Updated: Mar 5, 2022
How many of us thought this was about a Grammar school :-) ? In fact there was a reason Grammar schools were first created. That's for another day. This article is about the fundamental need for well spoken and written English (or any language).
We have been asked a number of times recently to post articles on the importance of "proper" English. We all heard Professor Paresh Narayan's session on the PhD candidates he now sees from Fiji is one example of the decline and, seen ourselves with the advent of text and SMS globally.
We recently attended a university Orientation Day where the lecturers reminded first year students to not use "hey" at the start of an email or text language when writing to lecturers.
These were students with 13 years of education and training going into the future workforce being reminded on the basicshttps://www.educationviews.org/8-reasons-grammar-is-important/ of communicating professionally.
Speaking also to Myjobsfiji.com staff who have seen over 94,000 applications pass through their website the level of written English leaves much to be desired - "interested" is not a persuasive reason to give you a job - a well composed letter is. Why is this no longer obvious?
We all have been mesmerised by great writers ( we all have heard of Naipaul , Shake Shakespears) and speakers (Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Churchill). Currently, we attribute our own politicians' English with that of being "smart" when they use sophisticated words. In fact the argument could be that simple words resonate more but in any case let's come back to the topic - Grammar.
Many of us will recall being asked to write a imaginary letter to an employer in High School and applying for a job. Such a letter was designed to persuade an employer to hire you and in it showed a number of things about your personality including attention to detail. Why are we not focusing on and reminding students of this and, demanding high standards of our students?
We will stop here with the sermons.
We were going to create our own list and then found this article "8 Reasons Grammar is Important". Reading it is obvious - so obvious that we have forgotten. The list is summarised here for those who are time poor:
Helps You Think More Logically
Shows You’re Educated
The Foundation of Learning a New Language
Enhances Accuracy and Improves Grades
Meet National Standards
We are sure you can agree with at least half the list? Should we just accept that "standards are slipping because of social media"?
We all have heard this saying " be the change you want to see in the world" - perhaps it starts with you and us as teachers.
Happy Reading as always.
PS: We know there are grammatical errors in this post. Everyone can improve!