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 …
7 responses to “About me”
Hi Sara, I’ve been reading ‘Mastering Poetry’ (the second section, to be exact), and I couldn’t help wondering who your favourite poets and novelists were. Do you think you could list some and briefly explain your choices? 🙂 By the way, thank you for the excellent book. I hope that I will one day be able to understand something like you do poetry. So privileged to have had the good fortune to stumble upon your book in a random visit to my local bookstore!
Hi Rachel, Glad you’ve found the book interesting. I’ll tell you about some of my favourites as soon as I’ve dealt with my current work commitments and I’m back working on the blog.
Hi Mrs. Thorne, I am using your book Mastering advanced english language as reference to my concluding course essay about language and newspaper and would like to know how I must quote you. Cheers, until soon.
What are you hoping to quote? Usually you’d just cite the extract you wanted to use and then reference the page of the book in a footnote including my name, the title and edition, the publisher and the date. If it’s a general reference, I presume you’d include the book in your bibliography. Hope that helps, but if you need to ask something more specific, message me again.
Dear Sara, I find myself, currently, in the same situation as you, when you started teaching the subject. I was wondering whether you have plans for another edition with revised texts for Mastering Advanced English Language?
I am actually working on the third edition at the moment. It’s a slow process because I have a lot of other work commitments – the publishers are being very patient! The book will have some new chapters and new texts. My commitments have had a knock-on effect on my blog too, but I do hope to start posting again very soon. Good luck with the teaching – any questions … get in touch!