Delta Publishing Catalogue

A Handbook of Spoken Grammar

Delta Natural English Series

Strategies for speaking natural English

Authors: Ken Paterson, Caroline Caygill, Rebecca Sewell

ISBN: 9783125016255


Spoken English is now recognized as having its own “grammar” which is not covered in traditional language practice material. Using recent corpus research into spoken English the Handbook of Spoken Grammar teaches learners to speak more naturally, using the patterns that native speakers use when speaking English.

The Handbook of Spoken Grammar is written for students from intermediate level and above looking to develop natural fluency in their speaking skills. The Handbook of Spoken Grammar is divided into 20 units, each dealing with a spoken grammar strategy to equip students with greater native-like linguistic techniques.

Written for class or self-study use, each spoken grammar strategy is identified in context using conversational examples on the audio CD and short written transcripts. Each strategy is then explained in full before students go on to complete a range of thorough practice activities.

Key features:

  • Helps students of intermediate level and above speak more naturally
  • Based on recent corpus research
  • Designed for class or self-study
  • Perfect as a supplementary resource for spoken English exams
  • Includes free audio CD
# Name Type Size
# Name ISBN
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2Sample Unit.pdf2202.2

Ken Paterson

In 2001 I joined some colleagues from the International Office (of the University of Westminster) on a promotional trip to Mexico. When we got to Mexico City, I did something which I now know you’re not supposed to do. I went straight out for a long rambling walk through town, seeing as much as I could. Laid low for the next day with altitude sickness, I took the opportunity to reflect on my administratively-overburdened professional life. (At that point I was Chair of the Department of English and Linguistics.) The outcome was a  modest commitment: that whatever else I did over the next ten years, I would clear the desk for at least an afternoon a week, and follow a single pedagogical idea wherever it led.

 The idea, when it came, was to create a two-week speaking skills course from scratch with a small group of like-minded colleagues (two of whom, Caroline Caygill and Rebecca Sewell, are now co-authors on A Handbook of Spoken Grammar). We met, we designed, and by 2003 we were teaching the course on the University’s Summer School of English. So, where did the idea go next? Well, I looked over the data we collected – thousands of pieces of reformulated language that we had written on the whiteboard as our students talked about themselves –  and I noticed that a certain kind of language kept recurring. After a bit of googling, I came across the term ‘spoken grammar’ and the publications of corpus researchers such as Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy. Our Handbookis an attempt to identify the items amongst this grammar that the students  on our courses would enjoy and find useful.

 I first taught English when the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges sent me to a village in south-west France in 1977.  Ten years later I joined the Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster), where I worked as a lecturer and manager until 2010.  I’ve written and co-written a number of grammar practice books for Oxford University Press. What next? Who knows? Another dose of altitude sickness might help.

Caroline Caygill

I’ve always been interested in working with words and images. I started out with a degree in the history of art, which took me into the worlds of research, writing and archiving; but then a lust for travel won me over and I went to teach English in Budapest in 1989, freshly qualified from a four-week TEFL course. A year of teacher training later on led to more ELT work in further education institutions and private language schools, followed by a two-year stint in the world of TESOL examination administration. In the late 1990s I spent a few years working on Trinity teacher training courses in the UK, Germany and Belgium before taking a lecturer post in English language teaching and administration at the University of Westminster.

My main general interests in the field are phonology, grammar, studies in teaching personas and best classroom practice. Outside, I like art, reading and walking in cities.

Rebecca Sewell

It was the need to escape an inappropriate boyfriend that propelled me into EFL. I thought I could travel to exciting countries and use my love of words, inherited from my doting grandfather, in a more attainable way than by writing novels or being a rock-chick (two ambitions I still hold actually).

Whilst never actually leaving London after all, I survived the next couple of years by working in a few salubrious private language schools, being a mystery shopper and hanging around with bass players, before nepotistically gaining a teaching position at the University of Westminster, where I met Ken Paterson and Caroline Caygill and now hold a Senior Lecturer post.

Over the years I have taught on all courses within the CELT provision at the university, where I am now also enjoying materials writing and course development for the department. Alongside this, I have been involved in teacher training work for the Trinity TESOL and have worked as an online Mentor and Teaching Assistant for the Teaching Lexically course offered by Heinle publishers.

I have done some writing work for both Thomson-Heinle and OUP, most recently the accompanying pronunciation CD-ROM for the Advanced English Grammar Course by Swan and Walter.

My particular areas of interest at the moment are in Phonology and teaching spoken English, and these days I try to divide my time between working and bringing up 3 kids in north London, whilst still maintaining a lifestyle of cocktail drinking, seeing live music and dressing inappropriately.