Grammar web log

A new grammar project

Parameters and behaviorism

Noam Chomsky proposed his Language Acquisition Device to explain human language learning. It is true that people acquire languages most flexibly till 14 years old. It is true that people could not merely memorize language: there has to be a logical capacity. It is true that the brain work necessary for language learning involves more than one brain area.

However, I cannot develop any fondness for the term ‘device’. Devices have external operability in their connotations, and such governance over speech could not be the human ideal. I prefer the human language faculty. This is the term I use for all my language work, in which I do use parameters, yet I intend them for individual-specific, independent variables.

My generative grammar book series is to help work on flexible habits the learner can manage and control autonomously, not reflexes.

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April 7, 2014 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | , , , | Leave a comment

Book information

The book and the grammar method have not been sponsored or corroborated by an American or other authority, organization, as well as any individual. The content and choice on appended material are the responsibility of the author, Teresa Pelka.

The book and the grammar method have not solicited and will not ever require any experimentation. The method reflects on the author’s own language acquisition and learning, along with known and legal studies. The bibliography comes with Part Four of the series.

Books by Teresa Pelka may be viewed at

Copyright © Teresa Pelka, 2010

All rights reserved. The author reserves the right of translation.
ISBN 978-1-4457-7329-2

Library of Congress registration TX 7-648-439
The claim excludes public domain material, photographs.

Appendix 3 contains faithful typescripts of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights: Dunlap, Carter and Wheeler prints, respectively. The author considers the material important for comprehension of the American language and thought, therefore worth inclusion in language study; learners may benefit considerably from error-free copies at hand. The book has voluntary extra practice.

An error-free copy is a faithful typescript of the original historic document.

Regarding the feminist controversy over Aristotle’s works, the author ― a woman herself ― does not endorse all translations, renditions, as well as misconceptions about the philosopher. Aristotle lived circa 384 BC – 322 BC. There are no autographs, that is, original manuscripts of his work preserved. The existent versions are used in this book series selectively and for thought exercise strictly.

The author may not provide for sustained validity of the website or email addresses enclosed with the work.

July 8, 2013 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | Leave a comment

Common sense

Human history has not always been reasonable. Even common sense would have become associated with a revolution. :)

People differ on word meaning and ways to put words together. Grammar books will never give a uniform picture of language — no such picture might be necessary, moreover. Learners yet will always need own ways with the linguistic diversity and multiformity that life brings.

‘Off the record’ is intended to address this natural requirement. It is meant to talk common sense and  — whether making a little bit of a revolution or not — show that formal language guidance translates into everyday language and back.

JuniorAs for  Mr. Clemens, I  gotta tell you, there ain’t   much   fairness   in   this  world.  Mr. Clemens  had  a  nick — Mark Twain — he could  write   his  yarn  a  human way, and came out real neat in the end.  Me,  I  may just  forget  any  other   names   about  me when  Ms.  Smith asks grammar, and well, I   gotta   do   the   schoolspeak  when  my written work gets back in — let us say — more than one color, which ain’t so neat. Here’s the place I can be my true self, you understand, reckon and talk human.

Meet Bob, Jemma, and other characters with the grammar grapevine.


June 24, 2013 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, common sense, ESL, grammar | Leave a comment


Students usually anticipate the learning process. Predicting that the pages to follow sure bring much written and complicated matter can be discouraging. Grammar guidance may offer some ‘breath’; facts and trivia can make learning more attractive. Coursebooks also may have supporting material to make language more accessible. See the grammar grapevine. :)

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March 7, 2013 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | 1 Comment


Grammar guidance happens to be mistaken for a way of telling people what to say. Grammar — just as anything else, would there be some principles in this world really — may not prescribe on thinking and feelings.

Cognitive mapping can help expression. It allows independent choice on the language form. The speaker can decide whether to stay ON his or her cognitive map and say I love it, for example, or emphasize a quality IN a moment, saying I’m loving it.

There is no need to require emotional openness in the language classroom. Stress and anticipating difficulty are just as redundant. Compare Relax. :)

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I do not profess the belief that the student left on his or her own wouldn’t do any work. Exercises to involve speaking about emotions and thoughts may be open-ended. There is no key to the language reality, anyway — feel welcome to see. :)

March 7, 2013 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | 1 Comment

Where from?

There has been much talk on American English in ancestral terms – researchers would analyze individual speech sounds and derive them with particularity suggestive of the Pygmalion: … and your father was a watchmaker. ;)

Other analysts would say that language and thought are separate phenomena. Well, have to be them the United States that American English comes from, and thought does not go far from language. :)

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March 3, 2013 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Try something

Using the Conditional as a label — the course says clearly that there are many grammar labels and we capitalize them to treat them as labels — the student can perceive the form relativity that Modal verbs bring.

Importantly, the student is encouraged to think independently. Grammar guidance may tell what we can do. However, no guidance may ever completely prescribe language, that is, tell that we always have to do what we can do.

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August 23, 2012 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | Leave a comment

See and discuss

Cognitive mapping is not the same as keeping maps. We could be in areas we do not know and still find our way — looking to the sun, or remembering the directions we have taken from a place we know. Naturally, people can speak American in Berlin, Paris, as well as Washington: the language faculty is not dependent on geography.

All Englishes have four aspects: Simple, Progressive, Perfect, and Perfect Progressive. We can visualize them using the prepositions ON, IN, TO, and AT, along with a generalized image of an area, as in the slide below.

Looking to traditional grammar books and the multitude of — often conflicting — definitions and rules they give, cognitive mapping becomes simply common sense. See the grammar mindset.

Language skills are not something to come from ‘the above’, belong with higher agencies or destinies. Language skills are always individual and need to be autonomous. Traditional grammar guidance will be — unfortunately — mostly arbitrary, relying on terms such as ‘certain introductory expressions’, or ‘special verbs’. One cannot put human thinking on a list. See the grammar blueprint.

The project is primarily ESL and concerned with American English as a second language. However, the grammar approach could be adapted for any English, inclusive of first language practice — I am interested in opinions of learners, teachers, as well as speakers of the various Englishes of the world.

I am an English philology M.A. specialized in American English and psycholinguistics. I do have successful teaching experience.

The project is available for previewing in my spotlight.

The Travelers Windows Live FREE DOWNLOAD:

Feel welcome to see the book information.

August 22, 2012 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | Leave a comment

The project

‘Travelers in Grammar’ is a generative grammar course. Generative grammars show how to build language skills on one’s own, rather than practice memorized formulas.

The name ‘generative’ comes from the notion of generating language and speech, that is, producing written and spoken language independently. The course states clearly that human language does not belong with artificial intelligence. A mild poke on page numbers is to show this.

Naturally, the course is not digitally encoded. The initial parts, Travelers in Grammar 1-4, are to guide the student from the basics to the Upper Intermediate level as recognized with language schools.

The Advanced Traveler and the Proficient Journey aspire to introduce the student to the writing and reading skills at the Advanced and Proficiency levels of international certifications, allowing some insight in American literature.

The work is prepared to meet — with the progress — high school, college, and university standards. However, grammar does not need to be associated with difficulty or strict formality. See the grammar grapevine. :)

December 15, 2011 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Form can’t be empty. You bet. A todas luces.

Language studies show that humans can ‘pick up’ language till about 14 years of age. Human brain regions for language are inborn, yet not particular languages. Fortunately — migrating, traveling, or just learning — children and youths are able to learn tongues as own.

What happens with this outstanding potential when we grow up? Learning languages becomes more difficult, though we cannot blame maturation to excess.

As we grow, we forget part the natural behaviors that we successfully employed as kids to acquire language. Using invented or virtual words is one of these behaviors.

Yet keeping the successful habit, we can practice Progressive or  Perfect forms — they are usually most problematic — using  simple, undemanding forms for verbs or nouns. Real language will come easier. :)

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October 25, 2011 Posted by | American English, American English as ESL, American English grammar, ESL, grammar | , , , , | 1 Comment


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