Inside the bright covers of Jensen's single-volume English courses is an endearingly straightforward approach to learning grammar, vocabulary, writing, and punctuation. If you're looking for a thrill-a-minute, brightly illustrated curriculum that will hold your student's hand through the ups and downs of English, you've come to the wrong place.
The no-frills, no-nonsense methodology is intentional. Jensen believes in teaching English merely as a means to the end of clear communication, and the condensed courses reflect that. Here's a rundown of the four main volumes:
Format Writing: Presents the basic real-world formats that students will need to know how to write. Large writing assignments are eschewed in favor of constant, small writing assignments. Students are taught to write technically well with little emphasis on style (which Jensen believes will develop naturally.)
Grammar: A very simple format, it gives grammar instruction on the left hand page and exercises on the right. Practice sentences follow a theme or opening to a story that students can continue when they write more sentences for that topic.
Vocabulary: Focuses on Latin and Greek root words. Students aren't given or encouraged to use a dictionary. Instead they're given lists of root words, suffixes, and prefixes, and must decipher meanings of words from there.
Punctuation: No-nonsense punctuation exercises teach five most common rules broken, and sixty additional punctuation rules. Punctuation practice is mostly hands-on editing of paragraphs adapted from famous stories or historical facts.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?