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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 311
Course Title: Descriptive Grammar of the English Language
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Study of the grammar (sounds, structures, sentences and dialects) of American English. Prerequisites: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Several suitable grammar texts are available for this course. The texts listed below represent samples of several suitable texts:

English Grammar: Principles and Facts
By Kaplan, Jeffrey P. (Prentice Hall)
An Introductory English Grammar
By Stageberg, Norman C. (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston)
Course Objectives
  • To explore the general principles and terminology of linguistics.
  • To explore the grammar of the English language, using these principles and terms, with special attention to modern American English.
    Measurable Learning
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammar.
  • Define and apply the terminology of English linguistics.
  • Recognize and employ the elements of English phonology.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the elements of English morphology.
  • Demonstrate rudimentary knowledge of transformational grammar.
  • Define and differentiate the elements of English parts of speech.
  • Notate English phrase structures and sentences of increasing complexity.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of linguistic diversity.
    Topical Outline:
  • English phonology
  • English morphology
  • English syntax
  • Transformational grammar (brief introduction)
  • English socio-linguistics

    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Johanna Denzin Date: October 27, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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