I realize that it is hardly possible for me to author an authentic English grammar book as I’m not an English native speaker and never stay in any English speaking countries. Moreover, I, myself, never bought and read any English grammar books written by a non-native speaker apart from a series of English Grammar textbook intended for grammar teaching purpose when I was a student in Gontor.
In my opinion, it is impossible for a non-native speaker, moreover, those who’ve never stayed in any English speaking countries to write the authentic English grammar book or other teaching materials for some reasons. First, it is known that any language has its own culture and context. It is impossible to know about them except by living around the speakers of this language. Second, the non-native speakers will never reveal the exact meaning of any language materials except by staying in the country where people are speaking of this language. Third, in the language acquisition theory I found the term “fossilization”; the condition in which L2 learners stop developing their L2 fluency. You know non-native teachers are L2 learners too and they never reach native speaker’s fluency.
So, why do I dare to write an English grammar book despite of those beliefs and constraints?
It departed from my anxiety seeing some of my students who couldn’t answer even a single correct answer about English grammar when entering an English oral exam in my school. I wondered why they did so. After doing a simple investigation, I came to the conclusion that the students didn’t have any references, even a single one, related to learning grammar. Moreover, you know, our national English syllabus doesn’t pay sufficient attention to the teaching of grammar materials.
Finally, I determined to write a book related to grammar teaching hoping that it will facilitate students to learn grammar materials so they will answer something when they enter the oral test. I also believe that their knowledge about grammar will give both theoretical and practical benefits for their academic life.
So, how do I minimize the lacks of the book written by a non-native speaker like me?
When composing the book, I refer only authoritative references written by English native speakers and prominent English linguists. The resources are mostly derived from trusted online materials and most used grammar books such as Raymond Murphy’s English Grammar in Use and Azar’s Fundamentals of English Grammar. I avoid referring to English blogs written by Indonesians or other non-native speakers which could be found easily in the ‘wild’ internet. I also limited my ‘involvement’ in giving statements about grammar and mostly copied the explanation from trusted aforementioned references.
It is strange to write such this disclaimer while I’m composing a book, isn’t it?
Well, I actually want to be honest to myself and those who take benefits from my works. By producing these materials I don’t mean to show them that I’m good enough at English. I just try to make what I have learned beneficial and fruitful for all. I base these efforts on a religious statement which says that the knowledge which is not used and practiced is like the fruitless tree. It will not be beneficial and useful both for me and the others unless I spread it by teaching or writing English instructional materials.
So, when you try to take benefits from anything found in this blog make sure that you won’t find any perfect materials and it is your job to make them perfect!
Bye for now.