Learning grammar has to be one of the most boring parts of studying language, especially studying the grammar of your native tongue. There are always exceptions of course—perhaps grammar is your cup of tea—but I’d bet it’s safe to say that most of us would rather undergo a root canal than sit through a lecture on inflectional morphology or modal forms.

However, when my wife was in college, studying linguistics, a classmate of hers had a really fascinating senior project. He proposed (and in fact, implemented) a sixth-grade grammar curriculum with an interesting focus: he had the kids create their own conlangs, and introduced both grammar and orthography concepts as part of that process. He supported the curriculum by showing the kids interesting real life examples, including (among other things) Mayan heiroglyphics!

I wish wish wish wish WISH that I’d had that man as my English teacher when I was in school. What a fascinating way to present an otherwise dry topic. Practical applications trump contrived examples every time.

Also, if you happen to be into conlangs, you may be interested in the 3rd Language Creation Conference, to be held on March 21 and 22 in Providence, Rhode Island. Whether you want to present or just attend, it looks like opportunities are available. (Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the conference, but it’s being organized by a friend of mine.)