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Methodology of Grammar In A Nutshell

Course Structure

The Grammar In A Nutshell course contains 10 easy online modules that begin with the basic sentence and finish with how to plan and write essays. While the modules can be done in any order, there is a logical flow through the modules where each module draws on the information presented and assessed in the preceding modules. So unless you are looking for assistance in a particular area, you should start with module 1 and work through the modules sequentially to module 10.

Each Grammar in a Nutshell module contains information lessons, exercises and assessment tasks. The information lessons present new concepts that need to be learned and understood. The exercises that immediately follow provide immediate feedback and are used to reinforce these concepts. They enable more practice, several times over if necessary, until a confidence level has been reached that enables the exercises to be completed correctly. Each module contains several assessment tasks that test how well the concepts presented in that module have been learned. Scores are recorded for each assessment task and these can be viewed in the "My Results" page. Unlike exercises, assessment tasks will not indicate incorrect selections. A poor module score suggests that a revision of the concepts presented in that module be made and then the assessment tasks retaken to hopefully improve these scores. There is no limit on how many times the assessment tasks for a module can be retaken. Each assessment task result in the "My Results" page can be clicked to review the provided and correct answer to determine those questions answered incorrectly. Please go to Sample Lesson to see this structure in a working environment.

Use of Colour in Course Design

Grammar In A Nutshell makes extensive use of colour to assist in learning the different parts of speech and their functions. This helps identify the parts of speech in the sentences easily and quickly. The adjectives and nouns are pink and red respectively as adjectives are used to describe nouns. Verbs and adverbs are dark and mid blue respectively as adverbs are used to qualify and modify verbs.

The basic parts of speech and their matching colours, shown below, are used throughout this resource
(doing, having &
being function)
(modifying &
qualifying function)

When adjectival, adverbial and noun phrases and clauses are introduced the colour theme for adjectives and adverbs is further extended by making adjectival phrases and clauses light pink and adverbial phrases and clauses light blue to further indicate the function they play in a sentence. So the complete functional grammar chart looks like this.

Functional Grammar Chart

Nouns and Noun Phrases and Clauses
(naming function)
(describing function)
Adjectival Phrases
and Clauses
(describing function)
(doing, having & being function)
(modifying & qualifying function)
Adverbial Phrases
and Clauses
(modifying & qualifying function)
(pointing function)
(linking function)
(punctuating function)

Course Author - Lorna Jennaway

Lorna Jennaway won a bursary to North Sydney Girl's High School; was a former School Captain, and Junior & Senior Grossman (Citizenship) Prize winner. She initially trained as a physical education teacher and journalist and later gained a BA degree majoring in English, Education and Special Ed from Armidale University, before completing several post-graduate degrees in Educational Administration at Sydney University. For almost 45 years, Lorna taught at all school and tertiary levels and in distance education. She was an administrator in many areas of education in several cities, rural areas and isolated outback communities (VISE). She was a tertiary lecturer both in Sydney and Canberra and a pioneer consultant in ACT schools. Lorna is a mother of four, grandmother of eight and great grandmother of three. She retired to the rural area of Kempsey in NSW a few years ago but her great love of and concern for education has led her to release "Grammar In a Nutshell" online so that many more people can gain access to the programme.