Teaching English Grammar in Context

  • 4.5 hours
  • 1 day (10am to 3:30pm)
  • 14 June 2019


This is a highly interactive one-day course for secondary-school English teachers who want to learn more about using a contextualised approach to teaching grammar.

The new national curriculum requires teachers to teach English grammar in primary school and throughout Key Stages 3 to 5 at secondary school.

There are plenty of debates around how grammar should be taught, but this course advocates the use of a contextualised approach, using tools from literary linguistics and stylistics. This means teaching and learning about grammar through the use of authentic texts and encouraging discussions and explorations around meanings, choices and effects. 

Based on the latest developments in educational and linguistic research, the course is designed to help you:

  • explore interesting and engaging methods for teaching grammar in relation to a range of texts, genres and styles
  • learn about recent development in stylistics and how this can be incorporated into a meaningful grammar pedagogy
  • gain usable and accessible teaching ideas which you can take back to their classrooms
  • maintain and develop your students’ KS2 grammatical knowledge

This course is taught by staff at the Survey of English Usage in the Department of English Language and Literature at UCL.

Course content

The grammatical content on this course is tailored to the UK national curriculum. You’ll have access to the latest research and expertise from leading UCL academics in the field of English grammar, stylistics and pedagogy. 

You'll explore various aspects of English grammar in relation to a range of literary and non-literary texts, as well as ways to integrate this into your own teaching.

You’ll see how knowledge about grammar and stylistics can be used as a tool to analyse texts. This approach, using clear criteria and a consistent toolset, gives you the means to analyse a wide range of texts in the classroom. 

Course aims

The course aims to help you:

  • explore ways that grammar can be integrated into analytical and creative teaching activities
  • apply grammatical knowledge to a range of literary and non-literary texts
  • examine how grammar works as a meaning-making resource
  • develop your own knowledge of English grammar and grammatical terminology
  • learn how to use the Englicious website

Watch a video about the course

Who this course is for

This course is designed for secondary-school teachers who wish to explore ideas for applying and integrating grammar and knowledge about language into their teaching. 

Teaching and certificates

The course is designed as an interactive workshop, with plenty of time for discussion and questions.

A certificate of attendance is available upon request.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to 

  • understand methods, approaches and principles for teaching grammar in context
  • apply grammatical knowledge in analysing a range of literary and non-literary texts
  • understand how grammar works as a meaning-making resource
  • feel confident in the methods used to analyse English grammar, and use that confidence to enthuse your students in the classroom

Benefits of this course for teachers, schools and pupils

Benefits for teachers

  • You'll build confidence in teaching grammar and understand how to integrate grammatical knowledge into your own lessons and schemes of work
  • You’ll explore an accessible and enabling pedagogy for the teaching of grammar
  • You'll meet other teachers and discuss ideas and issues
  • You’ll be taught by UCL experts in grammar and educational linguistics

Benefits for schools

  • Your teaching staff will be up to date with innovative methods for teaching grammar, informed by the latest research in grammar, stylistics and literary linguistics
  • Your staff will be confident in the classroom and able to engage and enthuse pupils about grammar as part of the curriculum
  • Your school will be meeting the requirements of each key stage in the national curriculum

Benefits for pupils

  • Pupils will learn about grammar in a fun and applied way
  • They'll learn how grammar works as a meaning-making resource
  • They can use Englicious to practise what they've learnt and test their knowledge
  • They can improve their confidence in grammar
  • Englicious will help pupils improve their GCSE and A-level results

Cost and concessions 

The full cost of this course is £195.

A reduced rate is available for:

  • UCL alumni - £155
  • Current students/trainee teachers - £35

Lunch and tea/coffee is provided in the price.

Run this course as an inset day

If you're interested in running this course as an inset day in your school, please contact Ian Cushing on to discuss. 

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Course team

Ian Cushing

Ian is a Teaching Fellow in English Linguistics at UCL. Before joining UCL, he taught English in secondary schools for six years. He's currently researching contextualised grammar and integrated language-literature teaching in Key Stage 3 English. Ian has published a number of books, chapters and articles related to educational linguistics and stylistics, and delivers regular workshops and talks to teachers about applying linguistics in the classroom.

Student review

Teachers who attended this course have said:

"My expectations were more than met - this course was fantastic."

"This will impact on my own practice and my department as a whole."

"[This course] will impact my planning at all teaching levels, particularly in relation to developing grammar knowledge through the key stages."

"[I will use the] practical resources in the classroom and share with colleagues / students."

Course information last modified: 11 Mar 2019, 16:28