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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course was digitally shot on location on Vancouver Island in and around a beach cottage in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. The setting is serene and peaceful, leading the viewer to relax. The videos were conceived as a ‘living textbook’ and use the graphics of the surrounding area and the inside of the beach house to clarify examples. A soundtrack features classical piano music that helps break up the usual unnerving silence found in teaching videos.

Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, teaches the English lessons. She walks around, sips a cup of tea, and wanders along the waters edge. At first this casualness seemed foreign, but as I continued watching I enjoyed the lessons more and more. The home setting was better than a sterile classroom setting and Ms. Rackham was able to use ‘live’ examples to illustrate what she was teaching.

As Ms. Rackham taught a lesson, sentences appeared on the screen, clarifying what she was teaching. For example, in a lesson on subject and predicates, the subject was shown in yellow and the predicate was shown in pink. When teaching the parts of speech, the subject was underlined in yellow and the predicate was underlined in pink. This is great for those who learn visually as well as for auditory learners. The accompanying workbook would be the key for those who are tactile learners, giving the student a chance to practice what he or she has just been taught.

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