Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Teaching grammar, or not

Interesting piece here and here about teaching grammar in UK schools. Here's the key quote:
Bas Aarts, Professor of English Linguistics at University College London, has said that new tests introduced by Education Secretary Michael Gove for pupils up to the age of 14 demanded a greater knowledge of grammar than many teachers currently possessed, The Telegraph reports. 
He told The Times: "Many teachers feel uncomfortable with grammar and don't know how to use it formally. We always knew the teaching of grammar was difficult for teachers because they often had no knowledge of English grammar themselves."
This test-mania parallels stuff in the US, of course, but I haven't heard of similar stuff here. (I don't pay particular attention to that world so probably just don't know about it.) But it's certainly part of the UK's obsessive assessment of everything in education. It's downright alarming how often I hear from even the most productive scholars in British universities about how much time and effort they put into their research assessments. 

But I learned something else from those articles: Aarts is the head of the hilariously named Englicious.

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