OT (except for grammar-pedants) but amusing

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk
Sun Sep 26 18:42:01 BST 2010


Liam Proven wrote:
> A grammarian's lament for his dying language.
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091304476.html
> 

I'm not surprised at all. This all started when some twits decided to 
misinterpret a certain study and take out all the drilling of grammar 
that was done in schools in some 50 years ago. However, about a decade 
ago, that particular wrong has been corrected at its source when the UK 
reintroduce the teaching of grammar into its curriculum but 
unfortunately the rest of the world appears to be still stuck in the 
sixties. Especially here in Hong Kong. I have crossed swords with one 
vice principal on this issue. I pointed out that asking learners of 
English to write entire passages before being taught the structure of a 
sentence was like asking babies to run before they learnt to walk 
whereupon she brought her great shield and sword to bear. Native English 
speaking countries don't teach grammar in their schools and this is also 
the direction of the Education Bureau too. Don't you love it when people 
in positions of authority in education pursue policies that are bound to 
fail?

I eventually took my son out of that school. So much for it being an 
'elite' school. My son now goes to a school with a lesser reputation 
with no fees but at least this one does some grammar. If I ever reduce 
my working hours, I will be making sure he gets drilled.



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