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Increased grammar focus would make for more polished writing

Many+students+struggle+with+grammar%2C+and+don%E2%80%99t+have+a+chance+in+regular+english+classes+to+learn+it+correctly.
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Increased grammar focus would make for more polished writing

Many students struggle with grammar, and don’t have a chance in regular english classes to learn it correctly.

Many students struggle with grammar, and don’t have a chance in regular english classes to learn it correctly.

Rylan Hefner

Many students struggle with grammar, and don’t have a chance in regular english classes to learn it correctly.

Rylan Hefner

Rylan Hefner

Many students struggle with grammar, and don’t have a chance in regular english classes to learn it correctly.

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Students at St. Paul Academy and Summit School should be given more guidance on how to use certain grammar by teachers. While classes teach how to write good content, we spend fewer time on learning and reviewing grammar than we should. Its apparent that, while students are expected to write long essays in many classes; a lack of knowledge of many grammar concepts makes it difficult to write them well. Not knowing how to use correct grammar, essays often suffer. SPA doesn’t offer grammar classes in the upper school, but given the number of essays that teachers assign at this level, high schoolers are the ones who teachers need to be giving grammar lessons to. Many SPA students don’t know simple grammar concepts, such as what passive voice is, the difference between “less” and “fewer”, when to use “it’s” instead of “its”, how to correctly use a semicolon, how not to split infinitives, how to avoid a dangling participle, when to use “whom” instead of “who”, that sentences should never end with a preposition, where to put punctuation when using quotation marks, and when to use an Oxford comma.

Chances are, you won’t notice all of the errors in that paragraph until they are pointed out.

While many SPA students have lots of experience and skill writing good content, many struggle with grammar, and don’t have a chance in regular english classes to learn it correctly. Because of this, essays and projects that are otherwise well written get lower scores than if the student had used stronger grammar. This is a problem that affects (yes, affects, not effects) many students, and yet, other than the occasional lesson in english class, it is up to the students to look up the correct rules themselves or use grammar-checking sites like Grammarly, which is provided to all students by the school, which only correct, and don’t teach. These sites, while helpful in the short term, do nothing after the student promptly forgets what they did wrong.

One possible solution to this problem is to offer grammar electives for students to take. Having these sorts of classes would benefit all students who enrolled, both in class and in the outside world. However, the grammar classes would only benefit those students. An easier and more effective (no, not affective) solution is to include more grammar lessons in the required english curriculum. Journeys in Literature and American Literature classes would greatly benefit from having regular lessons in grammar, given the number of essays students are required to write. Required english classes are very good about teaching students about certain parts of writing well, but need to focus on all aspects.

Let’s try the first paragraph again:

Teachers at St. Paul Academy and Summit School should be giving students more guidance on how to use certain grammar. While teachers teach how to write good content, they spend less time on teaching and reviewing grammar. It’s apparent that, while students are expected to write long essays in many of classes, they do not have enough knowledge of many grammar concepts to write them well. Not knowing how to use correct grammar, students often suffer when writing essays. SPA doesn’t offer grammar classes in the upper school, but given the number of essays that teachers assign at this level, high schoolers are the ones to whom teachers need to be giving grammar lessons. Many SPA students don’t know simple grammar concepts, such as what passive voice is, the difference between “less” and “fewer,” when to use “it’s” instead of “its,” how to use a semicolon correctly, how not to split infinitives, how to avoid a dangling participle, when to use “whom” instead of “who,” that sentences should never end with a preposition, where to put punctuation when using quotation marks, and when to use an Oxford comma.

All of these problems could be fixed with a simple and necessary change to the English curriculum. Students would be better prepared to write essays and would have grammar skills that would benefit them throughout their lives.

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About the Contributor
Rylan Hefner, Interactive Storytelling Team

Rylan Hefner is a member of the Interactive Storytelling Team on the RubicOnline. This is his second year on staff. He is eager to explore working with...

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