TSL200 - Understanding and Explaining Grammar

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:27:11.627
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:27:22.175

Subject Title
Understanding and Explaining Grammar

Subject Description
This subject offers students the theory and practice required to explain grammar form and function to the adult ESL learner.

Credit Status
This is a required credit in the TEFL/TESL Certificate Programs.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the English
- verb system
- voice system
- modal system
- negation system
- question system
- coordination and subordination system
and explain its forms, meanings and uses to second language learners.

2. Identify different types of conditional statements and explain their forms, meanings and uses to second language learners.

3. Identify parts of speech and explain their properties to second language learners.

4. Distinguish between different types of phrases and clauses and explain their forms, meanings and uses to second language learners.

5. Respond to second language learner grammar errors using a feedback strategy based on the type of error, activity and learner and using simple, clear, concise language appropriate to the second language learner's level of comprehension.

6. Demonstrate an ability to prepare communicative activities to illustrate and reinforce lesson content.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


  • The student's mother tongue is English OR
  • The student's mother tongue is NOT English, but the student has a university degree in which the exclusive medium of instruction was in English OR
  • The student's mother tongue is NOT English, but the student has received the minimum score required in both GOF (ESL 079) and Writing Skills (ESL 934) in an EAP 100 assessment.  Please see "English Assessment and Placement" for registration details for this assessment.

Topic Outline
1. Grammar Approaches

  • Prescriptive vs descriptive

2.   Parts of Speech

3.   Verbs and Related Forms 

  • Tenses/Aspects
    • Past/Present Time 
    • Simple/Progressive/Perfect/Perfect Progressive Aspects 
    • Adverbs of tense and time
  • Voice
    • Active 
    • Passive   
  • Modals
    • simple/perfect modals
    • phrasal modals
    • expressing future time
  • Conditional sentences  
  • Verb Phrases
    • multi-word verbs
    • gerund/infinitive phrases
    • participles
    • causative verb phrases

4.   Sentence Structure

  • Phrases
  • Clauses
    • adverbial
    • adjective (relative)
    • noun
    • defining and non-defining clauses
  • Negative and Question Forms
    • negation
    • yes/no questions
    • wh-questions
    • tag questions
  • Combining clauses
    • compound
    • complex

5.   Explaining Grammar

  • Language
  • Strategies
  • Identification and explanation of errors

Mode of Instruction
The teacher may use some of the following teaching modes: 

  • lectures 
  • questions and answer techniques 
  • classroom discussion 
  • pair/group work 
  • individual consultation 
  • multimedia
  • student presentations
Several methods of verbal and written evaluation will be practised.

Prescribed Texts
Understanding and Using English Grammar(4th edition): Betty Azar, Pearson-Longman, 2002, ISBN  978-013-2464482

The Teacher's Grammar of English Cambridge University Press, Ron Cowan, ISBN 978-0-521-00755-9

Reference Material

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Assignment #1 15%
Assignment #2 15%
Assignment #3 15%
Mid-term 25%
Final Exam 30%

Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the dates specified.  Begin your assignments early in anticipation of unforeseen problems that may arise in your work or personal life.  Should extenuating circumstances arise, please contact your instructor immediately, prior to when your assignment is due, so an appropriate course of action can be established.  Late assignments may be subject to a penalty of up to 10% per week and will not generally be accepted beyond two weeks after the assignment due date.

Students must attain a grade of at least 60% to pass the course. 


Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood