MET workshop: grammar pathway minisession

Parsing the parts of our speech: filling the gaps in our understanding of syntax

Facilitator: John Bates

This mini-session assumes that many language support professionals – unlike other professionals such as doctors and surgeons – have received little formal training in their subject matter and that their knowledge of the rudiments of language is fragmentary. It also assumes that the more aware we are of the component parts of language, the better equipped we will be to ply our trade. The aim of this session is to briefly lay out the basic parts of speech (nouns, verbs, prepositions, determiners, adverbs, etc.), show how these parts tend to cluster into phrases and clauses, and discuss how groupings can function as modifiers or heads. With the new awareness gained in this workshop, participants will be able to communicate more readily with colleagues and clients (should they need to do so), have a greater understanding of the raw material with which they work (text), and discover the usefulness of style manuals, grammar books and usage guides.

About the facilitator: John Bates first became interested in grammar when he started learning foreign languages as a young man. This interest was reinforced during his time at the University of Sheffield (Hispanic Studies). When he first stood on the terraces of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, he realized that the Yorkshire tykes were speaking a language that had little in common with the dulcet tones of his native Surrey. John is the head of the Language Service of the Rovira i Virgili University and responsible for organizing language courses and providing an editing and translation service in Catalan, Spanish and English for university staff. He has been living in Tarragona for the last 30 years.