Educational Media Reviews

Educational Media Reviews Online MastheadReview: The Intermediate Cozy Grammar Course

Date Reviewed: 4/20/2005

The Intermediate Cozy Grammar Course is designed to teach more advanced principles of grammar in a relaxed and soothing manner, and is a continuation of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. Structured in two levels, Level One focuses on the inflection and classification of nouns, pronouns and verbs and contains 31 lessons that can be viewed individually or in a sequence. Level Two tackles verbs, participles, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, phrases, clauses and diagramming and is divided into 26 lessons. Each level contains filmed tutorials, and an online workbook with lesson outlines, exercises, tests and an answer key.

Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, presents each of the lessons from her cozy cottage on the shore of the Campbell River in Canada, and she attempts to tie each segment to a day-to-day activity in her life, such as chopping wood, fixing a clock, or drinking tea. In each lesson Ms. Rackham describes a part of speech and then provides an example of its usage. While she is speaking, the concepts are displayed as text on the screen. Soothing music and nature sounds are used to enhance the cozy environment. While the content of this intermediate course is geared towards grades 8 and up, teenagers may find the “cozy” teaching approach juvenile and out of touch with their interests. Since every lesson is presented in a repetitive format – a description, followed by an example, followed by directions to complete an exercise in the workbook – students may become disengaged and find it difficult to pay attention to the content. The program would benefit from some interactivity, such as exercises that can be controlled via remote control, or even something as basic as Ms. Rackham interjecting questions directed at the student. While this video series may work well in conjunction with other teaching methods or as supplementary material in the classroom, it is not recommended as a stand-alone teaching tool. Recommended with reservations.

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