Grown-Up Grammar© Sessions

Grab a cup of tea or coffee, arm yourself with a notebook and your favourite pen, and we’ll venture together into the world of English grammar … PS: It’s more exciting than it sounds, honest!


The three-part workshop led by Karen Elwis– tutor and founder of The Learning Cauldron– is open to all and free to attend.

Email to register your place.


Session Outlines:

Wednesday 11 Nov. 8pm Week 1: Parts of Speech and Punctuation

Getting to grips with the basics

In Week 1 of this course, we’ll start by looking at the fundamental building blocks of English grammar – often referred to as ‘parts of speech’ or ‘word classes’. We’ll learn about the jobs that the main parts of speech do, and how to construct both simple and complex sentences. In the second part of the session, we’ll go on a whistle-stop tour of English punctuation marks and try to solve an age-old mystery: the use of colons and semicolons!


Wednesday 18 Nov. 8pm Week 2: Common Errors and How to Avoid them

Forewarned is forearmed …

Week 2 of the course explores the common errors that many of us make when writing English. While we each tend to have our own individual peccadillos when it comes to committing our thoughts to paper (or screen!), there are many ‘popular’ mistakes. It’s useful to be aware of these potential pitfalls in advance so we can keep essays, reports and dissertations as error-free as possible. In this session, we’ll review a selection of ‘repeat offenders’ before looking at several ways of improving the clarity of our writing.


Wednesday 25 Nov. 8pm Week 3: Researching, Planning and Proofreading an Essay/Dissertation

Striving for textual perfection

The title of our final Grown-Up Grammar session says it all. First, we’ll look briefly at several key points that it’s wise to consider before embarking on any written assignment (including how to maximise the efficiency of online research). We’ll then finish off the course by learning a selection of handy tips and tricks that will help make the process of proofreading written work as pain-free and thorough as possible.


About Karen Elwis

Karen Elwis grew up on a farm near Perth and graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, with a B.A. Hons (Interpreting and Translating) in the mid-1980s. She has worked with words – be they English, French or German – ever since!

During three decades as a professional linguist in the agricultural, civil engineering, translation and digital media industries, she learned to write with clarity and authority about a wide variety of subjects (ranging from zip manufacturing to potato breeding). She is currently a freelance commercial copywriter for websites and social media, and she has been a member of the Edinburgh University Disability Department’s proofreading team since 2014.

In 2017, Karen set up ‘The Learning Cauldron’ to provide bespoke tutoring services to young people working for the SQA’s English, French and German qualifications. She also runs ‘grown-up grammar’ courses for students and professionals who wish to refresh their knowledge of English grammar and to improve their writing skills – either for academic study or for the workplace.


How to sign up 

Please email indicating your interest in attending the Grown-Up Grammar sessions.

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