Direct Instruction for Teaching Parallelism

Direct instruction is a great method of teaching due to its emphasis on comprehensive understanding. Other methods of teaching focus on conformity and uniformity within the classroom and will seek to achieve a specific end goal. Direct instruction allows for flexibility within the curriculum, allowing students to work on areas that need more development and improve these skills before moving forward. 

Traditional classrooms tend to focus on age. As our learning group is a “higher ed” demographic, the ages of students can vary quite drastically. Moreover, basing lesson plans on age is challenging in itself as students of the same age groups can have very different levels of proficiency in English.

A direct instruction design focuses on specialized concentration on these skills that each individual student needs to improve. Students who grasp the concepts well are able to move forward and are not held back by the class or vice versa. 

Cognitivism for Teaching Parallelism

Considering that parallel structures rely mostly on grammar, teachers would benefit from applying cognitivism as the instructional theory.

Because cognitivism focuses on the acquisition of knowledge through rational processes, learners need to access cognitive processes beyond the reinforcement of environmental conditions. Although parallelism presents a pattern or repetition of grammatical structures, sentence forms may vary in function (syntax), requiring more than repetition and memorization for learning. With the cognitivist approach, the acquisition of knowledge occurs with the assimilation between previous and new knowledge (Ertmer & Newby, 2013). 

In seeking to create or rewrite a sentence using parallelism, cognitivism can provide complex forms of learning such as reasoning and information-processing (Ertmer & Newby, 2013). These forms allow the learner to recognize parts of a sentence and identify whether it could present a better flow through morphological or syntactic correlations. After that, the student should be able to make the appropriate adjustments for improving the balance and correlation of ideas.


Ertmer, P. A. &  Newby, T. (2013). [Online]. Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features From an Instructional Design Perspective. In: Foundations on Learning and Instructional Design Technology. Accessible at