Studying in the UK

Basic English Grammar Course

A basic English grammar course would at first sight suggest something overly dry and academic to most people. This is not really the case, so it is probably worth de-mystifying ‘grammar’ a little bit at this point. The obvious first question is, what is grammar? A useful short answer would be….Grammar is the system and the structures of a particular language that underpins effective real-life communication. So importantly, in an everyday sense, grammar is not a detached and academic subject of study, in reality, it is the servant to communication, it helps us communicate something in real life, whether simple or sophisticated.

This idea of grammar supporting real-life communication has become an important one for the language learning classroom, because when students see the real-life use of a grammatical item, then it is immediately more valuable and motivating for them to grasp it, in other words they make that connection between grammar and communication. 

Of course there has to be an orderly introduction of new grammar to students. When teaching English, there is a broad consensus as to when one introduces new structures to the students, based on what would be appropriate to introduce at different levels of English.  A lot of it is common sense. Common sense tells you that structures that enable you to talk about hypothetical situations are only introduced after students are able to at least talk fluently about the concrete past, present and future.

At SGI we do not have a specific English Grammar course, however it would be true to say that grammar is an integral part of all our courses. Obviously there is a greater emphasis on grammar in our exam preparation classes as students are routinely tested on their ability to show grammatical accuracy in exams such as IELTS and the Cambridge FCE and CAE exams that we run throughout the year.

English grammar issues will be involved in every single English course at SGI. Our teachers create lessons that will challenge your current language level to push you that little bit further and increase your knowledge and confidence. Below is a very guide of some of the grammatical themes that you will cover at different levels. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but it does highlight some of the different aspects of English grammar that are appropriate for different levels.

As you progress to higher levels, the grammar output of students should be cummulative, i.e. an upper-intermediate student will be using all of their grammar skills from the lower levels to construct upper-intermediate level sentences. It should also be pointed out that something that you may study at Beginner’s Level could be returned to at a much higher language stage to expand on what you already know with further concepts that will make your English closer to that of a native speaker.