The Broonie teaches hoo tae write

15th September 2000 at 01:00
THE GRAMMAR BROONIE. Susan Rennie and Matthew Fitt. Polygon, pound;4.99 from Scottish Book Source, tel: 0131 229 6800.

In Scottish folk tradition, broonies are supernatural helpers around the house. The Grammar Broonie from the Scottish National Dictionary Association is designed to be an equally useful helper in the classroom. It is the paper version of their Electronic Grammar Broonie, and is a welcome supplement to the ever-widening range of Scots language teaching materials now available.

It identifies characteristics of Scots grammar, explains how it differs from English, and includes exercises and activities.

Aimed at Levels D-F, it is suitable for use in the upper primary and Secondary 1-4. The text of the Broonie is written in colloquial Scots, and children are often asked to choose the pronunciation or usage they feel most comfortable with.

It has all the parts of speech you would find in an English grammar, as well as sections on ulder Scots and scrievin in Scots.

The mastering of grammar is important, but too often it is a bit of a scunner for children. Not so with the Broonie. The explanations are clearly written in a friendly and accessible style, and the activities are entertaining and engaging. The distinct feeling is that the Broonie is on your side.

During their school careers, children encounter prose, poetry and plays written in Scots, but rarely any form of functional writing. So a textbook written in Scots is a new and interesting experience for both children and teachers. The Broonie can be used for teaching Scots grammar and as an interesting addition to standard English grammar schemes.

It is only right that Scottish children should have a textbook written in their own language. And onywey, they will enjoy haein a shot at learnin hoo tae write in Scots wi the help o the Broonie.

Elaine Wyllie teaches at Kippen Primary, Kippen, Stirling

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