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Grammar in the Time of Social media

TalkShop Grammar Mastery

Skim through your social media newsfeed. How many of the posts on it make use of correctly spelled words and properly articulated, punctuated sentences?

Chances are, not that many.

I know some professional writers who believe that their command of the English language is weakening, due to their constant exposure to social media. “Not too long ago, I could spot an error from a mile away,”Marga* says. “Now, so many people write incorrectly on purpose, to the point where it starts to seem correct. I find myself having to pause and think twice.”

It becomes all the more challenging when writers are expected to adopt the lingo of their audiences. “The LOLs and SMHs, I can accept,”Jake*, who writes posts for social media brand pages, shares. “What bothers me is when I have to use Taglish expressions that deliberately misuse both English and Filipino. Clients don’t want to alienate their followers, and that means having to speak their language as much as possible.”

As frustrating as these situations are to them, both Marga and Jake are accepting of the fact that online communication is an open arena, and that there is no grammar marshal to stop anyone from writing any way he or she wants.

“We should just hope that people still remember how to speak and write correctly, outside of social media, or their other personal channels,”Marga says.

“If not, now is time to learn how to improve grammar skills,”Jake adds.

People like Marga and Jake were who we had in mind when we developed our Grammar Mastery course at TalkShop. It is a course designed for English writers and speakers, as well as students, employees, or anyone else who wants to excel in their communication skills, and improve his or her confidence in writing and speaking in English.

The course first addresses how to overcome grammatical uncertainties, and how to differentiate grammar from syntax. A grammar review allows you to break down the parts of speech, resolve common errors and areas of confusion, and eliminate redundancies and superfluity.

We will then progress into exercises on logical sentence construction, which includes rules and exceptions, punctuation and capitalization, and proper syntax and semantic usage.

Next is a module on Writing Application, where you will practice essay writing, speech writing, and writing technical compositions.

Proofreading and self-evaluation follow, in order to help you develop an instinctive ability to spot and correct common grammatical errors, and identify proper syntax and semantics.

A module on Speech and Composition will give you the chance to apply intermediate grammar concepts to your writing, and teach you how to edit and revise your own work, should there be any mistakes or opportunities to improve on it. Sometimes, it is when we second guess our writing that we end up with grammatical errors.

Grammar Mastery is, naturally more than just about writing compositions correctly. Apart from writing speeches, the course also teaches you how to deliver them. Speaking correctly is just as important as writing correctly.

All in all, this course will grant you improved proficiency in using proper English, higher confidence in making substantial and logical compositions, increased ease in mentally constructing grammatically correct sentences and speeches, and guaranteed success in effectively communicating any message.

An evaluation of your final composition will cap off the course, together with an overall evaluation that will serve as your continuing guide when you apply Grammar Mastery exercises in everyday life. You will find that even when you are required to take a detour from the correct path for any reason, thanks to this course in Grammar Mastery, you will be able to get right back on track.

 

*not their real names

Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication finished her bachelor degree in Literature, masters in Entrepreneurship, and doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+

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