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Grammar at the point of need


Colin.S.Ward@lonestar.edu 1
WHEN: Just before writing the 1
WHAT: Tied to writing assignment/rhetorical mode
1. Give models
2. Students complete stems
3. Students write own sentence(s) for own composition
4. Students use sentence(s) in composition & underline
5. Check use & supplement as necessary

by + gerund
to show how

Use by + gerund to show how something can be done. It a problem-solution essay, it is useful to
use by + gerund to introduce a solution and explain how it can benefit people and the environment.
We can improve Houston by investing more in education.
People can reduce the trash they make by recycling their plastic products.
By taking some simple measures, we can help save the rainforests.
A. Finish these sentences with your own ideas. Use by + gerund.
1. Parking at North Harris can be improved
2. People can reduce their water consumption
3. We can save our polluted rivers
4. People can reduce e-waste
5. The government can make Houston more beautiful
B. Now write a sentence for your essay below. Use by + gerund. Use this sentence in your
essay and underline it.
Grammar at the point of need

Colin.S.Ward@lonestar.edu 2
WHEN: Beginning of class while working on 2
& 3
WHAT: Isolated errors from students previous drafts (teacher prepared & modified)
1. Select 5 sentences with common errors
2. Reduce to one error per sentence*
3. Students work in pairs to correct
4. 2 pairs of winners get chocolate (good motivator!) & read correct answers
5. Mini-lesson (based on feedback from students)

1. When I was a teenager I wanted a better future for my family.
2. It seems that been rich is the perfect solution in order to be successful.
3. Im a big dreamer and Im making my dreams to come true.
4. Im a woman who obtained what I expected to receive from the life.
5. Im 21 years old and I been pretty lucky because in time I have learned what success
really means.

Possible Mini-Lessons:
Punctuating adverb clauses
Verb forms/Present perfect

Grammar at the point of need

Colin.S.Ward@lonestar.edu 3

WHEN: Just before handing in 2
or 3
WHAT: Isolated errors from students previous drafts (teacher prepared)
1. Introduce parallel structure stress use of and
2. Students recognize parallel structures from Ss sentences
3. Students fix parallel structure errors from Ss sentences
4. Students complete sentence stems using parallel structure
5. Students check for parallel structure in essay search for and
6. Circulate & check use

Parallel Structure

Writers often combine words, phrases, and clauses with the conjunctions and, but, & or. When
combining ideas with these conjunctions, you need to use parallel structure. When you combine
words, this means they should all be the same part of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs).
When combining two or more verbs, they should use the same form (e.g. base, -s, or -ed).

A. Read the sentences. Circle the conjunction and the words in parallel structure. What part of speech
are the parallel words?
1. Working and studying at the same time will always be a challenge.
2. I need to be well prepared to have a smooth start, which can open the next steps smoothly and
easily for me.
3. Exercising helps you blow off steam and releases endorphins.
4. They have to follow some steps, such as having enough information in their resume, filling out
the application form, and preparing for the interview.
B. Correct the errors in parallel structure. You might want to circle the conjunctions and, but, & or first
to help you.
1. It is my responsibility to know what my husband likes and dislike.
2. Relaxing can really help students to stay focused and to dont fall apart.
Grammar at the point of need

Colin.S.Ward@lonestar.edu 4
3. Nonetheless, I was a kid and I know we were playing.
4. My learning follows the American way: learning how to think in English, using a dictionary, and
dont translate into my language.
5. Enjoying my life by using rare time to do something is valuable, for example, take care of myself
or listening to music.
6. A nurse who has an associates degree and work in the hospital will need to clock in and out.
7. Read fast and clear, leadership, or be organized can help you become a manager.

C. Complete the sentences in your own words. Use parallel structure.
1. Coming late to work and _______________________________________________ are
two excellent ways to lose your job.
2. When I was a kid, I enjoyed drawing houses and ________________________________.
3. My mother is my role model because she works hard and ________________________.
4. My boss expects me to do my work quickly and ________________________________.
5. Making sacrifices to get my college degree has been difficult but ___________________.

D. Look again at your essay for correct use of parallel structure. HINT: Find places where you use and.
Make any necessary corrections before turning it in to me.

Grammar at the point of need

Colin.S.Ward@lonestar.edu 5
WHEN: Just before turning in final draft
WHAT: Wordy sentences from students 2
drafts (teacher prepared)
1. Provide students sentences
2. Underline wordy areas
3. Students correct wordy areas
4. Students underline a wordy sentence in final draft & attempt to fix
5. Teacher circulates & helps

Avoiding Wordiness

Good writing is concise that is, it uses the fewest words possible to express an idea. Wordiness
is a common mistake in writing. When you are too wordy, it means you are using more words
than necessary to make your point. Wordiness can happen:
when you repeat the same idea or words in the same sentence or next sentence
when you use words together that are synonyms
when you use too many words to describe a single word
when you overly long grammatical structures, such as using a long adjective phrase
clause instead of an adjective (e.g. weather that is good or bad good or bad

1. I will have to improve my reading skill, writing skill, and speaking skill.
2. Nowadays, the U.S. is having a bad time for economic.
3. We always have problems or adverse situations in our path.
4. Television is very useful to keep informed to the people.
5. I need to think of some special ways to make my shop more different than other salons.
Grammar at the point of need

Colin.S.Ward@lonestar.edu 6
6. Eating out is wonderful but it takes a lot of money.
Hartshorn, K.J., Evans, N., Merril, P., Sudweeks, R., Strong-Krause, D., & Anderson, N. (2010). Effects
of dynamic corrective feedback on ESL writing accuracy. TESOL Quarterly, 44, 84-104.
Hinkel, E (2012). Innovative and efficient construction grammar. Selected Papers from the 21

International Symposium on English Teaching. English Teachers Association, Republic of
China (ETA-ROC), Taipei, 51-59.
Myles, J. (2002). Second language writing and research: the writing process and error analysis in
student sexts. TESL-EJ, 6, 1-14.
Weaver, C. (1996). Teaching Grammar in Context. New York: Heinemann.

My info:
Colin S. Ward
Department Chair & Professor of ESOL
Lone Star College North Harris
2700 W.W. Thorne Drive
Houston, TX 77073
http://www.lonestar.edu/colin-ward.htm (link to PowerPoint & Handout available here)