Grammar Makes a Comeback
Scarpa, Steven, District Administration
Driven by standardized testing requirements and poor student performance in reading and writing, educators are turning to an old standard to remedy the problem--grammar lessons. The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges the No Child Left Behind law emphasizes testing, placing greater importance on grammar. The new SAT also includes multiple-choice questions on grammar.
The challenge lies in that an entire generation of teachers have not been trained in the subject. experts say. The teaching of grammar was de-emphasized in the mid-1980s, with claims it was autocratic and irrelevant to student performance. The National Council of Teachers of English passed a resolution in 1985 saying that parsing sentences and other grammar exercises divorced from real-life application don't help students become better readers or writers.
Now. educators are finding that students struggle with expressing themselves. Ruth Townsend Story, co-author of a soon to be published book Grammar Lessons You'd Love to Teach. says without good grammar, many students struggle with critical thinking about a difficult text. In her work with high school students, Story has seen many good readers lose the meaning of complex sentences. …