The Approach

What Grammar Captive is Not.

Grammar Captive is not more of the same; but more of what is necessary. The modern communicative language teaching (CLT) methodology, although, in part, not without merit, too often treats the study of grammar as an academic footnote or onerous, unnecessary burden.  Rather than complementing the traditional approach to teaching a second language — an approach with a proven track record several centuries long — the CLT approach has pushed it aside as unworthy, or more accurately unfashionable.

Rather than providing students with a clear understanding of what language is and how it works, the CLT approach seeks to mimic the way in which we learn our first language. The vast majority of second language learners have already acquired their first language long before they are introduced to their second language and can, as a result, no longer take advantage of the conditions that were present when they learned their first language. Moreover, attempting to recreate these conditions is sheer folly in most cases.

Grammar Captive is not about promoting the notion that you can learn a language by simply talking about it.  Grammar Captive is not about the sale of still another platform that promises instant erudition.  Grammar Captive is not even in the business of promoting the English language.

What Grammar Captive Does

Unlike the modern CLT approach whose certification is required for every language teacher seeking employment at all major and most minor educational institutions, Grammar Captive treats the acquisition of a second language as an interesting intellectual endeavor whose study goes to the heart of what language, communication, and human thought are all about — a set of applied symbolsrules, and protocols that must be understood before they can be effectively practiced and become applicable in any meaningful way.

Grammar Captive maintains that the study of grammar is, in most cases, essential to effective second language learning, and that the vocabulary of grammar is essential to this understanding.

Although there are situations in which two first-languages can be learned simultaneously these highly worthy opportunities are trivial in number when compared with what is offered in the English language industry as a whole.  It is also possible, under special circumstances to recreate many of the conditions that were present when we learned our first language.  These too, however, are opportunities that are rare in comparison with the system of second-language education currently in place around the globe.

We must stop pretending that we can learn our first second-language as if it were our second first-language.

What Grammar Captive Offers

What Grammar Captive provides students from around the world is a practical approach to the study of grammar that teaches not only what grammar is, how it works, and why it is important, but provides students with the vocabulary they need to make effective use of the grammar they learn.  Further, it presents the rules of grammar in such a way that they can be easily reproduced by students — not as memorized patterns, but as thoroughly understood rules of syntax and morphology that students can easily apply in making themselves understood and in the understanding of others .

If Grammar Captive is a school, then it is a school for self-motivated learners and teachers seeking to free themselves from the mindless repetition, poorly taught rules, amusing games, and snake-oil remedies that do little to teach, but provide the illusion of real learning,