Short courses


Teaching English Grammar in Context (Online Course)

  • 9:30am to 1pm
  • 3.5 hours


This is a highly interactive online course for secondary and primary-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 throughout Key Stages 1 to 5.

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
  • gain usable and accessible teaching ideas which you can take back to your classroom
  • 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 explore various aspects of English grammar in relation to a range of 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 grammar can be integrated into analytical and creative teaching activities
  • apply grammatical knowledge to a range of 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

Who this course is for

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

Teaching and certificates

This course will be taught online via Microsoft Teams. You'll receive an email with the invitation and instructions a week before the course starts.

It's designed as an online 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 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 have 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 £49.

A reduced rate is available for:

  • UCL alumni: £39
  • students and trainee teachers: £25

You may be asked to provide proof of your status.

(All income generated by our CPD courses is used to support the Englicious project, providing free English grammar resources for schools.)

Run this course as an inset day

If you’re a school, college or university, and have a large numbers of students we would be happy to discuss special rates. To run this course as an inset day, please contact the Survey of English Usage team by email on ucleseu@ucl.ac.uk to discuss.

Course team

Luke Pearce

Luke Pearce

Luke is an Associate Lecturer in English Linguistics at UCL, contributing to the Englicious project. He also works as an English teacher. He's taught English as a foreign language (EFL) overseas and English for academic purposes (EAP) courses at universities. He's also taught GCSE English Language and Functional Skills in secondary schools and further education providers. He has a CELTA, PGCE and Master's in Education and Language from the University of Sheffield. For his dissertation, he conducted a critical discourse analysis into the role of regional varieties of English in the GCSE English Language specification.

Learner reviews

"There were lots of moments during the course where we shared with each other [on] how we could embed some of the thinking to our secondary English curriculum. We found it useful and engaging—it was what we were hoping it would be— effective examples with ideas of how to apply the grammar to texts." (Takisha and Khadija, July 2022)

"I will place more focus on effect and how to create it, instead of labelling and using features just for the sake of it. […] it was informative and helpful." (Yadira, July 2022)

"My expectations were exceeded! This was the best training course I’ve done in a long time. I feel that students are often flummoxed if they’re asked to analyse an extract and can’t identify many literary devices. I will use ideas from the training to help them understand how there is so much more we can analyse!" (Daniela, June 2022)

"I was unsure as to how relevant this might be, but have gained a huge amount in terms of ideas for teaching and also how grammar can fit in to and be relevant in both lang and lit. Our students are always looking to see how any teaching will help them in terms of academic results – and the course has clearly demonstrated the benefits […] a skilfully structured and relevant course, with just the right amount of participation from other course members. I will be creating additions to the Power Points for all our schemes of work for KS3, adding grammar in context rather than as a bolt on." (Veronica, June 2022)

"The course met my expectations entirely. As someone who knows grammar from an EAL/EFL perspective, it was great to get an insight into how my students are using grammar in their English classes and what they are working towards at GCSE. The course will certainly impact on my practice. The idea of focussing on the reader response to a text first and as a means to engage with the language and grammar […] is something I will definitely be using." (Judith, 2022) 

"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: 6 Sep 2023, 16:31