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  1. #1
    dakky is offline Newbie
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    Default Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Hi there,

    I am starting a CELTA course in 10 days and at the interview we agreed that I needed to do a fair bit of learning/brushing up on my grammar skills, as trying to take in the tefl material alongside learning English grammar would be hard.

    Basically there seems to be a lot of different things to learn! My knowledge is pretty bad, although I *should* be able to pick things up, but am getting quite nervous. Any suggestions on what to focus on? Which types of words I need to learn? I have bought two books; Practical English Usage by Swan and English Grammar in Use.

    Any other resources perhaps online to help me significantly?

    Thanks very much!

  2. #2
    TEFL World Wiki is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    The books you have bought are excellent for TEFL. I would simply begin by reading them and making sure you are familiar with Parts of Speech, Sentence Construction and Verb Tenses and Usage.

    It will take time, but you need to know these things! Good luck!

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Quote Originally Posted by TEFL World Wiki View Post
    The books you have bought are excellent for TEFL. I would simply begin by reading them and making sure you are familiar with Parts of Speech, Sentence Construction and Verb Tenses and Usage.

    It will take time, but you need to know these things! Good luck!
    Good advice.

    I'd be even more basic, and start with the names of the parts of speech and the names of the tenses and recognising how they are formed. You can't really begin to talk about grammar unless you have some basic terminology.

  4. #4
    dakky is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Thanks for the advice guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Good advice.

    I'd be even more basic, and start with the names of the parts of speech and the names of the tenses and recognising how they are formed. You can't really begin to talk about grammar unless you have some basic terminology.
    My problem is, looking at usingenglish.com/glossary.htm(I'm new so can't post links) there is so much! Who knows what to focus on and what to ignore! Even the glossary in the front of Swan's book is pretty overwhelming...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Quote Originally Posted by dakky View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys...
    My problem is, looking at usingenglish.com/glossary.htm(I'm new so can't post links) there is so much! Who knows what to focus on and what to ignore! Even the glossary in the front of Swan's book is pretty overwhelming...
    You have chosen to train to teach English, so you are going to have to get to grips with it.

    If you are not fairly confident that you can identify the following by the time you start the course, then you may be in for a rough time. (Note- I wrote 'identify', not 'define'):

    Noun, adjective, pronoun, verb, adverb, preposition, article (definite and indefinite), determiner

    present simple, present continuous/progressive
    past simple, past continuous/progressive
    present perfect, present perfect continuous/progressive
    past perfect, past perfect continuous/progressive.

    If you are having trouble with identifying the verb forms, have a look at page 30 in this: http://www.gramorak.com/Articles/VerbForms.pdf.

  6. #6
    Alex Case is offline Site Contributor
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    You certainly don't need to know all of Swan before you start the course. Priorities:

    - Identifying parts of speech (noun etc) both in individual words and of spaces in a sentence
    - Knowing the names of the major tenses and at least one meaning for each

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Concentrate on the basics as Fivejedjon and Alex have suggested. If you can look at a basic sentence and identify nouns, pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions, etc, as well as the tense, you're off to a very good start.

    Quote Originally Posted by dakky View Post
    My problem is, looking at usingenglish.com/glossary.htm(I'm new so can't post links) there is so much!
    Don't worry too much about that- I am sure I don't know everything there and I wrote it.

  8. #8
    dakky is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Don't worry too much about that- I am sure I don't know everything there and I wrote it.
    haha


    Well I am feeling much better now. Have learnt a fair bit, pretty sure my tenses are ok. Some of the hardest things to identify are the little join words; prepositions and such...

    Plenty of things that I am still messing up, but c'est la vie.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Psiconaut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    Quote Originally Posted by dakky View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys...



    My problem is, looking at usingenglish.com/glossary.htm(I'm new so can't post links) there is so much! Who knows what to focus on and what to ignore! Even the glossary in the front of Swan's book is pretty overwhelming...
    I have exactly the same problem. And I'm not really interested in taking some private lessons right now as they are quite expensive :S

  10. #10
    al-anwaar is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Learning Grammar before starting CELTA

    The little join words you are referring to are conjunctions if I am not wrong and it has three sub-categories: coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS), subordinating conjunctions, and correlative conjunctions which usually comes in pairs -- both.. and, either.. or, neither.. nor, etc.

    Prepositions are usually related to time and place, best way to remember prepositions is to place a box in front of you, when you place an object on the box, you would say 'over' or 'on' the box, 'under' the box, 'beside' the box, 'inside' the box, and so on.

    I had no knowledge of that until recently, and I still have a lot to learn, I found Practical English Usage by Michael Swan which is being recommended by almost everyone here very complex to understand, so I just found and downloaded a PDF copy of a basic grammar book online, Grammar Success In 20 Minutes A Day, although it's written in American English, I have absorbed a lot of basic grammar knowledge from it.

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