About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Most people would shudder at the word "grammar." However, I love it. I love learning and teaching all about nouns, pronouns, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, independent and subordinate clauses, the royal order of adjectives, ad nauseum. I know - I'm weird.

I have a student coming this summer to improve her grammar skills after asking her mother if she could get some help. This girl is the girl of my dreams! She actually WANTS to improve her writing skills and went out of her way to spend some of her precious summer vacation working on it - with me!

Today, I went online to see if there might be any updated material that would be useful to us. I've found so much that it became necessary to choose carefully, considering my student's age and grade level and what would keep her interest high. Most ESL exercises will work well, and I've found all sorts of explanations of the various parts of speech.

My plan is to go over the basic parts of speech and then focus on the more difficult aspects like the order of adjectives (when using more than one to describe something/one), adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. Then we'll go on to sentence structure and combining sentences to make compound and complex sentences. I'll also throw in comma usage. Finally, we'll focus on a few styles of paragraphs: expository, descriptive, and narrative.
By the time summer is over, I expect my student to feel confidant in her ability to write strong, well-constructed paragraphs and essays. I can't believe I'm getting paid for all this fun!


Momma said...

Oh, I am such a grammar geek. In fact, I almost decided my blog should be about the proper usage of the English language, but I was afraid of becoming a target for people who are even stricter sticklers than I.

Peace - D

Ruth D~ said...

Not weird at all, Leslie. you're a teacher and a writer. Natural to love the grammar along with all the other good stuff.

Here's a thought-- maybe this is weird, but I wonder if your friend would get a kick out of diagramming sentences. Remember doing that? That might be fun for her, and as much as it's not done anymore, it's still a good way to see all the components of a sentence.

Katney said...

Have you read "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"? ( I know--should be italicized not quotes, but that is a technological problem not my punctuation.) I'm not sure of the author. You would love it. A page turner book about punctuation.

There is a picture book version by the same title just about commas, and another about apostrophes--not sure of the title, but it is something about sister's (or sisters'.)

There IS a blog where the blogger collects photos of incorrectly used apostrophes.

Josie said...

I struggle with comma usage. Maybe you can teach me. I am fussy about good grammar, though. The other night I heard a newscaster actually say, "Would have went."

Can you even imagine????

"Would have went!!!!


leslie said...

Momma: I'm SO glad I'm not the only "weirdo" that enjoys grammar! Maybe we should set up our own club. lol

Katney: I'll look for that book.

Ruth: I remember parsing sentences and thought it was fun!

Josie: So far as I've read your writing, it's excellent! However, I, too, cringe at some of the things newscasters come up with. (there you see - I ended a sentence with a preposition - drat!)

jmb said...

Another grammar freak here too Leslie. Somewhat in English but especially do I love to study grammar in Italian and I did so at the highest level at UBC after I retired.

leslie said...

Aha! et tu, jmb? I especially enjoy the grammar of the Romance languages!

Denise said...

A wonderful experience Leslie, I am sure, for both of you!

I am sure you will have lots of fun.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

A panda walked into a restaurant and after his meal, he takes out a gun and shoots up the place and then walks out. A policeman stops him in the street and asks, "Why did you do that, Buster?"

The Panda shows the cop an encyclopedia and under the entry for Panda it says, "Eats,shoots and leaves."

Can you spot the wrong use of a comma? ;)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I, too, love grammar - it is so beautifully logical. I'm sure both you and your student will enjoy the lessons.

nancygrayce said...

Oh, you'd better send me to some of those grammar sites. I'm afraid I've thrown grammar to the winds!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Maybe I NEED to come for some lessons!!! Should of paid attention at school.

Your not weird though, nor is WL, you were both teachers :-)

Trubes said...

Intersting post Leslie.
I too love the grammar of the romance languages, particularly French.
Understandind the subjunctive has taken some time, though!
Think I've got it now...at last.

Hope you're keeping ok Leslie re- back problem, I've posted a soppy little yarn on my site for you to read, hope you enoy it!


Trubes said...

Interesting, even!

Texas Travelers said...

As a Scientist, I discovered early on, that good grammar is a way of saying exactly what you mean to say.

Martha is a retired Teacher.
It's in her blood though, since she teaches part-time at Sylvan Learning Centers. Two of the things that she likes are Advanced Writing Skills and Accelerated Reading.

Good Grammar Rules!!!!

Troy and Martha

leslie said...

Here Here TT!


i love this one - i'm an english teacher too, and i intend to share it with my frienda!