TedEd Lesson: The Great Debate with the Oxford Comma
For this TedEd lesson, I focused on two of the NYS ESL standards, including ESL1.1 Language for Information and Understanding which states:
"Students using English as a second language will use English to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information for content area learning and personal use. They will develop and use skills and strategies appropriate for their level of English proficiency to collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts"
As students are learning English grammar, the video about the Oxford Comma can emphasize the English uses of the comma as it divides a series. Providing examples about the absence of an oxford grammar can reframe language structure and place emphasis on the importance of commas in describing an idea or command. In other words, students are presented with multiple uses for
grammar structures such as commas to better understand their purpose.
This can be assessed by providing examples of a sentence that is removed of commas and seeing if students can place commas in the appropriate locations.
In addition, the lesson adheres to the NYS ESL standard ESL 3.1 Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation which states:
"Students learning English as a second language will use English to express their opinions and judgments on experiences, messages, idea, information, and issues from a variety of perspectives. They will develop and use skills and strategies appropriate for their level of English proficiency to reflect on and analyze experiences, messages, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria"
Once students have determined the use and purpose of the Oxford Comma, they can gain insight in how English grammar is not always universal or contains a strict set of rules. While it is important to initially establish such rules for the purpose of acquisition, presenting a grammatical debate can allow students to reimagine English language. However, proper English acquisition must first be present in order to allow such higher mental order of thinking. From here, students can establish their own opinions and preferences in using the Oxford comma based on the information and debate presented.
This can be assessed by having students describe the meanings of two sentences. The first sentence would contain the oxford comma and the second sentence would not. Students would have to determine which sentence makes more sense to them and whether the word "and" serves as enough information to divide ideas presented in the list without the use of an oxford comma.