Grammar Captive

A stylized picture of Roddy

Notice

Grammar Captive is new and growing, and there are portions of this website that are not yet complete. Do not let this prevent you from signing up where you are asked! For, by taking advantage of what Grammar Captive offers today you will enjoy future benefits tomorrow that others at Grammar Captive will not.

Grammar Captive rewards fidelity!

Products

Weekly Podcasts

Free 20-minute, weekly podcasts that make small, but troublesome aspects of the English language easy to understand and easily overcome.

Discover more ...

Listening to these podcasts will not only help clarify important, but confusing issues of grammar, but they will also introduce you to the basic concepts on which Grammar Captive is founded -- namely,

  • the Underlying nature of language in general and the English language in specific.
  • the Difference between the logic of the sender and the logic of the language.
  • the Hierarchy of syntactical structure and its important in the deconstruction and construction of meaningful messages.
  • the Interplay between the form, meaning, and use of words and phrases.
  • the Difference between style and grammar and why both are important.
  • the Liberation of the learner from the shackles of misunderstood grammatical terminology, and
  • the Importance of this latter's very practical uses.

In effect, these podcasts will teach you the little, but important things that you were never, or only poorly, taught in school, and that you need to know in order to make learning and using the English language, or for this matter, any language, easier.

Learning a second language well is no easy feat, and anyone who tells you differently is trying to deceive you. There do exist techniques, however, that make this feat less formidable than it would otherwise be. The Grammar Captive podcasts introduce you to these techniques and the Grammar Captive webinar series help you to master them.

The most recent podcast can always be found by clicking on the word Podcasts in the navigation panel to the left of this webpage. There you will also find access to all previous podcasts and a means to be automatically notified about new up-coming podcasts as they are created.

Webinar Series

Grammar Captive is where you learn to apply what you already know and still need to learn in order to acquire more easily the knowledge that you truly want to know!

It is where you hone the techniques to which you are introduced in the Grammar Captive podcasts. It is also where you learn and master new techniques that cannot be adequately presented in the short space of 20-minutes.

Discover more ...

Grammar Captive is about application and understanding -- not the memorization of mindless patterns and endless drills that lead to nowhere!

The Webinar Series is best suited for those looking for a workable alternative to the current treatment of grammar in English classes around the world.

The webinar series will provide you with the analytical techniques required to

  • understand, without guessing, the logic of an author/speaker's message,
  • understand his/her message without having to look up every word,
  • sort quickly and easily through the sense, nonsense, and ambiguity of badly written and spoken English, and
  • improve your ability to express yourself in a manner that others can clearly understand

At Grammar Captive you will learn two innovative techniques that you are unlikely to find elsewhere on the net:

  • Clausal Analysis: a top-down approach that cuts through the logic of the language so that you can more easily understand the logic of the sender/author's message.
  • Linear Analysis: a trial-and-error approach that follows the logical (left-right) grammatical flow of the sender/author's message.

These techniques will teach you that ...

  • Every word and phrase has form, meaning, and use, and that every word and phrase answers a question with which you can test your own understanding,
  • The phrase is more important than the word,
  • The clause is more important than the phrase, and
  • Not every word and phrase is important to the understanding of the message.

In addition to these uniquely developed techniques you will learn the vocabulary of English grammar in such a way that you can research the rules of the language on your own without the help of a teacher.

Grammar Captive is not for everyone who studies English, but it is well-suited for those

  • Studying English for the purpose of attending a school at which the spoken and/or written medium is English
  • Preparing for advanced English language examinations for whatever reason.
  • Looking for a workable alternative to the current treatment of grammar in English classes around the world.

Grammar Captive is also well-suited for ...

  • Struggling novice language teachers, and
  • English language majors looking to get ahead.

In order to succeed at Grammar Captive you should have

  • Sufficient knowledge of spoken English. Alternatively, good command of French, German, or Japanese is also acceptable.
  • A strong desire to become proficient in the English language.

Every child learn's the grammar of his mother's tongue through trial-and-error experimentation. As adults we rarely have the time, opportunity, or even motivation to learn a second language in the same way. This said, second language learners have certain advantages that children do not -- especially, the pre-existent knowledge of their own language and numerous reference works -- both online and offline -- that are dedicated to the study and understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of the English language. Unfortunately, students often receive no, or only poor, training in the use of this reference material.

Grammar Captive makes use of the same experimentation of the child, but applies it in a manner that takes advantage of the aforementioned pre-existent knowledge.

No language can function without grammar, and in most English classrooms today the grammar of the English language has been pushed aside in favor of oral communication -- no matter the quality of the language used in that communication. This is simply inappropriate.

Alternatively, grammar is taught as a special skill separate from reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At Grammar Captive we not only apply the rules of the language as we learn them, we learn the rules as we use the language. Grammar and the four basic skills are fully integrated.

At Grammar Captive we combine a more traditional understanding of English grammar with new innovative techniques that make the learning of grammar both interesting and effective.

The Grammar Captive Webinar Series currently hosts two kinds of webinars including regular and special sessions.

  • Regular Sessions: Small groups of students meet twice weekly to strengthen what they already know and discover what they still need to learn.
  • Special Sessions: Your host lectures at length on problems discovered during the regular sessions.

There are three payment plans and a free-webinar to help you become acquainted with your host and better decide whether the Grammar Captive Webinar Series can help you. Please visit the navigation bar to the right or just above this window panel and look under Products/Webinar Series. There you can discover more about the aforementioned sessions, as well as the three payment plans, available times, and registration procedure. Signing up for the free-webinar is easy. Take advantage of it!

GC (Grammar Captive) Tutor

Speak better! Write better! Live better!

Unlike the Webinar Series that focuses on applied grammar and always takes place online, Grammar Captive (GC) Tutor can be accessed both on- and offline and provides all of the services that one would expect from a seasoned, professional, language consultant including phonetics, the four basic skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), presentation, interviewing, cross-cultural communication, business correspondence, translation, test preparation, teaching English as a second/foreign language (TESOL, TEFL, etc.), and much more.

Discover more ...

Probably the best introduction to GC Tutor is what I have been able to accomplish with my first three students at Grammar Captive Tutor:

  • DongGuk Nabi - In six short lessons DongGuk, a recent Korean immigrant and aspiring Christian minister, learned to distinguish between the English n-, l-, and r-sounds and form them properly. In addition, he learned how to distinguish and form properly the f- and v- sounds and all of the English language vowels that do not form a part of the Korean language.

    If you ask him, he can probably even tell you how to find your uvula and provide you with a meaningful definition of phonemic pairs.

  • Photo image of Samėt Ibas wearing his pilot's badge for Turkish AirlinesPorfirio Andara - Within three weeks Porfirio, a Honduran immigrant, went from a dishwasher at Nordstrom and short-order cook at a hole-in-the-wall burger joint in downtown Seattle to an assistant server at an upscale Italian restaurant in WestLake Mall.

    In order to achieve this social and economic upgrade I helped Porfirio obtain his MAST permit for the State of Washington and his food-handling permit for King County. In addition, I helped him to make the necessary online payment for his greencard and obtain hard-copy certification thereof.

    Further, I helped Porfirio apply online for two jobs with two top-ranked international hotels, and find, purchase, and install security software appropriate for his own computer and budget. Already, Porfirio has returned to school and is now receiving formal training.

  • Photo image of Samėt Ibas wearing his pilot's badge for Turkish AirlinesSamėt Ibas - In the spring of 2015 Samėt and I met online. He had just failed his first interview for entry into flight training school with Turkish Airlines. He asked me, if I would not help him to prepare for a second chance. Samėt and I rehearsed over 110 interview questions used by the airlines to screen students for acceptance into flight school.

    Not only did Samét pass his interview, but he recently sent me a photo as proof that he had not only succeeded in his flight training, but had been awarded his wings!

  • Jacqueline Kollasch - Jacquline is my newest student. I am helping her to prepare for entry into a top-ranked school where she hopes to obtain certification in education.

    Jacqueline is a Peruvian immigrant who raised her son by herself and sent him off to school. Now, she wants to move her own professional career forward as a Spanish teacher in the greater Seattle area. In order to do this she must improve her writing skills. It is my goal to help her gain entry and succeed at the best university in the area!

About

Grammar Captive is about you, the English language, and my ability to help you in your escape from the prison of bad grammar.

Grammar is the set of rules that allows us to arrange and rearrange words in meaningful ways in order to express well our thoughts and feelings on the one hand and understand similarly those of others on the other. Without these rules the vast majority of the vocabulary (words) that we learn would be of little use.

The emphasis on communication in today's English language classroom has made grammar a bad word. As a result the study of grammar has been neglected, and the ability of even advanced second language learners to communicate well has been impaired.

Today, there are even those who tell English language learners to forget the study of grammar altogether. Grammar Captive corrects this nonsense by teaching students what they are not being taught and helping them to understand better what they have never clearly understood and need to know.

Indeed, the single most important advantage that second language learners have over those who learn English as their first language (native speakers) is that the rules of a second language can be easily explained and understood without the learner having to figure them out on his own.

There is another problem as well. Many who profess to understand the rules of a language find it difficult to apply them in daily conversation and correspondence. This is because they have learned the rules in the same way that the rules of language are too often taught -- as inflexible patterns without a clear understanding of how to use and apply them flexibly. At Grammar Captive we learn why the patterns exist and how they work so that you can easily separate sense from nonsense and apply the rules with good efficiency and effectiveness.

Grammar Captive is about technique and application. At Grammar Captive you will learn how to separate the logic of the sender (speaker/writer) from the logic of the language (grammar) that he uses to create (thinking) and send his messages (speaking/writing), and how to utilize the logic of the language to make the logic of the message clear and easy to understand (listening/reading). You will also learn that language is a tool of communication, that communication and knowledge of a language are two separate matters, and that this latter does not guarantee the former.

Finally, if you wish to escape the prison of the bad grammar, then you must learn the rules that hold you captive. For only by mastering the rules through practice and understanding can you escape their grip and free yourself from their imprisonment.

Your Host

Welcome, I am your host, Roddy.

If you have read the About section under the Info menu, then you already have some idea about how Grammar Captive can help you. In this section I would like to tell you a little about me and why I am the right person to host Grammar Captive and help you.

I started my professional teaching career in 1972 not far from Detroit, Michigan. Since then, I have taught in nearly every imaginable language learning setting in eight countries on three continents including the Middle East.

In each country I have made a sincere effort to acquire the customs and language of my host nation. This has not been an easy task. Important to you is the knowledge that I have acquired about learning a second language in so doing. For, in my effort to acquire the languages and cultures of others I have come to know the very problems with which you are faced as a student of a second language.

Moreover, learning the grammar of other languages has provided me with knowledge of grammar and language that no teacher can learn from a textbook alone. Further, having taught English in so many different settings has taught me how to make the English language accessible to just about everyone. So, no matter your native background you will likely find what I have to teach useful.

My goal at Grammar Captive is to fill an important gap that has been created by the world's English language industry in its effort to profit from the artificial demand for the English language created by misguided government language policies and the erroneous belief that everyone in the world must and should speak the English language. This said, I hope from the bottom of my heart that you will acquire the level of English language competence that you seek and that I can provide you with the technique and knowledge that you require in order to reach your goal.

My goal is to provide you with the knowledge that you need to become your own master of the English language and free yourself from the prison of bad grammar and those who pretend to know how to teach the English language better!

Contact Information

administration:
webinar series:
gc tutor
webpage:
telephone:

owner-founder:

physical address:
admin@grammarcaptive.com
webinar@grammarcaptive.com
tutor@grammarcaptive.com
www.grammarcaptive.com
+1 (206) 291-8468

Roddy A. Stegemann

nudge.online
111 South Jackson Street, Suite 400
Pioneer Square, Seattle
Washington 98104-3112
United States of America (USA)

Internet Security

The Grammar Captive website is hosted at Lunarpages, a reliable and reputable hub of the Add2Net, Inc. network located in Orange, California about 60 kilometers (40 miles) southeast from Los Angeles.

Lunarpages hosts websites with access to both secure and unsecured servers.

In this context the notions of secure and unsecured refer only to the nature of the data transmission between servers, not the method of storage on the sending or receiving server.

Stored data can be quite secure while unsecured data that is transmitted from one server to the next can be read by anyone and everyone with access to a computer node along the route of data transmission. A simple network trace usually reveals a significant number of nodes between your computer and that of the website whose data you download when you open a webpage.

Then too, one can transmit data securely, but fail to secure its storage. How you secure your stored data is your responsibility, but it always takes two to tango when it comes to data transmission. Grammar Captive pays Lunarpages to insure that both its stored and, when necessary, the data that it sends and receives are secure.

Not all transmitted data need be secure. This is especially true of most data that is downloaded into your computer when you open a webpage on the internet. In this context, security refers to the ability of third parties to view and understand the content of the data that you send and receive over the internet. It is a matter of data encryption (privacy), not malicious software such as computer viruses, trojan horses, spyware, and the like.

Yes, more security is better than less, but data encryption (encoding) and decryption (decoding) are costly procedures, and both users and providers must strike a balance between the cost of privacy and the level of comfort that the cost affords.

Most of the data that Grammar Captive offers online is not secured for the simple reason that no security is needed; nearly everything at Grammar Captive is available to the general public. So, if you are looking for the most common indicator of secure data transmission on the internet -- namely, the

https://...

protocol prefix, you are unlikely to find it on most Grammar Captive webpages, not even most of those that request your personal data. This does not mean, however, that the protocol is not used when you send the requested information.

When a user fills out a form that has been supplied by Grammar Captive he enters his personal data into a webpage that he has downloaded from the Lunarpages host server. This page is unsecured as the page's protocol necessarily attests. For example, both the Grammar Captive landing and homepage URLs bear the same, standard, unsecured, internet protocol prefix -- namely,

http://...

The URLs for the Grammar Captive landing page and homepage are

http://www.grammarcaptive.com
http://www.grammarcaptive.com/overview.html

respectively.

The data used by the user -- namely, you -- to complete the form remains on your computer until you click on the button (send, submit, register, sign-up, subscribe, etc.) that triggers the data for transmission. It is at this moment where things change, for the protocol (http://...) used to download the Grammar Captive webpage into your computer is not the same as that used to send your personal information to Grammar Captive -- namely, https://... In other words, your data will not be sent until your browser and the Lunarpage's secure server web-application have negotiated a secure internet connection using the https://... protocol. At Lunarpages this negotiation is accomplished through the TLS protocol or the less secure SSL protocol both of which use the same transmission prefix -- namely,

https:// ...

If you know how to expose the underlying (source) code to a webpage this change in protocol can easily be verified for any of the Grammar Captive webpages that hosts a form that you fill out. Simply perform a search for the action attribute of the HTML <form> element, and there you will find the https://... URL prefix and the link that transfers your data securely to the Lunarpages' server and into Grammar Captive's secure data base.

Although this method of secure transmission is called Shared SSL, it is actually more secure than the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) transmission that its name suggests. This is because Lunarpages uses something called TLS/SSL to negotiate a secure connection. The less secure SSL form of transmission is only selected when your server and software are unable to negotiate a more secure TLS connection with the Lunarpages server. In either case, the transmitted data is encrypted.

What makes Shared SSL different from privately owned TLS/SSL is the negotiating certificate used to encrypt and decrypt the transmitted data. With Shared SSL other account holders on the same web server use the same private certificate for encryption and decryption. It works a little like a shared safety deposit vault. Everyone has his own safe box with his own private access key, but the bank controls the door that opens and closes the vault. The important advantage of using one's own private certificate (vault) is how one's webpages appear to the general public; it is not a matter of how secure the data is transmitted.

If for some reason you still feel uncomfortable about how your personal information will be handled, then please click on the words C/O Hing Hay Coworks under the Contact heading in the Grammar Captive navigation bar on your left and connect directly with the Grammar Captive administration. An alternative solution will be found.


Credits

Code

Bluephoenix Template Engine

by Timothy Boronczyk (Bluephoenix) at Codewalkers Display Tutorials. Timothy's simply built, highly lucid, easy to use template engine is the mechanism used to format and fill the <div> inserts that populate the center of Grammar Captive's podcast webpage each time a user clicks on the Grammar Captive icon and/or link at some remote, third-party, podcast hostsite.

Colorbox

by Jack Moore at Colorbox. This is a handy piece of Javascript for centering and displaying a variety of overlayed material on a webpage. Pursuant to the jQuery tradition Colorbox clearly separates form and function, and with a minimum understanding of jQuery, CSS, and Javascript it is easily implemented.

FeedEK

by FeedEK at jquery-plugins.net. FeedEk is a jQuery plugin for parsing and displaying RSS and Atom feeds. FeedEk uses the YQL API to retrieve feeds. Feeds can be easily obtained from any domain. No need for server-side scripts.

FeedWriter

by Anis Uddin Ahmad and Michael Bremmer at mibe/FeedWriter. FeedWriter is a well-constructed feed writer written in PHP. It services the RSS1, RSS2, and ATOM feeds with a special class for each feed type. In each class special methods exist for all of the major <channel> and <item> elements and subelements. For elements for which no method exists there are easily customizable generic methods. FeedWriter is also easily installed using Composer.

If there is one weakness to this easy to use library, then it is the absence of a method to create closed XML tags for the iTunes namespace. As a result, subcategories are not possible. Still, for a novice who understands PHP this is a great place to get started.

jQuery

by the jQuery Foundation at www.jquery.com. A rich source of adapted JavaScript used for a large variety of purposes including basic load readiness, HTML tag (or element) selection, and a large number of method, effect, and event shortcuts. The motto at jQuery is "Write less, do more!"

jsSocials

JsSocials by Artem Tabalin at GitHub. An easy to implement jQuery plugin that makes it easy for user's to share your material with their friends. Everyone wins, the user, the developer, the site-owner, jQuery, GitHub, Artem, and everyone's commercial sponsors.

Paulund

by Paulund at Paulund. All I really wanted was control over the size and color of a standard HTML checkbox. Thanks to Paulund I ended up with a sliding button that lights up when selected. It appears that Paulund has a lot more to offer.

PHP

by PHP at www.php.net. PHP is a general scripting language that can be used for a variety of purposes. Currently I use it to send confirmation email and maintain the Grammar Captive blog page. In the still somewhat distant future I plan to use it to collect email addresses and passwords, manipulate and store webinar videos and email, and host Grammar Captive's membership forum.

Although a programming language written in a computer dialect of English, its manuals are available in many spoken languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Like JavaScript it is an object-language.

PHP Mailer

sponsored by SmartMessages on GitHub. PHP Mailer is a full-featured email creation and transfer class for PHP. It is what Grammar Captive is using to develop and implement the mass mailing of Seven Gates, Grammar Captive's weekly newsletter. PHP Mailer is one of the better presented PHP libraries on the web.

Postie

by Wayne Allen at www.postieplugin.com. This is the software that allows Grammar Captive's host to post to the Grammar Captive blogpage via email. Indirectly, it also make it possible for me to post to Grammar Captive's RSS feed using the same mailing scheme.

simplePagination

by Flavius Matis at GitHub. Just by looking at its name you can probably guess that this nifty piece of software is written in Javascript. Indeed, simplePagination is a well-written jQuery plug-in that can assist you in setting up pagination for a long series of data entries. And, with a little additional guidance from Bilal Akil you will likely find this software easy to implement. Thank you, Flavius and Bilal!

Stackoverflow

by stackoverflow at stackoverflow.com. The number of problems that I have resolved with either hints or indirect answers from stackoverflow are simply too numerous to mention. Nearly everything you need can be found with a strategically worded online search using your favorite search engine.

Whereas W3Schools teaches the basics, stackoverflow provides answers to particular questions that others have encountered and could not easily overcome on their own. Often the people who provide these answers are very knowledgeable and sometimes provide valuable insight into the nature of coding itself.

Those who participate on stackoverflow are especially knowledgeable about PHP and Javascript.

Wordpress

by Wordpress at http://www.wordpress.org. Despite its very good reputation and widespread use on the internet Wordpress does not permit simultaneous off-line and on-line development -- well, at least not with the facility that Grammar Captive requires. Still. it is Grammar Captive's blog platform, and it is developed and maintained by a completely voluntary staff -- people who take pride in their work and contribute freely to the betterment of the human condition.

Let us see what the future brings!

WP-SpamShield

by Red Sand at www.redsandmarketing.com and others. This easily installed software developed for use with WordPress was able to provide the spam protection to Grammar Captive that Akismet Anti-Spam was unable.

W3Schools

by w3schools.com at www.w3schools.com. I cannot say that W3Schools has taught me everthing that I need to know about code writing, but I can say that it is nearly always the first place I look when I am unsure about its proper use.

Marketing

Precarious Heights

by Precarious Heights at www.precariousheights.com. Precarious Heights turned my own slow-to-load, unedited, six-minute monologue into a dynamic three-minute video with top quality editing, transformative imagery, and superbly organized content and delivery. And, all of this with the patience of a professional dedicated to his customer's needs. My very best to Richard Wu, Creative Director, at Precarious Heights!

Revision

Arabic (Saudi Students)

  • Amin Al Beladi - Without Amin I would not have been able to afford the deposit fee on my new office at Hing Hay CoWorks. As my former student at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Amin put his trust in me and paid for 25 sessions of the Grammar Captive Webinar Series in advance. Amin is currently resident in Jeddah and hopes to return to North America very soon.
  • Osama Al Shehri - Although Osama was never my student we shared the same student lounge together at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. He was a graduate student in the Department of European Languages and Literature, and I was the faculty coordinator for the university's student language club. We have since met up on Twitter where he regularly tweets in English about the role of women in Saudi society. We do not always agree on this issue, but he recently provided me with an alternative translation of my advertisement into Arabic -- a translation that even Ahmet likes better than his own. For this, I am deeply grateful.
  • Ahmet Al Attas - Ahmet translated my promotional mail insert for the Grammar Captive Webinar Series from English into Arabic and is slowly, but surely becoming my friend. He hopes to attend psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle as soon as he completes his studies at Bellevue College. We, too, met on the infamous Cambly website.
  • Faisal Tonsi - I met Faisal in December 2015 on Cambly, the misguided online forum for student/tutor conversational interchange. Faisal and I have been friends ever since. With regard to Grammar Captive Faisal has offered a youthful perspective and many suggestions -- both direct and indirect -- to the improvement of the GC website's effectiveness. Faisal is studying English in Orlando, Florida.

Japanese

  • Sugano Yoshihiko - After translating the text of my mail-insert from English into Japanese I sent it to my good friend Prof. Dr. Peter P. Baron. In my email I asked Dr. Baron, if there were not someone with whom he is acquainted whose mother tongue is Japanese and who would be willing to review my translation. Not only did Mr. Sugano correct my Japanese, but he provided a critical, localized review for a commercial Japanese audience. I am deeply grateful to both him and my friend for their coordinated effort.

WebHosting

Lunarpages

I have been with Lunarpages for many years already and can recommend them with good confidence. They respond quickly and work with you until the problem is solved.

Physical Location

Galvanize

Galvanize is about entrepreneurial software development. Not only does it host software entrepreneurs, but it also educates them. In fact, Galvanize is geared toward tech training. It will make a great host for Grammar Captive to grow and propser. It is located in a charming neighborhood in Pioneer Square (Seattle's Altstadt). Outside it honors tradition and inside youth and modernity.

Looking Ahead

The long term objective of Grammar Captive is to provide a membership forum that brings together those in the English language industry -- both teachers and students -- who recognize the grievous short-comings of a global system of mass education that caters more to government bureaucrats, university professors, publishing houses, accreditation agencies, organized labor (teachers unions), a whole host of private language schools, and freeloading tourist and other specialized industries than it does to the students and parents whom the system pretends to serve.

By providing both teachers and advanced students around the world with highly useful, practical solutions that will help them achieve their immediate objective -- namely, the transmission and/or acquisition of the English language as a second language -- Grammar Captive hopes to bring attention to the larger problem of government mandated, universal, English language programs that serve the few at the expense of the many in the name of equal opportunity, enhanced global communication, and world peace.

If you would like to learn more about this nefarious industry even before the membership forum has been created you are welcome to peruse the Hong Kong Language Needs Assessment (HKLNA) Project. Although dedicated to the Hong Kong English language industry the implications of the HKLNA Project extend far beyond Hong Kong in particular and East Asia in general where it was hatched -- this, despite the wide variation in language polices and programs of our world's various national governments.