How Did Grammar and Punctuation Get Worse?

June 6, 2016 1:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

From the mid 1960s, rules of grammar and punctuation were deemed pedantic and even unnecessary. When I asked a child to write a sentence with a verb and Johnny/Susie wrote, ”I were going to the circus with me mum and me sister,” it was not to be corrected. After all, the child had grasped the ideas of ‘sentence’ and ‘verb’. He should not be burdened with the pressures of grammar. Spelling was still near-enough-is-good-enough and red pen became an evil element that would scar a child’s self esteem and ergo, his social and emotional future.

Of course, at base level, teaching became a doddle, child’s play. Teachers’ knowledge of grammar and punctuation became sketchy and marking was reduced to a fraction of what it was in the bad old days of getting things correct. In my early days of teaching I recall spending hours each night correcting spelling lists, English grammar exercises and essays – a day’s work for 35-40 plus children. Today, sadly,essays are only glanced over for the ‘flow’ or, at worst, not marked at all. As for spelling and reading, I know at least one school where they have both been discarded completely.

As for maths – more about that later.

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This post was written by Alonah Reading Cambridge

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