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Grammar lessons are wrong for writers


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 13 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Grammar lessons are wrong for writers (Guardian)

In a pressured curriculum, where the development of literacy is a high priority, there will be better ways of teaching writing and our findings suggest that the teaching of sentence combining may be one of the more effective approaches

How has the curriculum become more pressured than it used to be? Could it be due to the teaching weeks lost to exams, and because increased bureaucracy means that teachers have to be given ten percent ‘non-contact’ time?

Primary schools should return to a basic system of studying Maths and English for at least ninety minutes each every morning (9am to 12.30pm, allowing for breaks), and then having a series of different subjects for around two hours in the afternoons (1.30pm to 3.30pm) – The Arts, History, Geography, Science, and Games. Exams should be taken at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer terms (external exams where necessary, internal exams at other times).

The exams should determine into which group each child should be placed, so that one stream could have more challenging exercises and accelerated learning covering much wider topics than those required to pass public examinations, whilst others could cover the basics at a slower pace.

What’s difficult about that system? It worked for me, there was plenty of time to teach grammar, and there was no feeling of a ‘pressured curriculum’.

This 226th post was filed under: News and Comment.

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