GRAMMAR FOR COMMUNICATION: Fulfilment of a long-felt need in ELT

9 July 2018 12:03 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Parvathi Nagasundaram’s name is well known among English teachers in Sri Lanka, particularly for her active contribution in uplifting the quality of English language teaching at the national level. Her latest book, “GRAMMAR FOR COMMUNICATION”, a fulfilment of a long-felt need in the field of English language teaching, is equally useful to both the students and teachers of English.

The most striking feature of the book is its explanation of grammar structures and rules in a step-by-step building process, along with lots of opportunity for practice through varied exercises.
It includes all areas of English grammar that a student should master in order to express himself/herself correctly and appropriately in communication.  In other words, the book uses a grammar-based approach integrated with communicative methods to boost the development of speaking, reading and writing skills. Full answer key at the back of the book helps learners identify which areas of English grammar they need to improve further.
Most of all, the book is written in a very simple, user-friendly, accessible language; grammar points are arranged in a logical sequence and presented in an elegant style.  In fact, the book has established itself as a rich educational experience for students of English as well as for teachers of English.
In my opinion, this is the first of its type published in Sri Lanka, which provides comprehensive explanations of all areas of English grammar followed by a wide range of exercises to reinforce each grammar point. Evidently, books on English grammar are too numerous, yet few are written keeping in mind the practical needs of students.
It can often be hard to find reliable, user-friendly grammar books. Most of these grammar books frequently are incomplete and geared towards teaching very specific concepts. But “GRAMMAR FOR COMMUNICATION” is unique for a number of important reasons.
First, the primary goal of this book is to enable students to communicate effectively in the English language based on the mastery of necessary English language structures as well as to help them develop the English language skills necessary to be able to speak, read and write in various communicative contexts. Second, when selecting the topics, themes, examples and exercises to be included in the book, the author has taken into account the communicative needs of students. The hands-on and highly practical nature of the book is also reflected in the fact that each unit contains many examples from authentic situations.

 

Includes all areas of English grammar that a student should master

 Primary goal to enable students to communicate effectively in English

Full answer key at the back of the book helps learners

 

 


Grammar points are introduced with explanations in simple English, along with illustrative examples where necessary and exercises are provided in order to assist the learners in mastering each grammar point, which will be extremely useful for self-study and for classroom use. Third, the book provides a comprehensive elaboration of word-phrase-clause-sentence level organization of grammatical elements in very simple language. The book is both descriptive and prescriptive in character. It provides the fundamental concepts of grammatical elements required for understanding the core of the grammatical system. Each chapter is devoted to elaborate one aspect of grammar: nouns, verbs, adjectives adverbs, conjunctions, determiners, pronouns, prepositions, tenses, voice, reported speech etc., giving details of structural and functional applications of these areas. Drawing examples from Sri Lankan setting, in itself, is an example of the reflection of the author’s linguistic exploration of language use.
The unconventional but logical sequencing of topics could be seen in presenting discussions on verb-related topics such as tenses, gerund and infinitive, passive voice, and reported speech. A practical blend of the most useful elements of both traditional and communicative grammar, the book, on the whole, emphasizes both the use and usage of language.
Clear, concise, and packed with lively examples, “GRAMMAR FOR COMMUNICATION” fills the reader in on usage rules for word classes, clauses, sentence types, passive voice, reported speech and many more. It is a quick reference for those with the occasional questions and an excellent primer for anyone learning the grammatical system of the English language.  
Therefore, even though the book is primarily intended for students of English and can be used as a recommended book in any second language instructional setting, it is equally useful for teachers and lecturers of English at universities and other higher educational institutes. Those engaged in studying English for specific purposes such as English for Law, English for Medicine, English for Employment, English for Business and ordinary readers of English will also extensively benefit from the contents of the book: it is an ideal resource for everyone who wants to produce grammatically excellent language. Whether one is creating perfect professional documents, school assignments, or effective official letters, he will find this book indispensable.

 

"Those engaged in studying English for specific purposes such as English for Law, English for Medicine, English for Employment, English for Business and ordinary readers of English will also extensively benefit from the contents of the book: it is an ideal resource for everyone who wants to produce grammatically excellent language."


The success of the book stems from the professional background of the author who worked as a consultant at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Rajarata and at Sabragamuwa University. She was working as the Head of the Department of English at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura for over eight years. She has over fifty years of experience in second language teaching. In fact, she has taught at school, at university, at teacher training colleges and at trainer training institutes, which makes her the most experienced of English teachers at all relevant levels.   Her previous book titled Essential Grammar; A Reference Book for Teachers of English was an excellent guide for teachers of English. Since the publication of the book in December 2012, over 7000 copies have been sold. This book priced at Rs. 800, consists of 417 pages. It is available at all branches of Sarasavi Book Shop. 
The writer is Senior Lecturer in English at the Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, University of Kelaniya

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