Woking Speakers Club

Grammarian

Being Grammarian at Woking Speakers is an exercise in improving your listening skills.

You have three basic responsibilities:

  1. to comment on the positive and negative uses of English during the meeting;
  2. to introduce a new word and explain the correct use of it;
  3. to count the use of ‘crutches’ such as ‘um’ and ‘err’.

All of these are designed to help your fellow members improve their use of language.

Before the meeting

Select a 'Word of the Day'. It should be a word that will help members increase their vocabulary and one that can be incorporated easily into everyday conversation, but is different from the way people usually express themselves. Adjectives and adverbs are more adaptable than nouns or verbs, but feel free to select your own special word. If you know the theme for the meeting, use this to help you select your word.

In letters large enough to be seen from the back of the room, print your word on a sheet of paper that can be displayed. You can also include its part of speech (adjective, adverb, noun, etc.) and a brief definition.

Prepare a few sentences to explain the meaning of the word and how it is used.

Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Grammarian for the benefit of the guests.

Grammarian's Introduction:

During the meeting

Listen to everyone's word usage. Write down any particularly good uses of language and your reason for selection. Write down any awkward use or misuse of the language - for example: incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction in mid-stream, incorrect grammar etc. Note the speakers concerned.

Write down who used the 'Word of the Day' (or a derivative of it) and note those who used it correctly or incorrectly.

Count the number of times that each person speaking used ‘um’, ‘err’ or other crutches or pause fillers while speaking. Listen for words such as 'and’, ‘well’, ‘but’, ‘so’ or ‘you know'.

Make a note of which speaker use which particular fillers and how often.

Grammarian's Report

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