Who this will appeal to: People wanting to improve their English grammar; writers.
I decided to take a course in grammar to improve my writing. I found Grammar At Work by The Publishing Training Centre in association with Oxford University Press and I decided to have a go. The course is entirely online and you get a free Oxford Press grammar book through the post. You can take a Grammar assessment quiz before buying to help you decided if the course is for you. The quiz took me a good thirty minutes in which I answered lots of grammar questions. I got more than half of them wrong. The quiz was difficult, but then again, so was the course. You can also take a guided tour of the course to see if you would like it.
The course is split into five modules: Grammar basics, People Places Things Ideas, Actions States and Links, When Where Why How, and, Real Life Sentences. Each of the modules is split into between three and five lessons which focus on aspects of grammar such as: nouns, verbs, tense, time, mood, passive, active, adverbials, sentence structure, and punctuation. Each lesson, depending if you make notes or not, will take between 1 to 2 hours each. Each lesson is split into four parts: Find out, Try it, Check your understanding, and Quiz. The information is in depth and useful and a resource centre is available to dip into for extra study if needed. The exercises are challenging but also help to reinforce what you have been learning.
I’ll not kid you, this course was tricky. I don’t know if it was just me in particular as I’ve always struggled to grasp technical aspects of things, but sometimes it made my brain hurt.
It’s easy to navigate, you can keep track of your progress and there’s a test at the end to see how much you’ve learned. There’s also an online tutor and discussion forum but I didn’t use those features.
Overall I thought the course was useful. I learned a lot, although I think I’m going to have to revise sections for the information to really sink in. I do believe it is worth carrying on the learning outside the course. I bought a grammar workbook from the internet to practise the knowledge I learned. The Grammar at Work course cost £45 and it has given me a deeper understanding of how grammar works. I found it very useful and would recommend this for anyone wanting to improve their grasp of English Grammar.