The one prerequisite for this course is ELANG 223: Introduction to the English Language. You probably can succeed in this course without having taken ELANG 223, but it might be a little harder. The main value of taking ELANG 223 before this course is that in that course, you will gain a greater feel for how to treat language as an object of study, not just as a skill you must master. For centuries, the only reason people studied their native language was to “get it right.” Chances are that in high school that was the only way you studied language, as you learned about comma splices and run-on sentences. But language is a fascinating phenomenon in its own right, and studying how it works can be interesting and valuable on its own terms. In ELANG 325, we aren’t nearly as interested in the question of “what is correct?” as we are in the question of “what kind of structure is that?” I’m basically talking about an orientation toward language study, and you might find it easier to appreciate the orientation of this course if you have already studied ELANG 223.
On the other hand, I don’t assume students have any specific skills from ELANG 223 or any other course when they start ELANG 325. You may have learned a fair amount of grammar already, but since most people haven’t, I assume no one has. We start with the very basics of grammar. In short, you probably can succeed without the ELANG 223 prerequisite, but you might be more comfortable if you take the prerequisite first.
When you successfully complete this course, you should be able to:
Douglas Biber, Susan Conrad, and Geoffrey Leech. Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman, 2002.
Schoolhouse Rock DVD. Walt Disney Video, 2002. This is an optional item; the clips are also available via YouTube.
Summary: 11 computer-graded assignments, one 3-5-page paper, may be resubmitted once for a fee
The course consists of twenty-eight lessons, which include both computer-graded assignments and a paper, as well as three exams.
All lessons include a series of Self Check questions to help you make sure you have understood the material. For every 2–4 lessons, there is a graded Speedback assignment. These assignments cover the same material as the lessons, but the questions are usually more challenging than the Self Check questions. The Self Check questions usually ask you to analyze short, simple sentences. The Speedback assignments, on the other hand, ask you to analyze sentences more typical of what you would encounter in actual language use. As such, they have some parts in them that are not important for analyzing a particular structure, so you face the additional challenge of recognizing what is important and what is not.
Besides these exercises and exams, there is one more assignment: a paper. For the paper, you will apply your knowledge of grammar to some issue or text. The paper can be on any aspect of this class. The main point of the paper is for you to show that you can use grammatical terminology to discuss language. Lesson 28 contains the details about how to choose a topic and write the paper; I recommend that you read through the information now, so you can begin to think about an interesting topic.
My evaluation will be based on the usual criteria: clear, persuasive writing, coherent organization, depth of insight, proper mechanics, and so on. Above all, make sure your paper has an argument. I want to see how well you can construct an argument. I also want to see how well you can apply your knowledge of grammar to some other issue or text. Your paper should demonstrate your knowledge of grammar, but it should also demonstrate significant insight—what can we tell about the text or issue from using grammar? What do we learn from your investigation that we wouldn’t have known otherwise? How deep and sure-handed is your analysis? The paper should be about four to six typed, double-spaced pages.
You will submit your completed paper to Independent Study electronically, through the assignment page. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as an RTF (rich text format) file. Here’s how to do it:
Summary: 3 proctored computer-graded exams (matching questions), may retake each once for a fee, must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course
There will be three exams: two midcourse exams, and a final. They will consist of questions that are very similar to the kinds of questions in the Speedback assignments. The exams are closed book and note and there is no time limit. You must pass the final exam to pass the course.
Your grade in the course comes from your scores on the Speedback assignments, paper, and exams:
|11 Speedback Assignments||22%|
|Midcourse Exam 1||20%|
|Midcourse Exam 2||20%|
You have 1 year to complete this course, but if you need more than a year, you may purchase one 3-month extension.
Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.
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