During a recent research project at UCL a number of motivated English teachers were invited to attend a series of ‘grammar days’ where they were provided with training in basic concepts of English grammar. The event highlighted the fact that only two out of the twenty attendees could recall being explicitly taught English grammar with a majority being self-taught. This re-affirmed the belief that teachers do not feel confident teaching English grammar.
What came out of the feedback discussions was that teachers need an accessible and enjoyable way to learn about grammar and to teach it to their students. Information technology had previously offered this opportunity in the form of the hugely popular ‘Internet Grammar of English’ which since its publication in 1996 has received well over three million hits.
Enter the app…
So-called ‘smartphones’ offer a new way of studying grammar on the go. Launched in late August 2011 the interactive Grammar of English (iGE) App is based on the ‘Internet Grammar of English’. Specific considerations were made for smartphone users such as using digestible text, which was split and simplified to make explanations readable on a small screen. The mechanisms of tapping and swiping were also implemented. The set of exercises that was already present in the earlier web resource was expanded and supplemented to ensure they are dynamic, responsive and interesting.
Article written by Bas Aarts, Dan Clayton and Sean Wallis, University College London
Read the full article from English Today here
NB. This app is a spin-off of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) entitled Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning