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Language Acquisition 3: Functional Grammar


Admission requirements

A pass for Language Acquisition 1 or a similar academic-writing course. Preferably, you have also taken an introductory syntax course.


Functional Grammar is a follow-up to Language Acquisition 1: From Scratch to Script. But whereas the first-year course focused on academic writing as a process, on writing the different component parts of an essay (e.g. introduction, conclusion and paragraphs), this second-year course focuses on accuracy, providing in-depth knowledge and understanding of how grammar, but also punctuation, spelling and lexicogrammar and collocation are used as register and stylistic tools to create meaning in writing.
The weekly web clips cover topics from the traditional pedagogical and functional grammar (for instance tense and aspect or word order). In the Q&A sessions, you are encouraged to ask questions about the reading and the web clips, and we discuss mock test assignments. In the seminars, you apply what you have learnt to usage exercises and short writing assignments that you have prepared at home. Through self-study, you increase your knowledge of lexicogrammar and collocation.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, you will have acquired a sound knowledge and understanding of English grammar, grammatical terminology, and collocations, all of which help you to become an accurate writer in English. This is important if you are considering a career in editing, teaching or translation.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • One forty-five-minute seminar in blocks I and II

  • One forty-five-minute Q&A in blocks I and II

  • Self-study, writing and editing assignments in blocks I and II

Assessment method


  • Weekly take-home analysis, writing and editing assignments (coursework). Two of the assignments handed in will be marked, to be submitted before the relevant seminar.

  • Three-hour written examination with closed questions (e.g., multiple choice) and short open questions on the reading and web clips.


  • Weekly take-home analysis, writing and editing assignments (coursework): 30%. For a pass-mark for the course, the average mark for the homework assignments should be a 6.0 pass.

  • Written examination: 70%. For a pass-mark for the course, the mark for the written examination should be a 6.0 pass for the final essay assignment.


If the result of the written examination is below 6.0, this examination can be retaken. The resit will constitute 100% of the final mark, replacing all previously earned marks. There is no resit for the weekly assignments.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Carter, R. & McCarthy, M. (2006). Cambridge grammar of English: A comprehensive guide. Spoken and written English grammar and usage. Cambridge University Press. [Recommended for international students]

  • Foster, T., Lemmen, M. Smakman, D., Dorst, A. G. & Dol, P. (2018). English grammar through Dutch eyes. Coutinho. [Contrastive Dutch/English grammar, recommended for Dutch students]

  • O'Dell, F. & McCarthy, M. (2017). English collocations in use. Advanced. Cambridge University Press.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

General information about MyStudyMap is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: [Naam Onderwijsadministratie](link naar contactgegevens OA)


Not applicable.