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Warriner's English Grammar and Composition

Warriner's English Grammar and Composition

Product Summery

A basic text

The English Grammar and Composition series consists of six books for use as basic texts in grades 7 to 12. Despite the proliferation of teaching materials in English in recent years and the increasing use of media other than the textbook, the basic text continues to hold its position as the center of the instructional program in most English classes. No teacher would wish to return to the days when students were supplied with only one book from which to acquire competence in the use of English. To do so would be to ignore the rich store of  supplementary teaching aids made available in the last twenty years. Specialized texts designed to teach such subjects as language history, linguistics, creative writing, journalistic writing, and the appreciation and development of style enrich the English course. Materials adapted for particular groups are im-portant additions to the modern teacher's resources. Films and filmstrips,records, and tapes provide a desirable variety of presentation. All these diverse materials and media, however, serve to emphasize the need for a single,  coordinated, basic language text as an indispensable base of opera-tions in any program.

In content and organization the English Grammar and Composition series reflects the authors' belief that the primary function of an English textbook is to provide the subject matter of English in a clear and flexible arrangement. Each book contains separate sections on the  following study areas: grammar, usage, sentence structure, composition, library and refer- ence tools, and mechanics. Also, a vocabulary program and a spelling program run throughout the series. Each section, as well as each chapter within a section, is an  independent unit, a fact which enables the teacher to use the books with any course of study and in any sequence.Books in the series have been carefully graded to meet the language needs of students at each level. For example, the number of chapters de-voted to the  construction of clear and smooth sentences increases from two in First Course to ten in Complete Course. In First Course, instruction in grammar is limited to simple and compound sentences. Second Course in- troduces adjective and adverb clauses and one of the  verbals—the partici-ple. Third Course adds the noun clause and the other verbals.

Refinements in usage are added each year as the student becomes able to understand them and employ them in speaking and writing. Work in expository writing moves from simple explanations and reports in the early books to the formal research paper and the  logical presentation of argu-ment in the later ones. In all areas, each book reviews what students have studied in the preceding years and carries on the teaching in greater depth.
Subject matter is the province of the textbook; method, however, is the province of teachers. The texts are intended to aid teachers; they do not usurp their proper role in motivation and method. A textbook which can be taught by only one method and in only one  sequence may easily get in the way of teachers who prefer their own approaches or who wish to follow a local course of study.
Although the presentation of material in the texts is straightforward and deductive, the material can, and in many instances should, be taught induc-tively, the teacher leading the class through specific examples to the formu-lation of the principle underlying them. Then,  in the text, the class will find the principle fully explained and followed by practice exercises. The "Model Lesson Plans" near the end of this Manual, as well as the page-by-page discussions in the "Suggested Teaching Procedures" section of the Manual, show  specifically how to employ the inductive method. (Note,however, that for review, which is a basic process in each year of English,the deductive method is usually more efficient than the inductive, and for advanced classes it is often as effective and far less time  consuming even for the presentation of new skills.)Everything taught in the English Grammar and Composition series has a practical application to speaking and writing. Although addressed infor- mally to the student, the instruction is concise and businesslike. It does  not strain to be entertaining, nor does it rely on decorative art and discursive one-way chats with the student to make English study palatable. The sub-ject matter of English is English. The authors are convinced that it cannot be taught successfully by means of  digressions and excursions into other fields. The wide acceptance of the previous editions reinforced the authors'belief that both students and teachers appreciate this serious, straightfor-ward presentation.

A reference handbook
For most students, especially those in the upper grades, a basic English textbook serves another useful function—that of a reference book. In order to increase their effectiveness as reference tools, the English Grammar and Composition books follow the handbook  format. The organization by subject-matter areas, the use of color for important definitions and rules, the tab key index, and the omission of extraneous materials help students to find with ease answers to their questions about English. This easy reference feature of the  books is especially appropriate in today's classrooms,where students are encouraged to work independently, to do more study-ing on their own. In such matter-of-fact areas as usage, punctuation,capitalization, manuscript form, letter writing, and sentence  structure, any student can find the answer to a specific problem by referring to the text,where all rules are clearly stated and typographically highlighted.
English teachers are keenly aware of the importance to their students of achieving competence in writing. The written word affords no hiding place for the unskilled, no means of coverup. Incompetence is obvious, often glaring. Inability to express ideas adequately in  writing handicaps the stu- dent in all kinds of work. For this reason the major emphasis in all books in the English Grammar and Composition series is on written composition,with expository writing receiving the most attention. In one sense, the ability to write well is  acquired through the mastery of a great many individual skills, and textbook exercises provide practice in employing them. Through the teacher's guidance and insistence, students learn to carry over into all their writing the skills they have learned from their textbook. In another sense, the ability to write well requires, among other things,accurate observation, a stimulated imagination, strong interest in words,and an awareness of logical thinking and clear organization. These are the intangibles of the writing art. To a degree  they are teachable. Each book in the series deals with them. For the most part, however, they are acquired through broad personal experience and through the analysis and emulation of models of good writing.
The Composition: Models and Exercises series
Since space for models is necessarily limited in a general English textbook, a companion series of texts, Composition: Models and Exer-cises, has been prepared to reinforce the teaching in English Grammar and Composition. Composition: Models and Exercises  consists of five books paralleling First Course through Fifth Course. Advanced Composition: A Book of Models for Writing is recommended for use with Complete Course.
The English Grammar and Composition series teaches grammar for two main reasons—to provide a basis for instruction in usage and to facilitate the teaching of writing. While it cannot be demonstrated that ignorance of grammar ever prevented students from writing  well, it is obvious that such ignorance can prevent them from profiting from the teacher's instruction and corrections. The experienced teacher knows that teaching composition is a difficult job at best; without a vocabulary for discussing sentence structure, it is next to  impossible. Similarly, the teaching of grammar will not in itself necessarily change usage habits, but it does make possible the effi- cient teaching of such broad concepts as agreement, pronoun reference,and proper placement of modifiers.For both of these purposes— the teaching of writing and the teaching of usage—the authors believe traditional grammar to be particularly well suited. Its vocabulary is already partly familiar to most students, even in the earlier grades; its essential concepts can be taught in a fairly short time; and its  common sense statements, though sometimes unscientific, have a direct and obvious bearing on matters of usage and composition. By ad-vocating the use of traditional grammar in teaching usage and composition,however, the authors are not suggesting that  other linguistic approaches be ignored.
Teaching Tests
A complete testing program accompanies the English Grammar and Composition series. The test booklets, Teaching Tests, are available from the publisher at a small cost. Printed tests are usually more highly re- spected than mimeographed tests prepared by the  teacher, and they relieve the teacher of a vast amount of work in preparing and duplicating tests for class use.

Teacher's Manuals

 A Teacher's Manual such as this one is available for each book in the English Grammar and Composition series. The manuals contain a  suggested course of study, a section on the teaching of composition,specific suggestions for teaching each chapter, model lesson plans, and answer keys for exercises in the text and for the tests in the Teaching Tests booklet.

English Grammar