Intellectual Focus

By focusing on the language from an intellectual, rather than an academic perspective, students learn to appreciate not only their target language, but also the importance of their native tongue and human language in general. In effect, the learning of a second language is transformed from mindless memorization and consumptive entertainment into an intellectual endeavor that challenges the very essence of the human intellect.

This approach is especially valuable for second language teachers who struggle in the classroom to explain grammatical use in a manner that students can understand, and for second language learners who struggle to understand their teachers’ often well-rehearsed, but poorly understood explanations.

In effect, Grammar Captive focuses on the following principles of human language

  • The Principles of Good Communication — The elements of a good message and the selection of an appropriate means for the delivery of the message.
  • The Logic of Thought — The separate notions of conceptual and grammatical logic.
  • Form, Meaning, and Use — All words have form, use, and meaning and understanding the interrelationships among these concepts is crucial to our understanding of the structure of language and its proper use.
  • Prioritization of Use and Exercise of Style — Each of us masters language in his own way, but the result of our mastery must be understandable to others.
  • Vocabulary of Grammar — The vocabulary necessary for a meaningful discussion of grammar, as well as a means to reference this discussion for future use.
  • Language Learning: A Question of Motivation, Environment and Prior Knowledge — How we learn our first and second languages is not the same, nor can it be in most cases.
  • Socratic Inversion — The idea that every word, phrase, and clause in a good sentence answers a question.
    • Message Analysis — A top down approach to understanding someone else’s message.
    • Message Synthesis — A bottom-up approach to conveying your own message.
  • Language: An Orchestra of Harmony and Purpose — Language is first and foremost spoken, even when it is in written form.

For each of these topics is included both a discursive illustration and a video presentation.