Advanced Grammar and Scratch at EF – Education First by Jasmin B. Cowin


Advanced Grammar is a University Preparation (UP) course offered on a rolling basis at the University Preparation Program. The UP program prepares students for successful entry into US Universities and Colleges.


Course Description
Advanced Grammar and Scratch: 2 blocks at 80 minutes per week plus 15 minutes/monthly individual conferences.

This course introduces students to Advanced Grammar and Grammar-Based Teaching (GBT) and Scratch, block-based coding with a focus on the concept that the English language consists of predictable patterns of what we see, hear, speak and read. GBT helps learners discover the nature of language where students gain an understanding of Grammar concepts such as subordination and coordination; nouns and adjectives, subjects and verbs, clauses and phrases. Scratch, a block based, free coding program introduces computational and pattern thinking, analyzing subroutines, debugging, working in sequence, and creating unique projects. It is the most accessible tool teaching computational thinking for the modern problem solver. The Scratch component will introduce fundamental concepts of block-based programming, including variables and assignment, sequential execution, selection, repetition, control abstraction, and data organization.

Grammar is important not only for exemplary TOEIC, TOEFL, and SAT scores but also for “native” fluency and expression.

Course Goals
Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

Think critically and analytically about language, rather than simply memorizing rules and lists
Analyze grammatical structures already studied
Recognize peripheral and borderline cases that are “exceptions to rules.”
Learn the procedures by which one can test one’s own grammatical hypotheses – or guesses – about language
Determine and understand the source of personal language difficulties
Make effective language choices
Parse and/or diagram sentences to prove that use dictates meaning
Identify the class to which a word belongs by using its form and function
Describe and explain a particular element of contemporary English in such a way that it is understandable and accessible to a universal audience by developing an online Scratch game.
Differentiate between the surface and deep structure meanings of word groups and parts of a sentence
Use fundamental concepts of block-based programming, including variables and assignment, sequential execution, selection, repetition, control abstraction, and data organization.
Create a unique Scratch presentation focused on one grammar point

Special Teacher Resources:

Grammar for the REAL classroom

Azar teacher resources



As a teacher and facilitator, I establish learning communities where we come to learn with each other and from each other in a collaborative process. Collaborative processes give rise to vibrant cultures of growth and development with the result of a harvest of student achievement filled with a growth mindset, mental flexibility, curiosity, risk taking and intrinsic motivation.  My approach to teaching is student-centered with the aim to open the doors of knowledge not only empirically but emotionally as well.  

By integrating Scratch and computational thinking into my Grammar course, I believe students will gain metacognitive process thinking which transcends route learning. Through computational thinking and exposure to Scratch students will learn to think recursively; reformulate a seemingly difficult problem into one which they know how to solve; reduct, embed, transform, and simulate; abstract and decompose by tackling a large complex task.

The notion of “literacy” was originally used to designate the ability to read and write, but its meaning was gradually extended. For example, UNESCO has used a wider definition, redefined by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Consortium in 2006 (focusing on scientific literacy) to introduce the idea of knowledge use and transfer and its applications to life situations, problem solving, and influencing decision-making processes as an indispensable part of subject competence. This knowledge application is not limited to subject-internal questions and not even to school-related issues, but extends to any future problem in life and any new learning situation.”  

Technology is changing the context of education. Cultivating digital literacy is an important part of any L2 course. In today’s workplace, digital literacy is essential. But teaching and learning should go beyond access to basic tools. Students must learn to apply digital resources to creatively solve problems, produce innovative projects, and enhance communications to prepare for a career in any field. This grammar course encourages a dialogue between technological tools, computational thinking – Scratch and students to achieve grammatical and scientific literacy.

Scientific Literacy  

“is composed of at least three different areas of competence, namely knowledge (linked to language and epistemological competence), action (in terms of learning competence, procedural, communicative and social competence) and evaluation (aesthetic and ethical/moral competence). Based on this understanding of scientific literacy, the notion has developed across all subjects of a basic set of knowledge in a certain domain, of knowledge application, and a willingness to appropriate and follow the logic of each domain respectively. In that perspective, subject literacy becomes part of what is called Bildung in German, because the knowledge, skills, and attitudes, once acquired, can be linked and used in many different ways, while at the same time forming the material basis for individual development. This generalized notion of literacy in all subjects can help us understand the broad scope of what is meant by a “quality education” and particularly the role of language as a constitutive part of subject competence.”

The Experiential Learning Philosophy and authentic learning in a student-centered classroom are the cornerstones of my educational approach.  My primary goals in teaching writing are:  First, increasing students’ metacognitive awareness so that they better understand themselves as learners and enable students to take responsibility for their learning. Second, providing a clear lesson structure with objectives and aims for students. Third, improving students’ understanding of, and ability to use English accurately in speaking, writing and reading. My overarching goal is to develop communicative competence and modern problem-solving skills.

Author: drcowinj

I am the Chief Marketing Officer for a start-up IT company, PeopleMovers®, a global Community Networking Platform. As an experienced executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development, change management and turn-around I worked with value-adding leadership. The primary drivers have been branding, marketing and efficiency, improved customer satisfaction and retainment, customer service, product management, cross-functional business improvements and development of sponsor presentations with sponsor meetings. On a day to day basis, I write press releases and speeches, analyze case studies, create presentations, organize media events and photo ops, press conferences, podcasts/webcasts, write video scripts, fan boards, and coordinate blogging and speaking opportunities. The Presidency of the Rotary Club of New York is dear to my heart. As the second woman to be elected in 109 years, I have a leadership role in shaping and directing the club's programs and international strategic alliances. The position encompasses being a leader, manager, and collaborator and working to further The Rotary Club of New York’s (RCNY) public diplomacy mission through the management of its United Nations International Breakfast meetings, sponsoring international Rotary scholars and amplifying the visibility of RCNY. Part of this volunteer leadership position centers around cooperation and collaboration to do "Service above Self." The Rotary network encompasses more than 1.3 million members worldwide. I am working on our International Breakfast Lecture series at the United Nations and a Harvey Relief event to increase the visibility of the club’s Rotary branding. The International Breakfast Series is streamed live on Facebook with an audience of 5000+ international viewers. Also, I am the US Ambassador of the Hepatitis Zero Campaign, a worldwide campaign dedicated to the eradication of hepatitis . As a University Pathway facilitator at EF - Education First, I conceived, designed and developed multiple portfolios of face-to-face, online and blended curricula across a variety of disciplines Courses and expertise are in Global Economics, International Affairs, Academic Writing, Grammar, and business case study seminars. For EF's Russian branch I held interactive webinars for lawyers, teachers, engineers with a strong practical applicability into real-life teaching.

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