Sometimes you simply have to show your students why grammar is important.  A fun way of doing it is analysing the following text made up of nonsense words:

 

The craftle pruncers were snockering so croippily in the hontarbrun that Splod Crampid brocked them lurgly to snocker cliplier because he coulnd’t prunce with so much croip.

“Oh, we’re stal quobbly, Splod Crampid,” gebrocked the pruncers.

“We did not flample that our snocker was so croippy.”

 

Well, that’s how I started the school year with my more advanced students: I read it out to them.  They were shocked at first but then realized that even the above text can be analysed, understood and even the following 10 questions can be answered in an intelligent way:

 

1. Who or what in the text were snockering?

2. Where were the craftle pruncers?

3. What were they doing?

4. How were they doing it?

5. What did Splod Crampid brock them to do?

6. How did Splod Crampid brock them?

7. Why couldn’t Splod Crampid prunce?

8. What word in the text do you think is the opposite in meaning to ‘croipily’? Why?

9. What did the pruncers gebrock to Splod Crampid?

10. Did the craftle pruncers flample that their snocker was so croippy?

 

The students even admitted that their grammar knowledge made it possible for them to answer the questions – meaning was unimportant here, as grammar structures solved all the problems.

I’d like to thank a former colleague, Réka, for this brilliant text and the idea of using it this way.

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