Welcome to Grammargraph

Please go to the category box on the right side of the page where you will find the relevant article you are looking for under the specific category. For example, the category “language learning” contains articles on cognition, deep language and so forth, and the category “language testing” contains articles on cloze, discrete-point tests, etc. Or you may find the article in the list below the category box.

Personal Information

I hold a B.A. in Philosophy (University of Cape Town), a B.A. Honours in French (University of South Africa), an M.A. in English (University of the North West, South Africa), a Ph.D. in English language and linguistics (University of Cape Town), and a postgraduate teacher’s diploma (University of South Africa). I have published articles on language, education, as well as conference papers.

Raph Gamaroff

3 responses to “Welcome to Grammargraph

  1. aan G August 10, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Dear Dr Gamaroff
    We spoke once before re your teaching French here in Mmbabatho. I somehow landed back here on your blog this morning.
    I have been teaching English for Law Students for the past six months and tutoring English for Academic Purposes for the past two years. It has become very clear to me too little attention is paid to syntax. I found this remark made by Parrot (2000:384) in his Grammar for English Language Teachers:
    “Understanding and constructing complex sentences often pose a major challenge to learners whose first language is not closely related to English. We can help these learners by systematically paying attention to complex sentence construction, feature by feature, over a considerable period to time. […]
    Learners whose first languages are closely related to English (i.e. most European languages) generally have far less difficulty with complex sentences. They may still, however, have problems of comprehension when sentences are particularly long or tightly constructed. […].”
    This supported my suspicion that SYNTAX needs A LOT MORE attention, more than for example being able to distinguish between simple, compound and complex sentences (which I heard a long-time lecturer say is all that is needed). Furthermore, students battle to identify verbs – for this knowledge of the different kinds of non-finite verbs is necessary. All in all – syntax needs a lot more attention, and that starting in school already.
    Syntax, space, spacing (also read Derrida’s différance (playing movement ‘producing’ effects of difference), mapping …
    De Saussure’s selecting and arranging …
    Raw rhetorics …
    Until we understand more about – and in fact have more awe and respect for – grammar, we will have problems translating what appears …
    What a ‘relevant’ translation will be/will have been for what appears, will always be difficult to decide ultimately requiring a leap of faith. With grammar as a handy tool both right at- and to-hand à la Heidegger we might go a little further understanding and respecting each other, never mind the other in us.
    Viva grammar!

    • bography September 18, 2015 at 1:50 am

      Sorry for the long delay. Parrot is correct, and singing a hoary ditty that many teachers of the last few decades have either forgotten or never learnt (correctly).

  2. bography April 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Internalise? Never thought of that one. Thanks

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