Official Magazine of New Zealand
Parent Teacher Associations, Inc.
Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course
International Education Product
The Cozy Grammar Series hosted by Marie Rackham, is a new educational audio-visual product, officially released to the world Home Video market in 2001. The series includes English grammar tutorials and companion exercises featuring study notes, exercises, tests and an answer key.
Filmed on location on Vancouver Island in and around a beach cottage near Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, Cozy Grammar was created to address the fears that many parents have today about the lack of formal grammar being taught in public schools. This resource was produced to empower individuals – parents/ grandparents/ teachers/ students – to take action about this concern. During the development of this project it was discovered that many younger teachers and homeschooling parents had some anxiety about teaching grammar. Hence it was decided that those fears could be alleviated by providing a resource that could be used in a library, classroom or at home. It was also developed to appeal to auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners in a gently entertaining way; something that would be ‘family friendly’ and ‘edutaining’.
Presented by an experienced retired English teacher in an enthusiastic, whimsical manner the lessons are taken out of the classroom and placed in a soothing seaside cottage setting. Marine wildlife are included along with an eclectic classical piano soundtrack. The use of everyday situations and colourful graphics to illustrate examples provides a self-empowering, non ponderous way for any individual to increase their own knowledge of basic English grammar, or help teach someone else to do so.
The uniquely bubbly teaching persona of Marie Rackham is best described as a charming mix of ‘old-fashioned, carefully enunciated, school-marm grammarian sticklerness’, and ‘young-hearted appreciation and giggly joy for life’s simple homespun pleasures’, makes her the perfect teacher to bring The Cozy Grammar Course to students of all ages world-wide.
When the curriculum covered in the resource was taught by Marie in the Canadian Public School System, it was introduced to children at the age of 9, and completed by the age of 12, with regular reviews and more challenging examples provided right through to high school graduation. Reports from viewers however state that children as young as 6 find the videos entertaining to watch. Adult ESL, Literacy and Continuing education students report that even though the examples are very simple, they appreciate how easy it is to grasp the concepts presented.