Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Let the games take a halftime break

    It has been quite a learning experience, this experiment in re-introducing Reed-Kellogg to my course. For a week or so, I think I will stop my teaching of it in order to let the dust settle.

  2. #2
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Let the games take a halftime break

    Here is a sort of halftime report:

    The first quarter of this "game" got off to a fairly slow start. The students basically were obediently taking notes on the morphology of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. It was mid-adverbs that I decided to jump to syntax and let them start diagramming. From then on the game, let's call it the second quarter, got increasingly exciting. Two students started up a web page, partly because of a request from Abstract Idea. One or two students chose the outlaw route and posted stupid stuff on this forum (I have found myself thinking of Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents"). Meanwhile most students were begging for more diagramming.

    At the end of the first "half", I quizzed the students and gave them extra credit if they would create and diagram the most complicated sentence that they could but the complication of which was limited to the parts of sentences I had taught them -- subject, predicate, modifiers, direct objects, nouns of direct address, interjections, and coordination.

    I have at no point required any diagramming and have given no homework assignments. They have only been required to keep a complete set of class notes -- which I allowed them to use during the quiz.
    During this time about half of the class time was devoted to a chronological survey of the humanities, with no obvious connection to syntax.

    The students still do not know about prepositional phrases, indirect objects, subject complements, infinitive or participial phrases, gerunds, subordinate clauses, and others.

    As I have time to correct their quizzes, I will post some of their sentences.

    Before the "games resume", I want what I have taught them to have a little time to sink in.

    One thing that has become abundantly clear is that people can very easily love Reed-Kellogg.

    The halftime break will last about one week.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,689
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Let the games take a halftime break

    The fact that they can enjoy it is good- I had never heard of diagramming until a few years ago, so it was never mentioned when I was at school.

  4. #4
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Let the games take a halftime break

    I am beginning to think that what happened here in the USA was that it was taught too much. For one thing, it is so easy to teach. It is like math or science in that there is very little vagueness about it. For some American English teachers I think that was a way to be lazy, as opposed to the teaching of literature, or especially writing, for which there are so many papers to correct, each individualized.
    It was very easy to become very good at it, and for many, that, I suspect, became the end all.
    Students can LOVE it, but not if it is crammed down their throats. So far for me in this experiment, it is working like candy for a majority of the students.
    It is very common to run into adults, older than, say 30, who remember it fondly. They will often say that they were good at it. In one of my classes a learning support teacher has had to leave for about two months. She came to me to tell me how much she regretted missing the chance to re-visit more of sentence diagramming.

  5. #5
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Let the games take a halftime break

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The fact that they can enjoy it is good- I had never heard of diagramming until a few years ago, so it was never mentioned when I was at school.
    Hmm, so it seems to be an American thing. I also had never heard of it until about a year ago, in any language at all. I wonder whether it is common to use sentence diagramming for the purposes of (i) teaching grammar in other languages besides English and (ii) teaching ESL.

  6. #6
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Let the games take a halftime break

    I don't think Reed-Kellogg is used for other languages besides English, although there is no reason why it could not be used that way. I think to understand relative pronouns in Latin or German it could be quite useful.

    For ESL, I suspect any use of it would be purely experimental.

    Probably for visual learners (if there really is such a distinction) it could help.

    I will eventually be giving the students a chart I developed of -- "Words that Must be Recognized" to understand syntax. That chart would probably make a great initial vocabulary for ESL learners. I have thought about using it myself for my German.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Apr-2009, 18:56
  2. "break the jam" vs. "break the ice"
    By nyggus in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Mar-2006, 05:08
  3. Games?
    By Alicante03 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Jan-2006, 10:00
  4. games
    By pridewhisper in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Dec-2005, 05:01

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •