I started teaching English Language, as many teachers do, just a few steps ahead of the students. I had no prior experience since my BA and MA were in English Literature (King’s College, London). So it was in at the deep end with lots of reading to keep me afloat.
Mastering Advanced English Language was a result of this experience. While there were all kinds of reference books to give me the linguistic background I needed, there were few showing me how to use the grammatical knowledge I was building up. From the outset, therefore, my aim in this book was to get readers involved in the process of analysis. Yes, you have to know the grammar, but the important thing is being able to use it to explore how meaning is created.
My most recent book, Mastering Practical Grammar, has the same principle at its heart – the emphasis is on practical application. After every section, there are sample texts and commentaries demonstrating the links between grammar and meaning. Grammar is dealt with in more detail in this book, clearly introducing the knowledge you need to be confident about recognising different grammatical structures. Ultimately, however, the focus is on providing models for students who want to know how to use their knowledge effectively.
As a teacher, writer and examiner for many years, I have a wealth of language experience to share. It is, however, impossible to reach a point where your learning stops in this field. My blog will just be another step on the journey – and I hope you’ll join me …