Book: A Functional Grammar for Writers
Chapter: Why Learning About Grammar is Learning about CHOICE
The introduction is designed to theoretically orient the reader in terms of why learning about grammar is meant to be empowering, not baffling. The book takes the approach that the knowledge of grammar is the knowledge of language resources, and while speakers of English have a grasp of one set of resources, students need a new set of grammatical understanding for the creation of acceptable academic texts.
In order to move into this understanding, we will first bring the reader up-to-date on what other writers typically have meant with the use of grammatical terms (traditional grammatical approaches). We will then introduce our fundamental approach, that of systemic functional grammar (SFG), albeit informed by another writing tradition, that of prescriptive grammar. The major approaches of SFG will be explained along with the strands which are most relevant to student writing. Finally, we bring the discussion into the “rules” of grammar, presenting readers with easy-to-understand explanations of which types of writing they should choose in which situations, depending on such matters as audience, genre, and rhetorical goals.