the first group, the lessons are divided into three categories: Parts of Speech, Parts of the Sentence, and Mechanics. Lessons begin with an explanation, followed by an exercise. In the subject area, concepts are presented alphabetically, then further subcategorized.
In a smart classroom, instructors could easily open the Daily Grammar archive and have students do exercises for review. The site also includes a glossary of grammar terms that not only defines the grammatical concept but also provides a link to the applicable lessons.
This is an easy-to-navigate, interactive grammar site covering a wide range of grammatical concepts and sentence structure issues (from pronoun case to run-ons to word choice) relevant to every college student from developmental to college-level. Many of the concepts include quizzes and each quiz offers explanations for the answers so your students get immediate feedback. Before each quiz, students will review the rules for the topic, as each topic is broken down into “Understand the Problem” and “Know the Solution.” Students can print their quizzes to show their work and “tip sheets” that can supplement what your textbook and lectures offer.
The Guide offers a wealth of information and activities. Your students may choose from “Word and Sentence Level,” “Paragraph Level,” and “Essay and Research Level” tutorials and quizzes. Over 170 quizzes give immediate feedback, and the quizzes require students to both identify grammatical concepts as well as apply them while correcting incorrect sentences or while writing their own sentences. The site also includes 14 PowerPoint presentations covering various topics ranging from “Our Friend, the Semicolon” to “Avoiding Sentence Fragments” and “Paragraph Structure.” Other helpful features include definitions and an FAQ section.
The Road is primarily a site for ESL students and teachers, but with the variety of activities, the site would complement an English grammar classroom really well. Road to Grammar provides 364 short quizzes with answers and notes, extended practice activities, grammar games, and activities specifically for Business English learners.
Road to Grammar provides notes for instructors on how they might use the quizzes, extended practices, and games. The quizzes are available as downloadable PDFs. The “Teacher Resources” tab will help you find links to ESL Units, a text analysis tool, a glossary, video lessons, a quiz creator tool, as well as word lists.
This is a straight forward site that is visually clean and offers users information on some 55 grammatical topics, the majority of which address verb tenses and verb forms. The site recommends the user “read the grammar explanation on the first page of the lesson and then do the exercises.” The exercises are highly interactive and require the user to read carefully in order to complete the exercises correctly. Each exercise allows users to check their answers, view hints, and view a demonstration of the exercise.
Questia offers a wealth of information on grammar. From actual textbooks, to studies and origins, Questia knows it all. Here you’ll have access to “Questia’s 9-step writing guide,” where Questia will walk students through each step of the research paper writing process, including but not limited to proofreading.