Alice Savage

Hidden Grammars @ TESOL ’19

Click here for presentation handout: Hidden Grammar Handout TESOL 19

There’s more to grammar than discrete rules about verb tenses, articles, and modals.  When we channel Diane Larsen’s Freeman’s view of language as a complex, adaptive system, we can start to see grammar as any system of organization, encompassing not just patterns at the word level, but also at the phrase and discourse level.  Lexical grammar and discourse grammar are what we call “hidden grammars.”  “Hidden” because they’re not the grammars that get much attention in course materials, despite their high importance.

Lexical grammar refers to the grammar of phrases, collocations, and fixed expressions, all of which have multiple grammatical rules embedded within them.  Discourse grammar refers to the patterns writers use to organize thoughts into paragraphs, and  those speakers use to navigate and make moves within a conversation.

At this year’s TESOL in Atlanta, Georgia, we’ll be discussing how to help students notice and practice these hidden grammars in reading, writing, and conversation:

“Hidden Grammars and How to Teach Them,” TESOL 2019, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Wed, March 13, 1:00-1:45, Room GWCC-A313

We hope to see you there!

– Alice & Colin


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