Most students will have already studied a level 2 module before beginning their OU level 3 study. If you have not, we recommend that you allow sufficient time at the start of E304 to thoroughly study the online Grammar Activities provided and also to work through the Linguistic Toolkit (this will be provided as an online resource).
A reasonable level of computer literacy is expected and a willingness to engage with a new learning tool, though you will be given step-by-step guidance on how to install software, unzip files, and so on.
This module provides a thorough grounding in the analysis of texts using traditional grammatical terms and a clear introduction to the influential approach to grammar known as Systemic Functional Linguistics. It is practically orientated, and will give you many opportunities to reflect on your own writing and how it can be improved.
The module is skills-based so it’s important that you keep up with your studies as the module content is cumulative.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
We’ve developed some optional activities and resources to help you prepare for studying Exploring English grammar (E304). They're not required reading, but are useful as additional preparation for this module.
If you have studied Worlds of English (U214), it may also be useful to refresh your memory of the concepts taught in the Linguistic Toolkit. This is provided for you as an online resource once you begin studying Exploring English grammar.
Grammar matters – Our free OpenLearn course explores how grammar and vocabulary choice create meaning.
English grammar in context – This free OpenLearn course looks at the way grammar can be used as a tool for adapting our written and spoken communications.
The following online resources examine structural grammar, and are useful background for this module. They illustrate how grammar analysis is useful in real-world contexts such as education.
- Macmillan dictionary – This dictionaries site on 'Real Grammar' shows how corpora can be used to explore grammar and contains short quizzes and videos.
- Englicious – Contains resources for English language teachers at primary and secondary level and is useful for anyone who needs to work with the UK National Curriculum.
- International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association – Provides a clear overview of systemic functional grammar – the approach to grammar adopted in E304. Don’t worry if this seems a lot to understand – the module begins with the basics of grammar and builds up gradually.
You may also like to explore an introductory guide to systemic functional linguistics (SFL), such as one of the titles below:
- Bartlett, T (2014) Analysing Power in Language: A practical guide, Routledge: London & New York.
- Butt, D., Fahey,R., Feez,S., Spinks,S. Yallop,C. (2000) Using Functional Grammar - An explorer's guide, NCELTR, Maquarie University (Australia).
- Coffin, C., Donohue, J. and North, S. (2009) Exploring English grammar: from formal to functional, Routledge: London & New York.
- Eppler, E.D. (2012) English Words and Sentences: An Introduction, Cambridge Introductions to the English Language, Cambridge University Press.
- Fontaine, L. M. (2012) Analysing English Grammar: A Systemic-Functional Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Thompson, G. (2014) Introducing Functional Grammar (3rd edition), Routledge: London & New York.
The reference book on structural grammar, Biber, D., Conrad, S., and Leech, G. (1999) Longmans Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, Pearson: Harlow, is also recommended.